Keyword: Sun and solar

Briefs: Aerospace
Scientific Balloons as Solar Sails

Existing scientific research balloons such as those launched from Wallops Flight Facility could be placed in near- Earth space where they would perform as solar sails, providing relatively inexpensive propulsion systems for interplanetary missions. The balloons would accelerate at rates comparable with the ion...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

The successful exploitation of hyperspectral imaging sensors depends on the availability of accurate and complete spectral signature libraries. Coupled with the appropriate spectral...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Solar-array panels will experience very low temperatures of 50 K for the proposed Europa Clipper Mission (ECM). Solar-array panels will also...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Illuminating Permanently Shadowed Lunar Regions Using a Solar Sail

Sunlight can be reflected into permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) using S/C solar sails in order to detect and confirm the presence and distribution of water ice cold-trapped in PSRs in lunar polar craters. This reflected light is then viewed with an optical spectrometer.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A standard solar array is a flat panel configured of many individual solar cells, wired in series or parallel, depending on their junction configuration and material. Since...

Application Briefs: Imaging

On March 11, NASA tested the powerful five-segment booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. To provide critical data for the rocket’s first flight, eight...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Neutron Spectrometer for Inner Radiation Belt Studies

The Earth’s magnetosphere offers a wealth of information on particle dynamics, acceleration, and trapping. Fast neutrons, produced in the Earth’s atmosphere by the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs), are an important but poorly measured component of...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
High-Energy Instrumentation for Small Satellite Platforms

Given the increased availability of small satellite opportunities either through CubeSats or the Air Force’s University Nanosat program, and the limited availability of larger platforms, it is challenging to develop new instrumentation that not only fits within the envelope of small...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Diminutive Assembly for Nanosatellite deploYables (DANY) Miniature Release Mechanism

CubeSat appendices such as solar panels and antennas often need to be constrained by a release mechanism during launch. These appendices are then deployed once the desired orbit is reached. The usual constraint method used is a combination of an unpredictable/...

Briefs: Information Technology
Space Weather Database of Notifications, Knowledge, Information — DONKI

SW DONKI is a comprehensive Web application for space weather forecasters, scientists, and the general space weather community. It serves as an archive for space weather activities including solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar energetic particles, and...

NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping

To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Performance Photocatalytic Oxidation Reactor System

As crewed space missions extend beyond low Earth orbit, the need to reliably recover potable water is critical. Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the water is recycled from cabin humidity condensate, urine distillate, and hygiene wash wastes. In spacecraft cabin air...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Sample return missions have the ability to vastly increase scientific understanding of the origin, history, current status, and resource potential of solar system objects including...

Briefs: Communications

This work describes a discontinuous or segmented mirror whose overall flatness is less dependent on the limited tension that can be supplied by the booms. A solar sail is a large, nominally...

Briefs: Aerospace
Ground-to-Space Laser Calibration System

The accuracy of spaceborne sensors measuring reflected solar radiance can be affected by multiple factors. First, instruments with complex optics are sensitive to polarization. The response of such instruments is characterized before launch; however, sensitivity to polarization can change on orbit...

Briefs: Information Technology
Advanced Navigation Strategies for Asteroid Sample Return Missions

Sample-return missions to primitive solar system bodies (asteroids, comets, and planetary satellites) can provide a wealth of scientific information and insight into the composition and origins of the solar system. Recent interest in primitive body missions has been driven by the...

Who's Who: Aerospace

Brian Trease, JPL Mechanical Engineer, uses origami principles to design large-scale and small-scaled deployable structures. In 2013, Trease collaborated...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mars-Optimized Solar Cells

Commercial triple junction solar cell designs were modified in their junction thicknesses, contact grid densities, and anti-reflective (AR) coating thicknesses to better match the Mars surface solar spectrum. Resulting cells show up to approximately 8% relative improvement in efficiency under the Mars solar spectrum,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Station Spacewalk

The Station Spacewalk game enables players to virtually conduct NASA repair work on the International Space Station, including jobs critical to help power up the space station so it can continue to operate. Players are provided with a limited quantity of oxygen during which they must complete extravehicular activities (EVAs)...

Briefs: Aerospace
GEO-CAPE Airborne Simulator (GCAS)

This IRAD (Internal Research and Development) project was conceived as an aircraft instrument and designed with specifications that are closely aligned with the science requirements of the Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission. The work has been used to both advance the technology...

Application Briefs: Lighting

When residents of the Park Centre Casitas residential community in Mesa, Arizona, got together and hired a security company to survey the property and suggest ways to keep it...

Products: Lighting

Oriel Instruments (Bozeman, MT), a Newport Company, has introduced the LSH-7320 LED Class ABA Solar Simulator. Compared to conventional solar simulators with Xenon sources, the LED-based solar simulator provides fast...

Briefs: Materials
White, Electrically Dissipative Thermal Control Coating

A highly reflective, white conductive coating system was developed using various layered coatings to maximize the structural, electrical, and optical reflectance properties for spacecraft radiators. The top layer of the system contains a highly reflective white pigment within a dissipative...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Photovoltaic cell arrays are used on robotic rovers on the Mars surface, but dust accumulation on the surface of the solar cells reduces their exposure to light radiation and thus degrades their performance....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Solar Pumped Fiber Laser for Solar Sail Propulsion and Remote Power Transfer

A new method has been developed to create coherent laser light efficiently with direct optical coupling of the Sun’s energy into the gain medium for multiple uses. New advances in solar cell photovoltaic (PV) technologies have greatly improved their efficiencies,...

Briefs: Software
Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator

The Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator (EMTG) is a global trajectory optimization tool for designing interplanetary missions that perform multiple flybys and either low-thrust or high-thrust propulsive maneuvers on the way to destinations in the solar system. Some targets, such as Mars and Venus,...

Briefs: Software
Analytical Expression of Elevation-Dependent Relative Air Mass for Atmospheric Extinction Simulations

This software enables one to calculate elevation-dependent relative air mass. When imaging a setting or rising Sun on the ground or from space, the shape and the intensity distribution of a captured image are affected by the following three...

Briefs: Information Technology

This software simulates Sun images observed on the ground and from space with an easy-to-use analytical approach and with high accuracy. It is a simple, analytical approach with the accuracy of a...

Application Briefs: Lighting

What do you do when you move your manufacturing and main distribution center into a new facility, and your business is built on providing key components to LED lighting OEMs? If...