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Shoebox-Sized Satellite Goes Full Sail

NASA's Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a small satellite the size of a shoebox, designed to study asteroids close to Earth, performed a full-scale solar sail deployment test at ManTech NeXolve's facility in Huntsville, Ala., on Sept. 13. The test was performed in an indoor cleanroom to ensure the deployment mechanism's functionality after recent environmental testing.

NEA Scout is a six-unit CubeSat that relies on an innovative solar sail for propulsion. It is one of 13 secondary science payloads NASA selected to fly on the initial launch of NASA's Space Launch System rocket. When deployed, the sail is square in shape with each side about the length of a school bus, and harnesses solar energy to use as propulsion to move through space. Instead of wind, solar sails reflect sunlight for thrust, minimizing the need for fuel. This method results in cost savings due to the reduced weight and size of the payload with reduced fuel and provides the satellite with the ability to travel through space. The NEA Scout solar sail will deploy from the spacecraft using four arms — called booms — to hold the sail, much like a sail on a ship.

When fully deployed, NEA Scout's solar sail is the length of a school bus. This sail is used to reflect sunlight to use as propulsion for the satellite as it moves through space, minimizing the need for fuel and paving the way for deep-space exploration missions. Image: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

“Last year, we did a deployment test on a half-scale prototype of the solar sail. We used the findings to make several improvements to the spacecraft’s sail deployment mechanism," says Tiffany Lockett, a NEA Scout sail systems engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "We incorporated a larger motor to help retract the booms after deployment and upgraded the software to perform the test. Also, we improved the sail restraint tab that holds the sail in place prior to deployment for easier sail deployment, upgraded the connection between the sail and the booms, and included a pin puller to help lock the sail spool during transportation."

To minimize the amount of human intervention needed to deploy the sail in a gravity environment, the team had to come up with a way to reduce friction where possible. Engineers used improved sliders to allow the booms to glide easily across the surface of the table with less friction.

"We learned a lot from the results of today's test. The motor performed as anticipated and three of the four sail restraint tabs released on time. The new improved booms operated much better under less friction," says Alex Few, NEA Scout sail systems mechanical designer at Marshall. "We look forward to analyzing the results further in the coming weeks."

NASA engineers tested the deployment of a full-size solar sail on the CubeSat, NEA Scout at ManTech NeXolve's Huntsville, Alabama, facility on Sept. 13. NEA Scout will launch as a secondary science payload to study near-Earth asteroids on NASA's Space Launch System's inaugural flight. Image: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

The team will use these findings to make final adjustments to the testing of the solar sail that will be used in flight, scheduled for testing later this year.

"NEA Scout will perform a reconnaissance fly-by and take pictures of an asteroid to learn more about the risks and challenges they may pose to future human exploration missions," says Les Johnson, NEA Scout’s solar sail principal investigator at Marshall. "It will deploy from the rocket after the Orion spacecraft is separated from the upper stage."

NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems manages NEA Scout with the team led at Marshall with support from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. and NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. AES infuses new technologies developed by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate and partners with the Science Mission Directorate to address the unknowns and mitigate risks for crews and systems during future human exploration missions.

Source: NASA

by Shannon Ridinger, Marshall Space Flight Center

 

https://www.cemag.us/news/2017/09/shoebox-sized-satellite-goes-full-sail

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170926133928.htm 

 

Near-Earth asteroid CubeSat goes full sail

Date:
September 26, 2017
Source:
NASA
Summary:
NASA's Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a small satellite the size of a shoebox, designed to study asteroids close to Earth, recently performed a full-scale solar sail deployment test. The test was performed in an indoor clean room to ensure the deployment mechanism's functionality after recent environmental testing.

When fully deployed, NEA Scout's solar sail is the length of a school bus. This sail is used to reflect sunlight to use as propulsion for the satellite as it moves through space, minimizing the need for fuel and paving the way for deep-space exploration missions.
Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given
 
 

NASA's Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a small satellite the size of a shoebox, designed to study asteroids close to Earth, performed a full-scale solar sail deployment test at ManTech NeXolve's facility in Huntsville, Alabama, Sept. 13. The test was performed in an indoor clean room to ensure the deployment mechanism's functionality after recent environmental testing.

NEA Scout is a six-unit CubeSat that relies on an innovative solar sail for propulsion. It is one of 13 secondary science payloads NASA selected to fly on the initial launch of NASA's Space Launch System rocket. When deployed, the sail is square in shape with each side about the length of a school bus, and harnesses solar energy to use as propulsion to move through space. Instead of wind, solar sails reflect sunlight for thrust, minimizing the need for fuel. This method results in cost savings due to the reduced weight and size of the payload with reduced fuel and provides the satellite with the ability to travel through space. The NEA Scout solar sail will deploy from the spacecraft using four arms -- called booms -- to hold the sail, much like a sail on a ship.

"Last year, we did a deployment test on a half-scale prototype of the solar sail. We used the findings to make several improvements to the spacecraft's sail deployment mechanism," said Tiffany Lockett, a NEA Scout sail systems engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "We incorporated a larger motor to help retract the booms after deployment and upgraded the software to perform the test. Also, we improved the sail restraint tab that holds the sail in place prior to deployment for easier sail deployment, upgraded the connection between the sail and the booms, and included a pin puller to help lock the sail spool during transportation."

To minimize the amount of human intervention needed to deploy the sail in a gravity environment, the team had to come up with a way to reduce friction where possible. Engineers used improved sliders to allow the booms to glide easily across the surface of the table with less friction.

"We learned a lot from the results of today's test. The motor performed as anticipated and three of the four sail restraint tabs released on time. The new improved booms operated much better under less friction," said Alex Few, NEA Scout sail systems mechanical designer at Marshall. "We look forward to analyzing the results further in the coming weeks."

The team will use these findings to make final adjustments to the testing of the solar sail that will be used in flight, scheduled for testing later this year.

"NEA Scout will perform a reconnaissance fly-by and take pictures of an asteroid to learn more about the risks and challenges they may pose to future human exploration missions," said Les Johnson, NEA Scout's solar sail principal investigator at Marshall. "It will deploy from the rocket after the Orion spacecraft is separated from the upper stage."

Story Source:

  1. Materials providedNASANote: Content may be edited for style and length.

NASA. "Near-Earth asteroid CubeSat goes full sail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170926133928.htm>.

https://phys.org/news/2017-08-sunshield-layers-fully-nasa-james.html

Sunshield layers fully integrated on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

August 7, 2017

 

Sunshield layers fully integrated on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
The first layer of the Webb telescope sunshield installed at Northrop Grumman's clean room in Redondo Beach, California. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corp.
 
The five sunshield layers responsible for protecting the optics and instruments of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope are now fully installed.
Northrop Grumman Corporation in Redondo Beach, California who designed the Webb telescope's optics and spacecraft bus for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, integrated the final flight layers into the sunshield subsystem. The team is now folding and stowing the layers, in preparation for deployment tests in August.
The sunshield layers work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Each successive layer of the sunshield, made of kapton, is cooler than the one below. All layers were installed and tested in June and July 2017 at Northrop Grumman Corporation's Space Park facility in Redondo Beach.
"This is a huge milestone for the Webb telescope as we prepare for launch," said Jim Flynn, Webb sunshield manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "The groundbreaking tennis court sized sunshield will shield the optics from heat and assist in providing the imaging of the formation of stars and galaxies more than 13.5 billion years ago."
 
Sunshield layers fully integrated on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

All 5 layers of the Webb telescope sunshield installed at Northrop Grumman's clean room in Redondo Beach, California. The five sunshield membrane layers are each as thin as a human hair. Credit: : Northrop Grumman Corp.

"All five sunshield membranes have been installed and will be folded over the next few weeks," said Paul Geithner, deputy project manager - technical for the Webb telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The Webb telescope's sunshield will prevent the background heat from the sun from interfering with the telescope's infrared sensors. The five sunshield membrane layers, designed and manufactured by the NeXolve Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama, are each as thin as a human hair. Because the sunshield is the size of a tennis court, it helps solidify the Webb telescope as the largest ever built for space. The , along with the rest of the spacecraft, will fold origami-style into an Ariane 5 rocket.

The Webb telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb telescope will observe distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Sunshield layers fully integrated on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

The sunshield layers work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Each successive layer of the sunshield, which is made of Kapton, is cooler than the one below. The sunshield is in the clean room at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corp.

Read more at:  https://phys.org/news/2017-08-sunshield-layers-fully-nasa-james.html#jCp

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The first of the five sunshield layers that will make it possible for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to image the formation of stars and galaxies created more than 13.5 billion years ago, was delivered to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Space Park facility April 24.

Northrop Grumman is designing the Webb Telescope's optics, sunshield and spacecraft for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland Innovative sunshield membranes are being designed and manufactured by NeXolve Corporation, a subsidiary of ManTech International Corporation (NASDAQ: MANT) of Huntsville, Alabama.

The Webb Telescope will be the largest telescope in space. Its sunshield, which is the size of a tennis court, is constructed with five individual layers of Kapton, which effectively reduces the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Each successive layer of the sunshield is cooler than the one below, preventing the interference of background heat with the telescope's infrared sensor.

"Through extensive testing we have proven that the innovative sunshield design works," said Jim Flynn, Webb sunshield manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We are thrilled to receive the first flight layer from NeXolve as we prepare for 2018 launch."

NeXolve is manufacturing the other four layers and will individually shape-test each to ensure they meet requirements. This delivery to Northrop Grumman signifies the beginning of final flight hardware completion for the sunshield. Next, Northrop Grumman will integrate the final flight layers into the sunshield subsystem, to conduct folding and deployment testing as part of the final system validation process.

"Our entire ManTech team has worked diligently to achieve the manufacturing completion of the first sunshield layer and successfully deliver it to our partners at Northrop Grumman," said Greg Laue, sunshield program manager, NeXolve. "Delivery of the first flight layer is the culmination of years of development and manufacturing and we are thrilled to have accomplished this major program milestone."

The Webb Telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb Telescope will observe distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

About ManTech

ManTech is a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs. ManTech's expertise includes C4ISR; cybersecurity; global logistics; IT; intelligence; systems engineering; test and evaluation; environmental, range and sustainability services; and healthcare analytics and IT. Additional information on ManTech can be found at www.mantech.com.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Sunshield is Taking Shape at ManTech's NeXolve Subsidiary

Company Completes Manufacturing and Shape Testing of First Flight Layer of Telescope's Sunshield System

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT) announced today that its NeXolve subsidiary has completed manufacturing and shape testing of the first layer of the James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield system. NeXolve is subcontractor to Northrop Grumman in manufacturing the one-of-a-kind sunshield membranes.

The Webb Telescope is NASA's largest science mission and will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. The five-layer sunshield system is designed to protect the telescope from the extreme conditions it will experience while in operation. As big as a tennis court, the sunshield layer is made of Kapton® (Kapton is a registered mark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), a very thin, high-performance plastic with a reflective metallic coating. Each layer of the sunshield system must maintain a unique, complex shape on orbit to sustain the optimum environment for the telescope.

NASA Partners with Leading Technology Innovators to Enable Future Exploration
 
 
 
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visits a contractor partner clean room to view a satellite before launch. Hands-on experiences with technology partners will help technology drive exploration.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visits a contractor partner clean room to view a satellite before launch. Hands-on experiences with technology partners will help technology drive exploration.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Bill Ingalls
 
Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative (ECI) pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate created the ECI to enable a highly collaborative, joint-partnering work environment between the best and brightest NASA early career innovators and leading innovators in industry, academia and other government organizations.

"Continued investment in technology is a requirement for the success of NASA's current and future missions," said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Investing in the future leaders in space technology in partnership with the nation’s leading innovators is part of our overall portfolio strategy for mission success."

Teams selected for the ECI pilot program and their topic areas are:

  • High-Speed Video Imaging with Disruptive Computational Photography Enabling Technology, submitted by NASA's Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, with partner, Innovative Imaging and Research (I2F) of Mississippi. The team will develop and demonstrate a system for high-speed, 3-D, High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. Video imaging will be performed at the chip level using computational photography, providing NASA with advanced visualization technologies to meet future needs.
  • Lightweight Integrated Solar Array and Transceiver (LISA-T), submitted by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama with partner, Huntsville's NeXolve, to build and demonstrate a deployable solar array and integrated transceiver system. The technology represents a novel approach to developing a lighter weight, higher power technology solution for future spacecraft energy needs.
  • On-Orbit Autonomous Assembly of Nanosatellites, submitted by NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia with external partner Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. The team will develop advanced autonomous docking hardware based on Halbach magnetic array technology. Reliable autonomous rendezvous and docking techniques provide enabling technologies for future mission needs.
  • Integrated Display and Environmental Awareness System (IDEAS), submitted by NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, with Orlando area partners Abacus Technology and Purple Rock Scissors, and the Florida Institute of Technology of Melbourne. The team will develop a wearable computer with an optical heads-up display providing augmented reality data and communications, enhancing real-time operations on the ground and in space.

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate received 28 proposals from NASA early career teams for the ECI pilot program. Selected proposals will refine their plans and negotiate agreements with partner organizations. Projects will be funded up to $1 million per year for a period of up to two years.

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is building, testing and flying the technologies needed for the aerospace missions of tomorrow. The directorate continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration.

For more information about NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:

 http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

-end-

 

David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1730
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2014/10/inside_look_a_space_age_clean.html

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror.  The project is working to a 2018 launch date.

The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

 

JWST

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In 2013, NeXolve Corporation successfully demonstrated its commitment to excellence with 100% on-time delivery and quality of their products to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. NeXolve's ability, workmanship, and superior standard of performance have been instrumental in supporting the commitments of Lockheed Martin to its customers.Supplier-Certificate.pdf

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5 lgThermalbright™ Polyimide is a breakthrough high temperature highly reflective essentially opaque white polyimide film. Typical polyimides are orange colored and highly absorptive when filled with white pigments, but Thermalbright is bright white in color and contains no silicones, acrylics or non-polyimide polymers. 

Unlike traditional "white polyimides,"Thermalbright™ Polyimide is not a white acrylic laminate on top of an orange polyimide, it is a single film of white polyimide. This novel material is useful in thermal control applications requiring good UV and VUV durability.

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4 lgTR-Clad™ (short for “Transmit/Receive-Clad”) is a fundamental building block for ultralightweight flexible circuits and flexible antennas. TR-Clad™ Flexible Laminates are starting materials from which flexible circuits and flexible antennas are etched with lithographic processes. 

Lowest Dielectric Constant. TR-Clad™exhibits a record low dielectric constant of 2.5, lower than the dielectric constant of 3.4 to 3.7 reported for competitive materials of all polyimide construction. The remarkably low dielectric constant reduces cross-talk between circuit traces and provides for the fabrication of finer feature sizes and allows for higher frequencies. This enables high data-rate applications as well as additional miniaturization which provides for additional lowering of the final product weight. 

3 lgLightweight material replaces metals and glass to lower the cost of satellitesFAIRFAX, Va., Aug 25, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT) announced today that its Colorless Organic/Inorganic Nanocomposite (CORIN™) transparent polyimide film, used in space and electronics applications, has been recognized by R&D Magazine as one of the top 100 most innovative and technologically significant new products of the year. Called the "Oscars of Invention" by the Chicago Tribune, the R&D 100 awards are given annually to the technologies that have the potential to greatly affect further scientific discovery, human life, and society. Previous award winners include fax machines, ATMs and HDTV. 

POSS® NANOTECHNOLOGYManTech SRS Technologies, a unit of ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq: MANT) has developed CORIN™ XLS Polyimide using POSS® technology. It is a colorless, organic/inorganic nanocomposite, which delivers unsurpassed levels of optical clarity, oxidative stability and stability to solar radiation. This fluorinated polyimide offers the highest atomic oxygen durability, as well as the highest light transmission of all CORIN grades, making it an ideal lightweight substitute material for glass used in space photovoltaic arrays in low earth orbit.