Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
Breaking science news and articles on global warming, extrasolar planets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology, dinosaurs, evolution -- the latest discoveries in astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, climate and environment, computers, engineering, health and medicine, math, physics, psychology, technology, and more -- from the world's leading universities and research organizations.
WASP gives NASA's planetary scientists new observation platform
Feb 8th 2014, 13:07
Scientists who study Earth, the sun and stars have long used high-altitude scientific balloons to carry their telescopes far into the stratosphere for a better view of their targets. Not so much for planetary scientists. That's because they needed a highly stable, off-the-shelf-type system that could accurately point their instruments and then track planetary targets as they moved in the solar system.
That device now exists.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., has designed a new pointing system -- the Wallops Arc Second Pointer (WASP) -- that can point balloon-borne scientific instruments at targets with sub arc-second accuracy and stability. A planetary scientist -- interested in finding less-expensive platforms for observing Jupiter and other extraterrestrial bodies -- now plans to test drive the device later this year.
"Arc-second pointing is unbelievably precise," said David Stuchlik, the WASP project manager. "Some compare it to the ability to find and track an object that is the diameter of a dime from two miles away."
WASP is designed to be a highly flexible, standardized system capable of supporting many science payloads, Stuchlik added. Its development frees scientists, who in the past had to develop their own pointing systems, to instead focus on instrument development. Given the technology's potential, the WASP team has received NASA Science Mission Directorate funding to further enhance the new capability as a standard support system.
First tested in 2011 and then again in 2012, the most recent test flight occurred from Fort Sumner, N.M., in September 2013. During that flight, a 30-story balloon lifted an engineering test unit of the HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science (HySICS) to an altitude of nearly 122,000 feet, far above the majority of Earth's atmosphere. From this vantage point, WASP precisely pointed HySICS so that it could measure Earth, the sun and the moon.
Developed by Greg Kopp of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the imager collected radiance data for nearly half of its eight-and-a-half hour flight, demonstrating improved techniques for future space-based radiance tests. Kopp now is preparing his imager for another balloon flight this September.
OPIS Inaugural Flight
Also planned for September is the inaugural flight of the Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere (OPIS) -- a notable event because so few planetary scientists have in the past employed less-expensive balloon craft to fly their instruments.
"Planetary scientists really haven't been involved in balloon payloads," said OPIS Principal Investigator Terry Hurford. "Planetary targets move with respect to the stars in the background. And because you need to track them to gather measurements, you need a system that can accurately point and then follow a target. These challenges are why planetary scientists haven't gotten into the balloon game."
For other scientific disciplines, the tolerances aren't as tight, he added. The targets are either large, like the sun, or plentiful, like the stars, thereby making it much easier to target an object and then maintain a lock onto that object, Hurford said.
Now that Stuchlik and his team have proven WASP's effectiveness, Hurford wants to show that the system is equally as effective for planetary science when he flies his balloon-borne OPIS high above Earth's surface to study Jupiter and planets beyond the solar system.
He is using Goddard Internal Research and Development program funding to repurpose a telescope mirror originally built to calibrate the Goddard-developed Composite Infrared Spectrometer now flying on NASA's Cassini mission. He also is using NASA support to help upgrade WASP's existing avionics system to assure planetary tracking and expand its ability to follow targets above 25 degrees of elevation.
Like HySICS, OPIS will launch from Fort Sumner. Provided stratospheric winds cooperate, the mission is expected to last up to 24 hours during which Hurford plans to gather time measurements of Jupiter's atmospheric structure. His other objectives during his 24-hour flight are to observe a transit of an extrasolar planet and the rotation of an asteroid.
"Time for planetary observations on ground-based observatories is difficult to obtain," Hurford said. "Moreover, high-altitude balloons above 95 percent of the Earth's atmosphere allow for observations in the ultraviolet- and infrared-wavelength bands, which aren't possible with ground-based telescopes. High-altitude balloons offer us a unique, low-cost platform to carry out our planetary observations. This effort provides us with a unique opportunity to build a capability that we can leverage for future opportunities. WASP gives us a new platform," he said.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this feed at https://blogtrottr.com
If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe here:
- Solidot: 政治倾向由生理决定，而非理智
- Solidot: 魁北克省要求店主将Facebook页面内容翻译成法语
- Solidot: 科学出版商移除一百多篇机器生成的假论文
- Solidot: 英国政府提出新规定允许“三亲胚胎”
- Solidot: 波音Black手机的更多细节公开
- Solidot: MtGox申请破产保护
- Solidot: Debian移植到OpenRISC架构
- Solidot: 2014年Gnome亚洲峰会定在北京举行
- Solidot: 用LED路灯提供移动服务
- Solidot: 印度空间研究组织公布载人太空船原型
- Solidot: 华纳兄弟将制作《Minecraft》电影
- Solidot: Tor正在开发匿名即时聊天工具
- Solidot: ArnoldC：出自施瓦辛格电影的编程语言
- Solidot: 明报前总编被砍引发新闻自由的担忧
- Solidot: MtGox关闭后火币网交易量暴增
- Solidot: GCHQ拦截雅虎用户的视频聊天，发现许多人裸聊
- Solidot: 中国成立网络安全最高委员会
- Solidot: 中国科学家认为短距离水下量子通信是可能的
- Solidot: 美国儿童正在变瘦
- Solidot: 美国一参议员呼吁封杀比特币
- Solidot: Opera迎来丰收的一年
- Solidot: Chris Anderson的开源无人机王国
- Solidot: 中国科学家成功去除猴子的特定基因
- Confirm your unsubscription from '网易数码频道：相机资讯'
- Solidot: GitHub公开文本编辑器Atom
- Solidot: 上海禁止早晚高峰使用打车软件
- Solidot: P2P僵尸网络
- Solidot: 波音为政府研发具有自毁功能的Android手机
- Solidot: 两款Ubuntu手机原型亮相MWC
- Solidot: 亚马逊的甜言蜜语
- Solidot: 确认的太阳系外行星数量增至1700颗
- Solidot: 三星Tizen OS：没有Android应用的Android克隆
- Solidot: Google被勒令移除反穆斯林视频
- Solidot: 用基于WebGL的BabylonJS把3D扫描模型分享给小伙伴
- Solidot: GreatFire.org合作新闻网站被屏蔽
- Solidot: 依靠IDE让你变成一位差劲的程序员？
- Solidot: 骆家辉：中国未来美好，需要尊重法治和保障人权
- Solidot: 暴雪证实计划向玩家出售60美元的90级角色升级商品
- Solidot: 中国智能电网投入超过美国
- Solidot: Android木马利用Tor隐藏指令服务器位置
- Solidot: Wolfram演示Wolfram语言
- Solidot: 传记作者曝光Julian Assange的秘密生活
- Solidot: 诺基亚XL：大屏大抱负
- Solidot: Servo：Mozilla试图重新发明浏览器
- Solidot: 朝鲜叛逃者用气球反击平壤
- Solidot: 防监听手机Blackphone的更多细节
- Solidot: Twitter用户剧透《壮志凌云》，派拉蒙发出DMCA通知
- Solidot: MtGox收到美国传票，日本着手调查
- Solidot: 评估报告称国际热核聚变实验堆存在严重管理问题
- Solidot: Portal 2 Beta for Linux版发布
- Solidot: 苹果督促亚利桑那州州长否决反同性恋法案
- Solidot: 世卫组织警告北京空气污染，气象局呼吁民众hold住
- Solidot: 福特车载信息系统用QNX替代Windows
- Solidot: 科学家用鱼线创造人造肌肉
- Solidot: 安全研究员开发出能绕过微软EMET的攻击代码
- Solidot: 新西兰因计算机系统问题向错误的司机开出2万罚单法
- Solidot: 新浪微博用户增长速度创下新低
- Solidot: Pony僵尸网络从感染者机器上窃走了价值22万美元的数字货币
- Solidot: 巴西和欧洲宣布铺设绕过美国的海底光缆
- Solidot: 三星发布Galaxy S5——防水版Galaxy S4
- Solidot: MtGox关闭交易，关闭网站
- Solidot: 用大数据监控分析员工行为
- Solidot: PLoS要求论文作者公开数据
- Solidot: 市场因素迫使污染大户钢厂倒闭
- Solidot: 中国扩增新闻道德委员会
- Solidot: LinkedIn发布中文版，取名领英
- Solidot: Google将发布新版Google地图
- Solidot: 月球遭遇有记录以来最明亮的小行星撞击
- Confirm your unsubscription from 'Latest Science N...
- Solidot: 报告称95%的野鸡大学文凭授予了中国人
- Solidot: 哈佛超算集群被劫持挖掘狗币
- Solidot: 数字电影能保存100年吗？
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: Synthetic ver...
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: United Kingdo...
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: New insights ...
- Solidot: 成人电影工作室用数字技术移除安全套
- Solidot: 神经学研究发现，程序语言确实像外语
- Solidot: 诺基亚公布三款Android手机
- Solidot: 腾讯金山等宣布向XP提供技术支持
- Confirm your unsubscription from '网易数码频道：家电资讯'
- Solidot: 微软证实Windows 8.1下一次更新将以非触摸设备为重心
- Solidot: 地球上最古老的岩石在澳大利亚
- Solidot: 香港首家比特币零售店周五开放
- Solidot: WhatsApp创始人用不可改签的机票向Facebook施压
- Solidot: NSA不再监听总理而去监听德国部长
- Solidot: 为什么专利和版权在中国难以实施？
- Solidot: gotofail：苹果 SSL/TLS 重大安全漏洞的细节
- Solidot: NASA公布宇航员拍摄的朝鲜夜晚照片
- Solidot: 中国律师要求公安部公布监控信息
- Solidot: Mozilla计划向新兴市场发布25美元智能手机
- Solidot: 高频交易员开始使用激光通信
- Solidot: 三星的智能手表运行Tizen
- Solidot: Stack Overflow公布用户调查结果
- Solidot: Chrome 33新变化引发用户强烈抗议
- Solidot: Bruce Schneier建议解散NSA
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: Seed-filled b...
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: Revolutionary...
- Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily: Is a 'buttery...
- Confirm your unsubscription from '网易科技频道IT业界新闻'
- Solidot: 数学模型预测革命
- ▼ 二月 (840)
- ► 2013 (16909)