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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: "Exo-C" is NASA's first community study of a modest aperture space telescope designed for high contrast observations of exoplanetary systems. The mission will be capable of taking optical spectra of nearby exoplanets in reflected light, discover previously undetected planets, and imaging structure in a large sample of circumstellar disks. It will obtain unique science results on planets down to super-Earth sizes and serve as a technology pathfinder toward an eventual flagship-class mission to find and characterize habitable exoplanets. We present the mission/payload design and highlight steps to reduce mission cost/risk relative to previous mission concepts. At the study conclusion in 2015, NASA will evaluate it for potential development at the end of this decade. Keywords: Exoplanets, high contrast imaging, optical astronomy, space mission concepts
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN16540
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: The mission of the Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite (MicroMAS) is to collect useful atmospheric images using a miniature passive microwave radiometer payload hosted on a low-cost CubeSat platform. In order to collect this data, the microwave radiometer payload must rotate to scan the ground-track perpendicular to the satellite's direction of travel. A custom motor assembly was developed to facilitate the rotation of the payload while allowing the spacecraft bus to remained fixed in the local-vertical, local-horizontal (LVLH) frame for increased pointing accuracy. This paper describes the mechanism used to enable this dual-spinning operation for CubeSats, and the lessons learned during the design, fabrication, integration, and testing phases of the mechanism's development lifecycle.
    Keywords: Mechanical Engineering
    Type: The 42nd Aerospace Mechanism Symposium; 523-536; NASA/CP-2014-217519
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK (CLICK) mission will demonstrate technology to advance the state of the art in communications between small spacecraft as well as the capability to gauge their relative distance and location. CLICK is comprised of two sequential missions. The first mission, CLICK A, is a risk reduction mission that will test out elements of the optical (laser) communications with a single 3-unit (3U) spacecraft. The key objective of this risk reduction testing is to demonstrate the fine steering mirror control system's high precision pointing performance which enables the use of a lower power laser in CLICK B/C. The goal of CLICK B/C, the second mission, is to demonstrate full-duplex (send and receive) optical communication crosslink between two 3U small spacecraft, in low-Earth-orbit, at distances between 15 and 360 miles (25 - 580 kilometres) apart at data rates greater than 20 Mbps.
    Keywords: Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN67946 , CubeSat Developers Workshop; 23 Apr. 2019; San Luis Obispo, CA; United States
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  • 4
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    In:  CASI
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK (CLICK) mission will demonstrate technology to advance the state of the art in intersatellite communications for small spacecraft. The primary objective of the mission is an on-orbit demonstration of full-duplex (send and receive) laser, also called optical communication, crosslink between two six-unit(6U) small satellites that range in distance between 15 and 360 miles (25 - 580 kilometers) apart at data rates greater than 20 megabits per second (Mbps). The mission will also demonstrate precision satellite-to-satellite clock synchronization and ranging at the 10 cm level. Miniaturized optical transceivers capable of both transmitting and receiving laser communications will form a communication crosslink between the two satellites with their alignment supported with a new fine pointing capability. The miniature optical transceivers are an improvement over radio frequency (RF) technology due to the power efficiency of lasercom high data rate transmission, which lessens the impact on the small platform's already severe constraints on size, weight and power.
    Keywords: Communications and Radar
    Type: FC-2018-07-05-ARC , ARC-E-DAA-TN59898 , Annual AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference; 4-9 Aug. 2018; Logan, UT; United States
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We study the condensation of CO2 in Mars atmosphere using temperature profilesretrieved from radio occultation measurements from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) as wellas the climate sounding instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO),and detection of reflective clouds by the MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Wefind 11 events in 1999 where MGS temperature profiles indicate CO2 condensation andMOLA simultaneously detects reflective clouds. We thus provide causal evidence thatMOLA non-ground returns are associated with CO2 condensation, which strongly indicatestheir nature being CO2 clouds. The MGS and MRO temperature profiles together revealthe seasonal expansion and shrinking of the area and the vertical extent of atmosphericsaturation. The occurrence rate of atmospheric saturation is maximized at high latitudes inthe middle of winter. The atmospheric saturation in the northern polar region exhibits moreintense seasonal variation than in the southern polar region. In particular, a shrinking ofsaturation area and thickness from LS 270 to 300 in 2007 is found; this is probablyrelated to a planet-encircling dust storm. Furthermore, we integrate the condensation areaand the condensation occurrence rate to estimate cumulative masses of CO2 condensatesdeposited onto the northern and southern seasonal polar caps. The precipitation flux isapproximated by the particle settling flux which is estimated using the impulse responses ofMOLA filter channels. With our approach, the total atmospheric condensation mass canbe estimated from these observational data sets with average particle size as the onlyfree parameter. By comparison with the seasonal polar cap masses inferred from thetime-varying gravity of Mars, our estimates indicate that the average condensate particleradius is 822 mm in the northern hemisphere and 413 mm in the southern hemisphere.Our multi-instrument data analysis provides new constraints on modeling the global climateof Mars.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN9300 , Journal of Geophysical Research; 117; E7; E07002
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Exo-C is NASAs first community study of a modest aperture space telescope designed for high contrast observations of exoplanetary systems. The mission will be capable of taking optical spectra of nearby exoplanets in reflected light, discovering previously undetected planets, and imaging structure in a large sample of circumstellar disks. It will obtain unique science results on planets down to super-Earth sizes and serve as a technology pathfinder toward an eventual flagship-class mission to find and characterize habitable Earth-like exoplanets. We present the mission/payload design and highlight steps to reduce mission cost/risk relative to previous mission concepts. Key elements are an unobscured telescope aperture, an internal coronagraph with deformable mirrors for precise wavefront control, and an orbit and observatory design chosen for high thermal stability. Exo-C has a similar telescope aperture, orbit, lifetime, and spacecraft bus requirements to the highly successful Kepler mission (which is our cost reference). The needed technology development is on-course for a possible mission start in 2017. This paper summarizes the study final report completed in January 2015. During 2015 NASA will make a decision on its potential development.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: IEEEAC Paper #2508 , GSFC-E-DAA-TN20777 , 2015 IEEE Aerospace Conference; 7-14 Mar. 2015; Big Sky, MT; United States
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: SPICES (Spectro-Polarimetric Imaging and Characterization of Exoplanetary Systems) is a five-year M-class mission proposed to ESA Cosmic Vision. Its purpose is to image and characterize long-period extrasolar planets and circumstellar disks in the visible (450-900 nm) at a spectral resolution of about 40 using both spectroscopy and polarimetry. By 2020/2022, present and near-term instruments will have found several tens of planets that SPICES will be able to observe and study in detail. Equipped with a 1.5 m telescope, SPICES can preferentially access exoplanets located at several AUs (0.5-10 AU) from nearby stars (less than 25 pc) with masses ranging from a few Jupiter masses to Super Earths (approximately 2 Earth radii, approximately 10 mass compared to Earth) as well as circumstellar disks as faint as a few times the zodiacal light in the Solar System.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN7220 , Experimental Astronomy; oume 34; 2; 355-384
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-08-26
    Description: Two visionary innovations were proposed to allow spacecraft to assume the burden of navigation. The first extends the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF) to include not only orientation references (quasars), but also time (pulsars) and frequency (maser) references that allow position and velocity to be determined relative to the terrestrial reference frame (TRF) or planetary reference frames (PRFs). The second provides spacecraft with a direct means to determine their own position relative to the ICRF.
    Keywords: Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
    Type: HQ-E-DAA-TN62806
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