Advanced On-Board Calibration of Space Systems Using a Carbon Nanotube Flat-Plate Blackbody

Evolving remote sensing missions present a growing need for satellite sensors with significantly enhanced measurement accuracies beyond current capabilities. For example, the on-board calibration needed for very precise (e.g., <1% radiance uncertainty), spectrally resolved IR radiances typically requires high-emissivity, ε (≥0.999) calibration blackbodies (BBs). The challenge is that conventional BBs have coating emissivities that are…

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Frequency comb development for ultra-precise space based applications

Frequency comb technology uses a unique combination of broadband optical coherence and unprecedented frequency stability to create new tool for active and passive sensing and metrology.  Recent developments utilize this precision to demonstrate orders of magnitude improvement over state of the art spectroscopy, long distance ranging and velocity measurement, frequency conversion, and timing transfer. Demonstrations…

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Plasma Propulsion: Unlocking the Full Potential of Small Satellites

Small satellites are currently limited in capability by very low delta-V propulsion systems. With the advent of radio-frequency thrusters like the Phase Four RFT, an electric propulsion system designed specifically for small satellites, small satellite missions are no longer constrained by rideshare orbits and short mission lifetimes. By providing delta-V on the order of kilometers…

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