A second generation Wallops Fine Sun Sensor (WFSS) was developed as a 2016 IRAD project. The project for 2017 will be to assess the need for radiation hardening and complete thermal-vacuum and vibration testing of the 2016 design. In order to make full use of the improvements and expand the application potential, a set of housing designs will be established and proved that provide a range of accuracy/fields of view (FOV) for application to specific mission needs.
The goals of the 2016 effort were to improve the performance of the first generation WFSS by an order of magnitude, decrease the power draw by an order of magnitude, and to improve the processor to allow all data processing to be carried out on board. To meet those goals, the circuit was redesigned and new calibration techniques and support infrastructure were developed. The end result of the 2016 project was a prototype sensor that will be ready for environmental testing.
The 2017 effort will complete environmental testing on the FY16 prototype and develop a selection of housings to customize the sensor for different applications. Environmental testing will include performing thermal vacuum and vibration testing and evaluating the need for radiation testing and hardening. Thermal vacuum and vibration testing will take place using WFF assets. A radiation engineer will be brought on to evaluate the new design, and to identify ways to harden the design if necessary.
Environmental testing is expected to have a duration of 3-4 months. The design and testing of housing configurations will be performed during the remainder of the year. Increasing the height of the cruciform shade within the housing will theoretically increase the accuracy over a narrower field of view. Conversely, a wider FOV can be obtained at the cost of accuracy. Evaluating the accuracy of the WFSS as a function of FOV will enable the housings to be customized to a particular application and increase the versatility of the sensor.
Project deliverables will include a more robust design, an assessment of potential radiation issues and a plan for conducting radiation testing, and a quantified relationship between sensor FOV and accuracy that will allow for housing customization to match mission requirements.More »
The purpose of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program is to support new technology development and to address scientific challenges. Each year, Principal Investigators (PIs) submit IRAD proposals and compete for funding for their development projects. Goddard’s IRAD program supports eight Lines of Business: Astrophysics; Communications and Navigation; Cross-Cutting Technology and Capabilities; Earth Science; Heliophysics; Planetary Science; Science Small Satellites Technology; and Suborbital Platforms and Range Services.
Task progress is evaluated twice a year at the Mid-term IRAD review and the end of the year. When the funding period has ended, the PIs compete again for IRAD funding or seek new sources of development and research funding or agree to external partnerships and collaborations. In some cases, when the development work has reached the appropriate Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level, the product is integrated into an actual NASA mission or used to support other government agencies. The technology may also be licensed out to the industry.
The completion of a project does not necessarily indicate that the development work has stopped. The work could potentially continue in the future as a follow-on IRAD; or used in collaboration or partnership with Academia, Industry and other Government Agencies.
If you are interested in partnering with NASA, see the TechPort Partnerships documentation available on the TechPort Help tab. http://techport.nasa.gov/helpMore »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Wallops Flight Facility (WFF)||Lead Organization||NASA Facility||Wallops Island, VA|