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Carbon nanotube-based radiometers demonstrated on the RAVAN CubeSat mission
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Paper Abstract

Measuring Earth's energy budget from space is an essential ingredient for understanding and predicting Earth's climate. We have demonstrated the use of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) as photon absorbers in broadband radiometers own on the Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) 3U CubeSat. VACNT forests are some of the blackest materials known and have an extremely at spectral response over a wide wavelength range. The radiation measurements are made at both shortwave, solar-reflected wavelengths and in the thermal infrared. RAVAN also includes two gallium phase-change cells that are used to monitor the stability of RAVAN's radiometer sensors. RAVAN was launched November 11, 2016, into a nearly 600-km sun-synchronous orbit and collected data over the course of 20 months, successfully demonstrating its two key technologies. A 3-axis controlled CubeSat bus allows for routine solar and deep-space attitude maneuvers, which are essential for calibrating Earth irradiance measurements. Funded by the NASA Earth Science Technology Office, RAVAN is a pathfinder to demonstrate technologies for the measurement of Earth's radiation budget that have the potential to lower costs and enable new measurement concepts. In this paper we report specifically on the VACNT growth, post-growth modification, and pre-launch testing. We also describe the novel door mechanism that houses the gallium black bodies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10982, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI, 109820G (13 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2518428
Show Author Affiliations
William H. Swartz, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., LLC (United States)
Stergios J. Papadakis, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., LLC (United States)
David M. Deglau, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., LLC (United States)
Steven R. Lorentz, L-1 Standards and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Allan W. Smith, L-1 Standards and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Philip M. Huang, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10982:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam, Editor(s)

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