sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Largest ever space sail for 2014 - it's the Sunjammer!
Largest ever space sail for 2014 - it's the Sunjammer!

'Solar sail - the largest ever'    .

It's not windjammer, it's Sunjammer! Humans learned long ago to push a craft across the water using the wind. Now the pace is picking up as space scientists learn how to push a craft through space using photons from the sun.

The largest solar sail ever constructed is headed for the launch pad in 2014 on a mission to demonstrate the value of what is being called 'propellantless propulsion'.

Dubbed Sunjammer, the giant solar sail measures about 124 feet (38 meters) on a side and boasts a total surface area of nearly 13,000 square feet (1,208 square m, or one-third of an acre). The project is under the wing of NASA's Space Technology Program, within the agency's Office of the Chief Technologist.

NASA has contracted with a team of high-tech 'solar sailors' at L'Garde Inc. of Tustin, Calif., to build Sunjammer.

L'Garde is no newcomer to novel space structures. The company has worked with the space agency on several projects, including the creation of inflatable structures for radio frequency antennas and solar arrays. In 1996, the company flew the Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) aboard the space shuttle Endeavour's STS-77 mission.

Programmatic milestone:
'We took the name Sunjammer from an Arthur C. Clarke short story, a fictional yacht race in the heavens using solar sails,' said Nathan Barnes, L'Garde's chief operating officer and executive vice president, as well as Sunjammer's project manager. Permission to use the name came from the Clarke estate, he told SPACE.com.

Work on Sunjammer this year includes a programmatic milestone — a critical design review — along with a variety of ground demonstration tests and qualification of components, Barnes said. The flight of the solar sail, he said, is set for the end of 2014, to be sent spaceward atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

'With this sail, we’re targeting our end goal somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,864,114 miles (3 million kilometers) distance from the Earth,' Barnes said.

A number of test objectives are to be checked off within the first couple months of flight, he added. These include deployment of the sail, demonstration of vector control using sail-tipped vanes, navigation with accuracy and, finally, maintenance of the spacecraft's position at a gravitationally stable location called Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1.

Sunjammer won't be the world's first solar sail mission, just the largest. NASA launched NanoSail-D, whose sail covered just 100 square feet (9.3 square m), in November 2010. And Japan's Ikaros probe deployed its solar sail in June 2010, becoming the first craft ever to cruise through space propelled only by sunlight.

Neat, clever, exotic orbits:
Sunjammer is potentially applicable to an advanced space weather warning system, which could provide more timely and accurate notice of solar flare activity.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is collaborating with NASA and L’Garde on the upcoming demonstration flight, which will cruise to a spot that provides an interesting view of the sun.

'It will be us flying to a place that a customer actually wants to fly a solar sail to,' Barnes said. 'There are neat, clever, exotic orbits you can do with the solar sail that would permit viewing different portions of the sun that we can’t normally.' [The Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History]

One-quarter the size of a football field, Sunjammer will produce a whopping maximum thrust of approximately 0.01 newton, Barnes said — roughly equivalent to the weight of a sugar packet.

Thinner sail:
Kapton is the solar sail material of choice. The mission team worked with chemical company DuPont to produce a special layer of Kapton for Sunjammer just 5 microns thick.

'Thinner is always better,' Barnes said.

When collapsed, the Sunjammer solar sail is the size of a dishwasher and weighs just 70 pounds (32 kilograms).

There are a number of control techniques involved in successfully unfurling the sail, said Billy Derbes, L’Garde’s chief engineer for Sunjammer.

'The highest risk is in the deployment,' Derbes said. A camera attached to the sail will capture the unfurling process.

For space news apart from solar sailing, go to www.space.com


by Leonard David, Space.com/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106221

11:20 PM Sat 2 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

11 Dec 2012  World-first vibrating, underwater barnacle buster gets thumbs-up
02 Dec 2012  Solar: a curious resemblance to the Maltese Falcon
30 Nov 2012  Robotic sailing boat sets off across the Atlantic
14 Nov 2012  Deep Blue Electric Outboard by Torqeedo wins DAME Award
24 Oct 2012  'TimeZero Touch' a chart plotter winner with 'pinch and zoom'
10 Oct 2012  Ikaros's two year sail through space - still doing well
19 Sep 2012  Innovative sensors - a future use for cruising sailors?
04 Sep 2012  Rescue response - a step up in future
03 Sep 2012  GPS navigation on iPhone/iPad just got easier for sailing America
01 Aug 2012  Super Rope Cinch: a hundred applications on a boat
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI














Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay








Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT