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





A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,












ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,
























2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco


























GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2   
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul   
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez   
Marseille One Design: GC32's Armin Strom storms ahead on day 2 + Video   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT