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NASA Image Of The Day

Next-Generation Microshutter Array Technology
NASA Image Of The Day
NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant challenges in their quest to improve a revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope. This image shows a close-up view of the next-generation microshutter arrays -- designed to accommodate the needs of future observatories -- during the fabrication process. Determined to make the Webb telescope's microshutter technology more broadly available, a team of technologists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center spent the past four years experimenting with techniques to advance this capability. One of the first things the team did was eliminate the magnet that sweeps over the shutter arrays to activate them, replacing it with electrostatic actuation. Just as significant is the voltage needed to actuate the arrays. By last year, the team had achieved a major milestone by activating the shutters with just 30 volts. The team used atomic layer deposition, a state-of-the-art fabrication technology, to fully insulate the tiny space between the electrodes to eliminate potential electrical crosstalk that could interfere with the arrays? operation. They also applied a very thin anti-stiction coating to prevent the shutters from sticking when opened. > Revolutionary Microshutter Technology Hurdles Significant Challenges Image Credit: NASA/Bill Hrybyk...
30 Jul 2014
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ESA Navigation
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  • Galileo: it’s all about the time

    Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system – the combination of satellites in space and stations on the ground – forms a planetary scale timepiece. Current testing shows it keeping very good time indeed – around 10 billionths of a second on average. 



  • Galileo fixes worldwide

    ESA's offer to issue certificates for the very first 50 Galileo fixes provoked responses from across the whole world

  • Pioneer Galileo navigation fixes recognised by ESA

    Billions of satnav position fixes are performed daily, but determining your place in the world using Europe’s Galileo system is quite new. So ESA offered to issue certificates for the very first 50 Galileo fixes – provoking responses from across the whole world.



  • Galileo's story so far

    This video explains the completion of Galileo's In-Orbit Validation phase, and what happens next

  • Apprentices sought for satnav summer school

    Students still have time to join the ESA International Summer School on GNSS, taking place in the Czech Republic this July. The 10-day course will cover all aspects of satellite navigation, up to and including the creation of a satnav-based business.



  • Exit Galileo

    Technology image of the week: This is how a satellite makes its exit from ESA's test centre

  • Touchdown

    Europe’s two latest Galileo navigation satellites arriving at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

  • Next Galileo satellites arrive at Europe’s Spaceport

    Europe’s two latest Galileo navigation satellites touched down today at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, ready for their joint launch this summer.



  • Unboxing Galileo

    ESA's latest Galileo satellite arrives at the ESTEC Test Centre to begin simulated space testing

  • Latest Galileo satellite arrives at ESA’s test centre

    Europe’s latest Galileo navigation satellite has arrived at the Agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands for testing, as the previous two satellites are prepared for shipping to French Guiana for launch this summer.



  • Sea trial

    Results are being processed from a long-range Galileo maritime trial spanning the North Sea

  • Galileo: following the trail of the dragon-ships

    Results are being processed from the first Galileo maritime trials outside of mainland Europe. The long-range, high-latitude testing spanned the North Sea, following the same historical sailing route that Viking dragon-ships used 1200 years ago.



  • Electric thrusters may steer Galileo in future

    Future Galileo navigation satellites might adopt electric propulsion to reach their final orbits, with the weight savings offering larger payloads and a broader range of services in the 2020s.



  • New Galileo station opens in Azores

    The latest addition to Galileo’s worldwide ground infrastructure has been made in the mid-Atlantic, on Portugal’s Santa Maria island in the Azores.



  • Wings of power

    Europe’s Galileo satellites in orbit are kept alive by the Sun – through their solar arrays

  • Dutch company powering Galileo

    As they bathe the ground below them in test navigation messages, Europe’s Galileo satellites are kept alive by the Sun. 



  • ESA to certify first Galileo position fixes worldwide

    To mark the first anniversary of Galileo’s historic first satnav positioning measurement, ESA plans to award certificates to groups who picked up signals from the four satellites in orbit to perform their own fixes.



  • Galileo to augment systems guiding aircraft in 2020

    Plans to harness Galileo and other satnav systems for next-generation satellite augmentation systems for aviation and other high-performance uses took a significant step forward at the latest gathering of worldwide operators and experts.



  • Galileo for mass market

    ESA is working directly with European manufacturers of mass-market satnav chips and receivers to ensure that their products are Galileo-ready

  • ESA helping prepare satnav mass market for Galileo services

    With the first Galileo services set to begin this year, ESA is working directly with European manufacturers of mass-market satnav chips and receivers to ensure that their products are Galileo-ready.



  • Galileo validated

    The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved: Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place

  • Galileo works, and works well

    The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved: Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place – the world’s first civil-owned and operated satnav system.



  • First airborne fix

    For the first time, Europe has been able to determine an aircraft's position using only Galileo

  • Galileo achieves its first airborne tracking

    ESA’s Galileo satellites have achieved their very first aerial fix of longitude, latitude and altitude, enabling the inflight tracking of a test aircraft.



  • Galileo out of vacuum

    A hatch slides open and ESA's latest Galileo satellite emerges from five weeks of simulated space conditions

  • ESA’s new breed of Galileo endures weeks of simulated space

    ESA’s newest Galileo satellite has emerged from five weeks of simulated space conditions: Friday saw a hatch slid open to end its thermal-vacuum test, a milestone on the way to orbit.



  • Experts seek to harness Galileo for science

    As Galileo takes shape, as well as offering precision navigation and timing services around the world it is also shaping up to become a promising tool for science. 



  • Galileo put to the test

    Europe’s next Galileo satellites have been the focus of a busy autumn at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, continuing a full-scale test campaign

  • A testing time for Galileo satellites headed to space

    Europe’s next pair of Galileo satellites have been the focus of a busy autumn at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, continuing a full-scale campaign to ensure their readiness for space.



  • Athlete tracker takes home grand prize

    A small but revolutionary motion sensor worn by athletes has scored a big win in this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition. Proposed by the ESA Business Incubation Centre start-up company Kinexon, it provides accurate, realtime information on an athlete’s condition.



  • Search and rescue sites

    Dedicated ground stations at opposite ends of Europe enable Galileo participation in global Cospas–Sarsat search and rescue testing

  • European ground stations enable Galileo search and rescue testing

    ESA’s completion of a pair of dedicated ground stations at opposite ends of Europe has enabled Galileo satellites in orbit to participate in global testing of the Cospas–Sarsat search and rescue system.



  • Navipedia

    Visit Navipedia, the web’s leading resource on satellite navigation: http://www.navipedia.net

  • Galileo given its voice

    Meet the Norwegian company whose equipment is giving Galileo FOC its voice, plus its search and rescue capability

  • Galileo's first fix

    With first position measurement, Galileo fixes its place in history

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