This paper discusses the development, deployment and operation of the optical waveguide (OW) solar thermal power
system for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) applications at the NASA ISRU analog test site on Mauna Kea, HI. In
this solar thermal system, solar radiation is collected by the concentrator array which transfers the concentrated solar
radiation to the OW transmission line made of low loss optical fibers. The OW transmission line directs the solar
radiation to the place of utilization of the solar energy. In this paper applications of solar energy to sintering of native
soil for surface stabilization and thermo-chemical processing of native soil for oxygen production are discussed.
In this paper we will discuss an innovative optical system for solar power applications in space. In this system solar
radiation is collected by the concentrator array which transfers the concentrated solar radiation to the optical waveguide
(OW) transmission line made of low loss optical fibers. The OW transmission line directs the solar radiation to the place
of solar power utilization such as: the thermochemical receiver for processing of lunar regolith for oxygen production; or
the plant growth facility where the solar light is used for biomass production.
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has developed an imaging sensor for remote detection of natural gas (methane) leaks. The sensor is comprised of an IR focal plane array-based camera which views the far field through a rapidly tunable Fabry-Perot interferometer. The interferometer functions as a wavelength-variable bandpass filter which selects the wavelength illuminating the focal plane array. The sensor generates 128 pixel x 128 pixel 'methane images' with a spatial resolution of 1 m (>100 x 100 pixel field-of-view). The methane column density at each pixel in the image is calculated in real time using an algorithm which estimates and compensates for line-of-sight atmospheric transmission. The compensation algorithm incorporates range-to-target as well as local air temperature and humidity. System tests conducted at 200 m standoff from sensor to leak location indicate probability of detection >90% for methane column densities >1000 ppmv-m and >2K thermal contrast between the air and the background. The probability of false alarm is <0.2% under these detection conditions.