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.
Two thematic drivers are motivating the science community towards constellations of small satellites, the revelation that many next generation system science questions are uniquely addressed with sufficient numbers of simultaneous space based measurements, and the realization that space is historically expensive, and in an environment of constrained costs, we must innovate to ―do more with less‖. We present analysis that answers many of the key questions surrounding constellations of scientific satellites, including research that resulted from the GEOScan community based effort originally intended as hosted payloads on Iridium NEXT. We present analysis that answers the question how many satellites does global system science require? Perhaps serendipitously, the analyses show that many of the key science questions independently converge towards similar results, i.e. that approximately 60+ satellites are needed for transformative, as opposed to incremental capability in system science. The current challenge is how to effectively transition products from design to mass production for space based instruments and vehicles. Ideally, the lesson learned from past designs and builds of various space products should pave the way toward a better manufacturing plan that utilizes just a fraction of the prototype‘s cost. Using the commercial products industry implementations of mass customization as an example, we will discuss about the benefits of standardization in design requirements for space instruments and vehicles. For example, the instruments (payloads) are designed to have standardized elements, components, or modules that interchangeably work together within a linkage system. We conclude with a discussion on implementation plans and the new paradigms for community and international cooperation enabled by small satellite constellations.
Global Assimilation of Information for Action (GAIA) is a new initiative at The Johns Hopkins University connecting
decision-makers with the research community. GAIA's focus is on the near- and long-term effects of weather, climate,
and climate disruption on society and national security. The GAIA initiative, http://gaia.jhuapl.edu, makes use of
collaborative tools to bring together decision makers to address focused problems in settings that range from symposia
and workshops to specific socio-political-economic "games" to explore how decisions can be made and risks assessed.
GAIA includes a suite of visualization tools, documentation, analyses, and social networking capabilities. Here, we will
discuss the GAIA collaboration and recent GAIA projects, in particular the development of climate change national
security gaming scenarios and studies in public health, and how the GAIA project can aide in assessing national security
and public health concerns.
Long-term measurements of the global distributions of clouds, trace gases, and surface reflectance are needed for
the study and monitoring of global change and air quality. The Geostationary Imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer
(GIFS) instrument is an example of a next-generation satellite remote sensing concept. GIFS is designed
to be deployed on a geostationary satellite, where it can make continuous hemispheric imaging observations of
cloud properties (including cloud top pressure, optical depth, and fraction), trace gas concentrations, such as tropospheric
and boundary layer CO, and surface reflectance and pressure. These measurements can be made with
spatial resolution, accuracy, and revisit time suitable for monitoring applications. It uses an innovative tunable
imaging triple-etalon Fabry-Perot interferometer to obtain very high-resolution line-resolved spectral images of
backscattered solar radiation, which contains cloud and trace gas information. An airborne GIFS prototype and
the measurement technique have been successfully demonstrated in a recent field campaign onboard the NASA
P3B based at Wallops Island, Virginia. In this paper, we present the preliminary GIFS instrument design and
use GIFS prototype measurements to demonstrate the instrument functionality and measurement capabilities.
Long-term measurements of the global distribution of clouds and the surface reflectance are needed to provide inputs to climatological models for global change studies. The Geostationary Imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer (GIFS) instrument is a next-generation satellite concept, to be deployed on a geostationary satellite for continuous hemispheric imaging of cloud properties, including cloud top pressure, optical depth, fraction, and surface reflectance. This is an ideal approach to make these cloud property measurements with desired spatial resolution, accuracy, and revisit time. It uses an innovative tunable imaging triple-etalon Fabry-Perot interferometer to obtain images of high-resolution spectral line shapes of two O<sub>2</sub> B-band lines in the backscattered solar radiation. The GIFS remote sensing technique takes advantage of the pressure broadening information embedded in the absorption line shapes to better determine cloud properties, especially for those clouds below 5 km. We present a preliminary instrument design, including the general instrument requirements.