Laurel MA (SPX) May 19, 2011
A highly sensitive and extremely compact instrument for plasma monitoring known as Canary, developed and built by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., lifted off on Monday, May 16 as part of the payload aboard the space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-134 mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Canary, a plasma spectrometer, will investigate the interaction of approaching spacecraft with the background plasma environment around the ISS and disturbances in the ionosphere caused by space vehicles. The device will also provide a better understanding of the origin and impact of plasma irregularities in the Earth's ionosphere, and demonstrate low-cost techniques for monitoring those conditions.
Canary is the second Wafer Integrated Plasma Spectrometers (WISPERS) device created by APL; engineers used innovative MicroElectroMechanical (MEMS) technology when designing WISPERS to reduce size and energy consumption while increasing sensitivity.
The first WISPERS device was launched last year aboard FalconSat-5. "Canary and WISPERS will provide on-orbit data for understanding how spacecraft operations affect the natural environment," says Robert Osiander, principal investigator for WISPERS at APL.
Canary gathers particles of plasma (an electrically-charged gas) through a hole smaller than the diameter of a human hair; the particles are then sorted according to energy and type by a titanium electrostatic analyzer less than a tenth of an inch thick. By measuring the type and energy levels of plasma around it, Canary can provide warnings of potentially hazardous operating conditions.
"Canary will add an important new tool to those we use to understand the near-Earth space environment," says Larry Paxton, a space scientist at APL and member of the Canary team. "Canary will also demonstrate a new, cost-effective approach to supporting our nation's operations in space."
Canary was built by APL in coordination with the Space Physics and Atmospheric Research Center (SPARC) at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and was funded in part by the Naval Research Laboratory's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program. Canary is part of the STP-H3 payload, which is integrated and flown under the direction of the Department of Defense's Space Test Program. Canary is scheduled to be installed on the ISS on flight day 3.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
United States Air Force Academy
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com
Utah USTAR Professor's Invention Approved by NASA for Long-Term Use Aboard ISS
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) May 18, 2011
After more than 12 months of testing aboard the International Space Station (ISS), an experimental water quality monitoring kit based on technology developed by USTAR professor Marc D. Porter and University of Utah researcher Lorraine M. Siperko was recently certified as operational hardware by NASA. The kit, called the Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit (CWQMK), uses Colorimetric S ... read more
ISRO begins sounding rocket launches on regular basis|
Cadets Test-Fire Falcon launch Rocket
Upcoming Ariane 5 mission with GSAT-8 and ST-2 is given its "go" for launch
Taiwan, Singapore launch satellite
Mars Rover Driving Leaves Distinctive Tracks
Opportunity Cracks The 18-Mile Mark
Mars Science Laboratory Aeroshell Delivered To Launch Site
Mars Express Sees Deep Fractures on Mars
A Wrinkly Old Reveal Clues To Its Past
MoonBots Challenges Teams to Conduct Lunar Missions with LEGO Robots
Earth's Nearest Neighbor Within Reach
Space Adventures proposes modified Soyuz TMA for Lunar tourists
'Dwarf planet' is covered in crystal ice
Carbon monoxide detected around Pluto
The PI's Perspective: Pinch Me!
Later, Uranus: New Horizons Passes Another Planetary Milestone
Free-Floating Planets May be More Common Than Stars
New SETI survey focuses on Kepler's top Earth-like planets
Searching for Aliens on Kepler's Planets
Study suggest water on distant planet
India Lines Up Three PSLV Launches This Year
J-2X Test Series Proves Part Integrity
ISRO to Set Up Sub-Systems Integration Facility
UMaine Students Test Wireless Sensors on Rocket
Top Chinese scientists honored with naming of minor planets
China sees smooth preparation for launch of unmanned module
China to attempt first space rendezvous
Countdown begins for Chineses space station program
Researchers gain new insights into Comet Hartley 2
NASA selects SwRI mass spectrometer for technology development
Researchers Gain New Insights Into Comet Hartley 2
At the Heart of Hartley-2, a New Breed of Comet?
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|