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News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LUXEMBOURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SES (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) today announced the successful integration of NASA’s Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) hosted payload with SES-14. GOLD will employ an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph to measure densities and temperatures in the Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere in response to Sun-Earth interaction. It is aimed at revolutionizing scientists’ understanding of this part of the space environment and its impacts on low Earth orbit satellite drag (a force acting opposite to the direction of motion, slowing the satellite), and ionospheric disruptions of communication and navigation transmissions. GOLD will take unprecedented images of the temperature and composition changes over a hemisphere. GOLD is a result of collaboration among several world-leading entities. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is providing overall NASA program management, while the University of Central Florida’s Florida Space Institute is the Principal Investigator for the project. The GOLD instrument was built and will be operated by the University of Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Satellite operator SES and its fully-owned subsidiary SES Government Solutions are providing the host satellite, mission operations, and science data transport. The project was developed in close partnership with Airbus Defence and Space, the company which is building the SES-14 spacecraft for SES. SES Government Solutions is exclusively focused on meeting the satellite communications needs of the U.S. Government and its agencies. Leveraging more than four decades of experience in the government SATCOM market, SES Government Solutions offers robust and secure end-to-end satellite communications solutions. “Using a host satellite makes access to space quicker and more cost efficient, while meeting the increasingly more sophisticated needs governments have nowadays. SES has extensive experience in hosted payload projects and is well-suited to meet these needs,” said Pete Hoene, President and CEO of SES Government Solutions. “We are very excited about hosting GOLD, and looking forward to it starting its important mission in space.” Testing and preparation of SES-14 and GOLD are on-going in Toulouse, France, in anticipation of a late 2017 launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The SES-14 satellite will provide coverage of the Americas, Atlantic Ocean, Western Europe, and Northwest Africa with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services and Ku-band & C-band wide beam services. The wide beams will serve growing video neighborhoods in the Americas and also support existing VSAT services. The HTS Ku-band multi-spot beams will serve traffic-intensive data applications such as mobile backhaul, maritime and aeronautical services. SES white papers are available under https://www.ses.com/news/whitepapers SES is the world-leading satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 12 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). SES focuses on value-added, end-to-end solutions in two key business units: SES Video and SES Networks. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. SES’s portfolio includes the ASTRA satellite system, which has the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) television reach in Europe, O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider, and MX1, a leading media service provider that offers a full suite of innovative digital video and media services. Further information available at: www.ses.com


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LUXEMBOURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SES (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) a annoncé aujourd’hui que la charge utile hébergée GOLD (Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk) de la NASA a été intégrée avec succès sur le satellite SES-14. GOLD emploiera un spectrographe imageur à ultraviolet pour mesurer les densités et températures dans la thermosphère et l'ionosphère de la Terre en réponse à l’interaction Soleil-Terre. Son objectif est de révolutionner la compréhension qu’ont les scientifiques de cette partie de l'environnement spatial et de ses impacts sur la traînée des satellites (une force agissant en sens opposé à la direction de déplacement, ralentissant le satellite) en orbite terrestre basse, et des perturbations ionosphériques des transmissions de communication et de navigation. GOLD prendra des images sans précédent de la température et des changements de composition sur un hémisphère. GOLD est le résultat d’une collaboration entre plusieurs entités de premier plan mondial. Le Centre de vol spatial Goddard de la NASA à Greenbelt, dans le Maryland, assure la gestion globale du programme de la NASA, tandis que le Florida Space Institute de l'Université du centre de la Floride joue le rôle de principal investigateur pour le projet. L’instrument GOLD a été fabriqué et sera exploité par le Laboratoire de physique atmosphérique et spatiale de l'université du Colorado à Boulder. L’opérateur de satellites SES et sa filiale en propriété exclusive SES Government Solutions fournissent le satellite hôte, les opérations de mission et le transport des données scientifiques. Le projet a été développé en étroite collaboration avec Airbus Defence and Space, la société qui fabrique le satellite SES-14 pour SES. SES Government Solutions se concentre exclusivement sur la satisfaction des besoins de communications par satellite du gouvernement des États-Unis et de ses agences. Tirant profit de plus de quatre décennies d’expérience sur le marché des communications par satellite pour le gouvernement, SES Government Solutions propose des solutions de communications par satellite de bout en bout, robustes et sécurisées. « L’utilisation d’un satellite hôte permet d’accéder à l’espace plus rapidement et plus économiquement, tout en répondant aux besoins de plus en plus sophistiqués qu’ont aujourd’hui les gouvernements. Grâce à sa vaste expérience dans les projets de charge utile hébergée, SES est bien placée pour répondre à ces besoins », a déclaré Pete Hoene, President et CEO de SES Government Solutions. « Nous sommes ravis d’héberger GOLD, et nous réjouissons à l’idée qu’il commence son importante mission dans l’espace. » Le satellite SES-14 fournira une couverture sur le continent américain, l’Océan Atlantique, l’Europe de l’Ouest et le Nord-ouest de l'Afrique avec des services HTS (High Throughput Satellite) et des services à faisceau large dans les bandes Ku et C. Les faisceaux larges serviront les voisinages de distribution vidéo en pleine croissance sur le continent américain, et soutiendront également les services VSAT existants. Les faisceaux étroits multiples HTS en bande Ku seront utilisés pour les applications de données à fort trafic comme les services de liaisons mobiles, maritimes et aéronautiques. SES, opérateur satellitaire de premier plan à l’échelle mondiale, est la première société à proposer une offre GEO-MEO différentiée et évolutive, avec plus de 50 satellites géostationnaires (GEO) et 12 satellites en orbite terrestre moyenne (MEO). SES concentre ses efforts sur des solutions de bout-en-bout à valeur ajoutée dans deux unités commerciales : SES Vidéo et SES Networks. La société propose des services de communications par satellite aux télédiffuseurs, fournisseurs de contenu et de services Internet, exploitants de réseaux fixes et mobiles, gouvernements et institutions. Le portefeuille de SES comprend le système de satellites ASTRA, qui offre la plus vaste couverture de diffusion directe par satellite (DTH) d'Europe, et O3b Networks, un fournisseur global de services de communications de données gérées. Une autre de ses filiales, MX1, est un fournisseur de services de médias de premier plan proposant une gamme complète de services de médias et vidéo numériques innovants. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez consulter le site: www.ses.com


Kehoe A.J.E.,University of Central Florida | Kehoe T.J.J.,University of Aveiro | Kehoe T.J.J.,Florida Space Institute | Colwell J.E.,University of Central Florida
Earth and Space 2016: Engineering for Extreme Environments - Proceedings of the 15th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments | Year: 2016

Following the discovery of the first young, still forming, partial zodiacal dust band, we have shown that partial bands retain significant information about both the size-frequency distribution and cross-sectional area of dust released in the disruption of their parent asteroids. The new observational constraints to our modeling work that are provided by the partial dust band allow us to begin to reconstruct the properties of the regolith on the surface of the parent asteroid before its collisional disruption, including the depth of the regolith and the size-distribution of the particles present. Using the constraints provided by modeling the partial dust band at 17°, we discuss the surface regolith of the parent asteroid to the Emilkowalski cluster and investigate the relationship between regolith depth and the size distribution of particles. By examining the available data for other asteroids, we determine a scaling relationship between depth of regolith and asteroid size. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Chambers W.A.,University of Central Florida | Metzger P.T.,Florida Space Institute
Earth and Space 2016: Engineering for Extreme Environments - Proceedings of the 15th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments | Year: 2016

Exhaust-regolith interactions are a particular concern for any mission operating near a small body. Ejected soil can damage sensitive systems such as solar panels or cameras. We seek to quantify risk to the NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) should thrusting near the target's surface become necessary. We have developed a program to model gas diffusion into asteroid regolith and determine potential instability from resulting pressure gradients. This behavior is calculated using Darcy's Law, which governs gas diffusion in a porous medium. Soil instability occurs when gas pressure gradients overcome weight and cohesive forces. We term the cohesion value necessary to maintain regolith stability critical cohesion. Due to uncertainty in asteroid properties, this value is calculated for a wide range of regolith parameters. For a nominal engine starting height of 7 meters, actual soil cohesion must be 0.4 Pa to prevent soil ejection. Since this value is two orders of magnitude below best estimates of actual regolith cohesion, we judge hazardous plume effects to be highly unlikely. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


A University of Central Florida professor is working with NASA to figure out a way to extract metals from the Martian soil - metals that could be fed into a 3-D printer to produce the components of a human habitat, ship parts, tools and electronics. "It's essentially using additive-manufacturing techniques to make constructible blocks. UCF is collaborating with NASA to understand the science behind it," said Pegasus Professor Sudipta Seal, who is interim chair of UCF's Materials Science and Engineering program, and director of the university's Advanced Materials Processing & Analysis Center and NanoScience Technology Center. NASA and Seal will research a process called molten regolith electrolysis, a technique similar to how metal ores are refined here on Earth. Astronauts would be able to feed Martian soil - known as regolith - into a chamber. Once heated to nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the electrolysis process would produce oxygen and molten metals, both of which are vital to the success of future human space exploration. Seal's expertise also will help determine the form those metals should be in that's most suitable for commercial 3-D printers. NASA intern Kevin Grossman, a graduate student from Seal's group, is also working on the project, which is funded by a NASA grant. Grossman said he hopes future projects in similar areas can grow the current partnership between UCF and the research groups at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. NASA is already working on sending humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s. The agency has begun developing plans for life-support systems and other technology. NASA isn't alone. Elon Musk, billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is working on his own plan. Mars One, a Dutch nonprofit, is touting a plan to send dozens of volunteers from around the world on a one-way trip to colonize Mars. They all agree that for sustainable Mars exploration to work, they must be able to use resources on Mars that would otherwise require costly transportation from Earth - a concept known as in situ resource utilization. That's where Seal's research comes in. "Before you go to Mars, you have to plan it out," Seal said. "I think this is extremely exciting." UCF has a long relationship with NASA, dating back to the first research grant ever received by the university, then known as Florida Technological University. Other UCF faculty members continue researching in situ resource utilization. Phil Metzger of UCF's Florida Space Institute, is working with commercial space mining company Deep Space Industries to figure out a way to make Martian soil pliable and useful for 3D printing. The same company has tapped Metzger and UCF colleague Dan Britt to develop simulated asteroid regolith that will help them develop hardware for asteroid mining.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

It's hard enough to transport humans to Mars. But once they get there, where will they live? A University of Central Florida professor is working with NASA to figure out a way to extract metals from the Martian soil - metals that could be fed into a 3-D printer to produce the components of a human habitat, ship parts, tools and electronics. "It's essentially using additive-manufacturing techniques to make constructible blocks. UCF is collaborating with NASA to understand the science behind it," said Pegasus Professor Sudipta Seal, who is interim chair of UCF's Materials Science and Engineering program, and director of the university's Advanced Materials Processing & Analysis Center and NanoScience Technology Center. NASA and Seal will research a process called molten regolith electrolysis, a technique similar to how metal ores are refined here on Earth. Astronauts would be able to feed Martian soil - known as regolith - into a chamber. Once heated to nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the electrolysis process would produce oxygen and molten metals, both of which are vital to the success of future human space exploration. Seal's expertise also will help determine the form those metals should be in that's most suitable for commercial 3-D printers. NASA intern Kevin Grossman, a graduate student from Seal's group, is also working on the project, which is funded by a NASA grant. Grossman said he hopes future projects in similar areas can grow the current partnership between UCF and the research groups at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. NASA is already working on sending humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s. The agency has begun developing plans for life-support systems and other technology. NASA isn't alone. Elon Musk, billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is working on his own plan. Mars One, a Dutch nonprofit, is touting a plan to send dozens of volunteers from around the world on a one-way trip to colonize Mars. They all agree that for sustainable Mars exploration to work, they must be able to use resources on Mars that would otherwise require costly transportation from Earth - a concept known as in situ resource utilization. That's where Seal's research comes in. "Before you go to Mars, you have to plan it out," Seal said. "I think this is extremely exciting." UCF has a long relationship with NASA, dating back to the first research grant ever received by the university, then known as Florida Technological University. Other UCF faculty members continue researching in situ resource utilization. Phil Metzger of UCF's Florida Space Institute, is working with commercial space mining company Deep Space Industries to figure out a way to make Martian soil pliable and useful for 3D printing. The same company has tapped Metzger and UCF colleague Dan Britt to develop simulated asteroid regolith that will help them develop hardware for asteroid mining.


Pinilla-Alonso N.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Pinilla-Alonso N.,Florida Space Institute | de Leon J.,Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias | Walsh K.J.,Southwest Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
Icarus | Year: 2016

The inner asteroid belt is an important source of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Dynamical studies of the inner asteroid belt have identified several families overlapping in proper orbital elements, including the Polana and Eulalia families that contain a large fraction of the low-albedo asteroids in this region.We present results from two coordinated observational campaigns to characterize this region through near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. These campaigns ran from August 2012 to May 2014 and used the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility and the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. The observations focused on objects within these families or in the background, with low albedo (pv ≤ 0.1) and low inclination (iP ≤ 7°). We observed 63 asteroids (57 never before observed in the NIR): 61 low-albedo objects and two interlopers, both compatible with S- or E- taxonomical types.We found our sample to be spectrally homogeneous in the NIR. The sample shows a continuum of neutral to moderately-red concave-up spectra, very similar within the uncertainties. Only one object in the sample, asteroid (3429) Chuvaev, has a blue spectrum, with a slope (S'=-1.33± 0.21%/1000 Å) significantly different from the average spectrum (S'=0.68± 0.68%/1000 Å). This spectral homogeneity is independent of membership in families or the background population. Furthermore, we show that the Eulalia and Polana families cannot be distinguished using NIR data. We also searched for rotational variability on the surface of (495) Eulalia which we do not detect. (495) Eulalia shows a red concave-up spectrum with an average slope S'=0.91± 0.60%/1000 Å, very similar to the average slope of our sample.The spectra of two targets of sample-return missions, (101955) Bennu, target of NASA's OSIRIS-Rex and (162173) 1999 JU3 target of the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa-2, are very similar to our average spectrum, which would be compatible with an origin in this region of the inner belt. © 2016 Elsevier Inc..


Harvey J.E.,University of Central Florida | Choi N.,University of Central Florida | Krywonos A.,Florida Space Institute | Peterson G.L.,Breault Research Organization | Bruner M.E.,Circle Technology
Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

Image degradation due to scattered radiation is a serious problem in many short-wavelength (x-ray and EUV) imaging systems. Most currently available image analysis codes require the scattering behavior [data on the bidirectional scattering distribution function (BSDF)] as input in order to calculate the image quality from such systems. Predicting image degradation due to scattering effects is typically quite computation-intensive. If using a conventional optical design and analysis code, each geometrically traced ray spawns hundreds of scattered rays randomly distributed and weighted according to the input BSDF. These scattered rays must then be traced through the system to the focal plane using nonsequential ray-tracing techniques. For multielement imaging systems even the scattered rays spawn more scattered rays at each additional surface encountered in the system. In this paper we describe a generalization of Peterson's analytical treatment of in-field stray light in multielement imaging systems. In particular, we remove the smooth-surface limitation that ignores the scattered-scattered radiation, which can be quite large for EUV wavelengths even for state-of-the-art optical surfaces. Predictions of image degradation for a two-mirror EUV telescope with the generalized Peterson model are then numerically validated with the much more computation-intensive ZEMAX® and ASAP® codes. © 2010 SPIE.


Kehoe A.J.E.,University of Central Florida | Kehoe T.J.J.,University of Aveiro | Kehoe T.J.J.,Florida Space Institute | Colwell J.E.,University of Central Florida | Dermott S.F.,University of Florida
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

We have performed detailed dynamical modeling of the structure of a faint dust band observed in coadded InfraRed Astronomical Satellite data at an ecliptic latitude of 17°that convincingly demonstrates that it is the result of a relatively recent (significantly less than 1 Ma) disruption of an asteroid and is still in the process of forming. We show here that young dust bands retain information on the size distribution and cross-sectional area of dust released in the original asteroid disruption, before it is lost to orbital and collisional decay. We find that the Emilkowalski cluster is the source of this partial band and that the dust released in the disruption would correspond to a regolith layer ∼3 m deep on the ∼10 km diameter source body's surface. The dust in this band is described by a cumulative size-distribution inverse power-law index with a lower bound of 2.1 (implying domination of cross-sectional area by small particles) for dust particles with diameters ranging from a few μm up to a few cm. The coadded observations show that the thermal emission of the dust band structure is dominated by large (mm-cm size) particles. We find that dust particle ejection velocities need to be a few times the escape velocity of the Emilkowalski cluster source body to provide a good fit to the inclination dispersion of the observations. We discuss the implications that such a significant release of material during a disruption has for the temporal evolution of the structure, composition, and magnitude of the zodiacal cloud. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Eastes R.W.,Florida Space Institute | Eastes R.W.,University of Central Florida | Murray D.J.,University of Central Florida | Aksnes A.,Florida Space Institute | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics | Year: 2011

A thorough understanding of how the N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) band emissions vary with altitude is essential to the use of this emission by space-based remote sensors. In this paper, model-to-model comparisons are first performed to elucidate the influence of the solar irradiance spectrum, intrasystem cascade excitation, and O2 photoabsorption on the limb profile. Next, the observed LBH emissions measured by the High resolution Ionospheric and Thermospheric Spectrograph aboard the Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite are compared with modeled LBH limb profiles to determine which combination of parameters provides the best agreement. The analysis concentrates on the altitude dependence of the LBH (1,1) band, the brightest LBH emission in the observations. In the analysis, satellite drag data are used to constrain the neutral densities used for the data-to-model comparisons. For the average limb profiles on two of the three days analyzed (28, 29, and 30 July 2001), calculations using direct excitation alone give slightly better agreement with the observations than did calculations with cascading between the singlet electronic N2 states (a 1IIg, a′Σ- u, and w 1Δu); however, the differences between the observed profiles and either model are possibly greater than the differences between the models. Nevertheless, both models give excellent agreement with the observations, indicating that current models provide an adequate description of the altitude variation of the N2 LBH (1,1) band emissions. Consequently, when using the LBH bands to remotely sense thermospheric temperatures, which can be used to provide an unprecedented view of the thermosphere, the temperatures derived have a negligible dependence on the model used. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

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