Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stardust Team Develops Technique To Keep Camera Clear

Date:
March 27, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
In December, Stardust, the mission to Comet Wild 2 to capture dust particles and return them to Earth, cleared a coating that was clouding its camera optics by applying heat. Today, team members are investigating the reappearance of the coating, which is similar to the frost on a car windshield, and they plan to use the same heating technique again to clean up the optics.

In December, Stardust, the mission to Comet Wild 2 to capture dust particles and return them to Earth, cleared a coating that was clouding its camera optics by applying heat. Today, team members are investigating the reappearance of the coating, which is similar to the frost on a car windshield, and they plan to use the same heating technique again to clean up the optics.

The camera is designed to guide Stardust to its encounter with Comet Wild 2 in 2004 and is still capable of meeting its objectives. As Stardust passed by Earth last January, it snapped pictures of the Moon with excellent resolution and similar pictures will be acquired of the comet during the Wild 2 flyby. Engineers deduced that the clouding of the lens might be due to a substance that evaporates and settles, clinging to the coldest parts of the camera.

"We believe that the heating option will give us back our improved sensitivity performance and reduced scattered light, thereby providing excellent images at Comet Wild 2," said Stardust project manager Tom Duxbury of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. A longer period of heating may clean the optics permanently. If not, heat will be applied again as the spacecraft gets closer to the comet.

The mission will bring back more than 1,000 dust particles from the coma, the cloud of dust and gas that surrounds a comet. Stardust's Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA), provided by the Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik of Garching, Germany, will capture comet dust, study its composition, and transmit the data back as the spacecraft flies through space. A dust flux monitor, provided by the University of Chicago, will measure the comet particle count and size during the encounter.

During the latest imaging sessions, the filter wheel, which allows imaging in different colors of light, was found to be stuck in one position, the optical navigation position, which uses a clear filter. This could be due to any of several possible situations, such as a faulty power supply, a shorted coil or a locked wheel. The imaging at the comet will only be minimally affected since the camera will continue to take black and white pictures of an object that probably has very little color. The primary objectives of the camera, which guide the spacecraft to the comet and take images of the comet nucleus, will still be carried out in full.

Stardust, a part of NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost, highly focused science missions, was built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics and Operations, Denver, Colo. is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. The Principal Investigator is astronomy professor Donald E. Brownlee of the University of Washington in Seattle. More information on the Stardust mission is available at http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Stardust Team Develops Technique To Keep Camera Clear." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327081806.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, March 27). Stardust Team Develops Technique To Keep Camera Clear. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327081806.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Stardust Team Develops Technique To Keep Camera Clear." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327081806.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins