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Virtual Telescope for X-ray Observations

New Mexico State University/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Science Mission Directorate, International Space Station

Schematic showing the alignment of the imager-satellite with the optics-satellite. The direction of the X-ray source target would be along the line of sight between the two satellites and out of the paper.

Dual Spacecraft Precision Astrometric Alignment Architecture (Shah et al., 2014). The control objective is to close the transverse relative position through actuation of a micro-propulsion system.

Dr. Steve Stochaj, Science PI, New Mexico State University

Mr. Neerav Shah, NASA Technical Monitor NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This EPSCoR-funded project will develop a space-based Virtual Telescope for X-ray observations. This system will consist of two 6U-CubeSats; one carrying a Phased Fresnel Lens and the second an X-ray sensitive camera. The two CubeSats will fly in precision formation to form a very long focal length (> 100 m) telescope: a Virtual Telescope. This is intended as a demonstration flight that will showcase the feasibility of the Virtual Telescope approach and raise the Technology Readiness Level to the point where the technique can be proposed for a much larger NASA mission. This multidisciplinary project involves researchers from New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico working in collaboration with researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The project addresses two Technology Areas from the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Technology Roadmap: X-ray optics and multi-spacecraft formation flying, navigation, and control. The science enabled by this technology is closely tied to the Strategic Goals of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in the Heliophysics and Astrophysics Divisions. This project aligns with the state of New Mexico’s stated need to produce more technologists to satisfy projected workforce needs, and supporting the workforce needs of the state’s aerospace industry. NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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