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From: Irene Moore & Tom Lohre moorei at email.uc.edu
Date: Thu Aug 19 12:07:40 CDT 1999

Dear Group,
	This post from NASA seems to be on the cutting edge of autonomous robots.
I imagine that these robots are just plan expensive. No holds on price it
just skyrockets! Are there in any in the group that had anything to do with
these systems? Is there a robot listserv in Pasadena?
	Thanks for the great information.


Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC                   Aug. 19, 1999
(Phone:  202/358-1547)

RELEASE:  99-95


       They're each about the size of a large birthday cake, weigh 
about as much as a desktop computer, and are smart enough to fly 
in formation far from Earth while they test new technologies.  

      They are three very small satellites, called the Nanosat 
Constellation Trailblazer mission, and today NASA selected them as 
the agency's latest New Millennium mission.  The mission will 
validate methods of operating several spacecraft as a system, and 
test eight technologies in the harsh space environment near the 
boundary of Earth's protective magnetic field, or magnetosphere. 

       Each Trailblazer spacecraft will be an octagon 16 inches 
across and 8 inches high, and each will have booms and antennas 
that will extend after launch. The mission will cost $28 million 
and will be launched in 2003 as a secondary payload on an 
expendable launch vehicle. The mission is managed by NASA's 
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

        Results from the Trailblazer mission will be used to 
design future missions using constellations of lightweight (about 
44 pounds), highly miniaturized autonomous spacecraft.  One 
proposed constellation of up to 100 spacecraft positioned around 
the Earth will monitor the effects of solar activity that can 
affect spacecraft, electrical power and communications systems.  
Others will study global precipitation and the atmospheres of 
other planets. 

       The Nanosat Constellation Trailblazer is the fifth in the 
agency's New Millennium program, which tests technology for future 
space and Earth science missions.  The program's goal is to 
dramatically reduce the weight, size and costs of missions while 
increasing their science capabilities.  

     The technologies to be flown and tested, and the partners 
involved, are:

- -- A miniature communications system to determine the positions of 
the spacecraft using the Global Positioning System (NASA's Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, and Cincinnati Electronics 
Corp., Mason, OH).

- -- A set of software that automatically operates the spacecraft 
and determines orbits (Bester Tracking System, Emeryville, CA).

- -- A communications system component that uses one-fourth the 
voltage and half the power, weighs 12 times less and is nine times 
smaller than proven technology (Aero Astro, Boston, MA).

- -- A new method of connecting electrical lines that saves weight 
(Lockheed Martin, Denver, CO).

- -- A new type of microelectronic device that is more reliable and 
uses 20 times less power than proven technology (Goddard Space 
Flight Center and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque).

- -- An electrically tunable coating that can change its properties 
>from absorbing the Sun's heat when the spacecraft is cool to 
reflecting or emitting heat when needed (Goddard Space Flight 
Center and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, 
Laurel, MD).

- -- A very tiny microelectromechanical system chip that provides 
fine attitude adjustments on the spacecraft using 8.5 times less 
power and weighing less than half as much as proven systems 
(Marotta Scientific Controls, Montville, NJ).

- --  Development of a Lithium Ion Power System for Small 
Satellites. A rechargeable lithium ion battery that stores two to 
four times more energy and has a longer life than proven 
technology (Yardney Technical Products, Pawcatuck, CT).

       "Not only could these technologies make future missions 
more productive and less expensive, some could become consumer 
products," said Dr. Dana Brewer, New Millennium Program Executive, 
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.  "For example, the variable-
emittance thermal-control system is a coating applied to surfaces 
such as automobile windows which becomes highly reflective when 
you apply an electrical current to it.  It blocks out a lot of the 
sunlight, keeping it cooler inside a car."


                            * * *

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	Tom Lohre & Irene Moore

Cincinnati, Ohio 45220; tel 513-861-4146

Tom Internet Gallery Guide including robot artists!

Irene Homepage

Lohre & Associates, Inc. Industrial Advertising

Challenged Artists Group Directed by Tom Lohre
Please tell all types of disabled artists to join.


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