RAVAN CubeSat to Demonstrate New Technology for Radiation Balance Measurements

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 09:52 in Physics & Chemistry

Technology Development: The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat mission launched on November 11, 2016 as a secondary payload on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base. RAVAN was one of seven CubeSats aboard the Atlas V rocket that carried the WorldView-4 satellite into orbit. (Credit: United Launch Alliance/Lockheed Martin) RAVAN will demonstrate that accurate and critically needed Earth climate measurements can be made with a small instrument, thanks in part to new carbon nanotube technology that absorbs light extremely efficiently. RAVAN features small, accurate radiometers to measure the strength of the Earth’s total outgoing radiation across the entire spectrum of energy, from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNT) serve as the radiometer’s light absorber and will enable the radiometer to gather nearly the full spectrum of light reflected and emitted from Earth. The RAVAN team will study Earth’s radiation imbalance, which is the...

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