Utah State Today - University News

Utah State University Logo
01Oct2014

Bike to Breakfast

Aggie Blue Bikes

01Oct2014

Website Enhancement Project: LinkedIn University

On the first Wednesday of each month, the RGS Web Team…

01Oct2014

Cache Clean Air Consortium

A workshop to facilitate community partnerships that will…

01Oct2014

Enchanted Modernities - Mysticism, Landscape & the American West

Caine College of the Arts and the Leverhulme Trust…

01Oct2014

Convocation with David Macaulay -- Caine College of the Arts

Join us during Common Hour for Caine College of the Arts…

More events

CONNECT WITH US

Blogger Facebook Twitter You Tube RSS

Space Dynamics Lab and Inventor Issued Patent for New Space Weather Sensor


Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014


Space Dynamics Laboratory logo

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced Aug. 20 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued it a patent for a new invention by SDL research scientist Erik Syrstad.

 

Syrstad’s invention, known as the Imaging Dispersive Energy Analyzer (IDEA), will allow next-generation measurements of the space environment from orbiting satellites.

 

“IDEA will sample gas and plasma particles in a region of space lying closest to Earth’s atmosphere that is not well understood,” Syrstad said.  “The sensor is designed to efficiently separate and detect these particles, simultaneously measuring parameters such as wind, temperature, density and composition.” 

 

The data will help scientists better understand and predict the impact of space weather — upper atmospheric variability driven by energy from the Sun.

 

Using an imaging ion detector, IDEA produces continuous snapshots of the incoming atmosphere, from which small changes in wind, temperature and density can be observed.  Compared to traditional space weather sensors, IDEA detects a much higher fraction of the sampled atmosphere. This results in higher signal and improved measurement accuracy, and allows this instrument to operate at much higher altitudes where the atmosphere is extremely thin.

 

Ultimately, data collected by IDEA will help improve complex atmospheric models that are used to predict the impact of space weather events. These events often result in degraded GPS and radio signals, spacecraft damage, and increased atmospheric drag that can alter a satellite’s orbit.

 

“Innovation has been a trademark of our organization for more than 50 years, and we are refocusing our efforts in this area as a strategic emphasis at the Space Dynamics Lab,” said SDL Director Niel Holt. “Erik and others at SDL continue to look for ways to invent and improve devices, systems and methods so that we remain competitive and relevant in the aerospace, science and defense industries.”

 

A unit of the Utah State University Research Foundation, SDL is one of 14 University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation. Charged with applying basic research to the technology challenges presented in the military and science arenas, SDL has developed revolutionary solutions that are changing the way the world collects and uses data. SDL’s core competencies are electro-optical sensor systems, calibration, thermal management, reconnaissance systems and small satellite technologies. Headquartered in Logan, Utah, SDL has operations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Bedford, Mass.; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo. and Houston, Texas.

 

Contact: Eric Warren, Space Dynamics Laboratory, (435) 713-3054, eric.warren@sdl.usu.edu



     email icon  Email story       printer icon  Printer friendly
 






Send your comment or question:

We welcome your response. Your comment or question will be forwarded to the appropriate person. Please be sure to provide a valid email address so we can contact you, if needed. Your response will NOT be published online. Thank you.

NOTE: Do Not Alter These Fields, they are used to limit spam: