NASA’s first set of small satellites for the SunRISE Mission Ready to detect, track dangerous space weather events

NASA’s SunRISE – or Solar Radio Interferometer Space Experiment – is an ambitious program that plans to launch the largest-ever radio telescope to detect and track phenomena. Dangerous explosive weather in space. According to the US space agency, production of the first six satellites has been completed at Wyoming State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL). SDL was contracted to build, test and operate all six satellites for the mission.

Scheduled to launch in 2024, NASA Dawn will be an in-orbit radio telescope that will allow scientists to understand explosive weather phenomena in space. It will use the synergy of six toaster-sized satellites to observe the Sun in a way that has hitherto been “impossible” from Earth’s surface.

“It’s really exciting to see space vehicles come together,” speak Jim Lux, SunRISE project manager at From NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.

Each small satellite or SmallSat used in the SunRISE project will act as an individual to detect bursts of radio waves from the Sun’s super-hot atmosphere, known as the corona. The satellites, equipped with four telescope antenna rods that extend about 10 feet (2.5 meters) to form the letter “X”, will orbit in orbit. The earth 22,000 miles (36,000 km), while traveling together to find a virtual radio telescope.

Signals received from six SmallSats through NASA’s Deep Space Network, will be used by scientists to create a large aperture radio telescope as wide as the distance between the furthest SmallSats – about approx. 6 miles (10 km), using interferometry

Unlike many ground-based radio telescopes that also use interferometers to combine the observing power of many individual antennas, SunRISE will be able to see long wavelengths blocked by part of the atmosphere. atmosphere on Earth, called the ionosphere.

This means it can identify where solar radio waves or sudden radio-emitting events, erupt higher in the sky. Of the sun Halo. The data will be used by the SunRISE team to create a detailed map of their location in 3D.

“These highly energetic solar particles can pose a danger to astronauts and unprotected technology,” said Justin Kasper, principal investigator for SunRISE at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Observations from SunRISE will be used by NASA along with data from other space missions and ground-based observatories.

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