March 25, 2023

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NASA’s Web Space Telescope is ready to stabilize and cool the Sun Block

Credit: Conceptual Image Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Aviation Center

With Webb’s major structural deployments completed and Webb’s deployable tower assembly extended, we take a step back to learn more about Webb’s solar armor. From scientist Michael McLean on the Trace project NASAThe Goddard Space Aviation Center offered these ideas:

“Web telescopes and scientific instruments are ready to go into the shadows and never see sunlight again. It uses one of Webb’s unique design features. Inactive Cooling by a five-layer solar shield to reach the operating temperature of the telescope at 45 K (-380 degrees) F70 x 47 feet (21 x 14 m) when using a sun visor or approximately the size of a tennis court. Determined by the geometry and size of the sunvisor, the telescope can point to a field covering 40% of the sky at any given time and can observe anywhere in the sky for more than six months. This innovative architecture allows to reduce the thermal sensitivity to wavelengths less than 15 microns, instead of being compromised by laboratory heat glow against the backdrop of the natural sky (mostly zodiac light).

“When mounted, the sunvisor folds like a canopy and is mounted on front and rear integrated stabilized (UPS) structures.

The web stretches the line of telescopes

On its way to its second long-distance point (L2) a month after its launch, the web undergoes a complex expansion sequence. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joyce Kang (STScI)

“There are 50 Sequence keys The heat will transform his soup and create a functional monitoring station. The sunshield saw line was pushed forward, then pushed from the telescope to the machine output and UPS position. The telescope and scientific instruments were mounted on a detachable turret and then mechanically released and elevated. Attached to the terminal of the UPS is a temporary flap, which is released and stabilized, whose function is to balance the solar pressure in the rated solar module. Sunscreen caps are released by pulling film release devices and setting the system for the spread of sun block layers. The telescopic intermediate booms are pushed out of the spacecraft bearing perpendicular to the telescope view, pulling the folded layer of sunscreen layers away from the final structure, but still tight. Finally, each layer of sunscreen is tightened tightly, starting with the first layer facing the sun and ending with the layer facing the telescope. Assorted solar shield initiates rapid cooling of telescopes and scientific instruments, but heaters in scientific instruments are used to control their cooling and prevent contamination.

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“Although these steps have been field tested and rehearsed for work at the Mission Functional Center, they are still important steps to be taken for a successful mission. Congratulations to our team, stay calm on the Internet!”

– Michael McLean, Web Surveillance Project Scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Center