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Full-Text Articles in Physics

Design And Fabrication Of Liquid Scintillator Counter, Andrea Calderon Saucedo, John L. Orrell Aug 2015

Design And Fabrication Of Liquid Scintillator Counter, Andrea Calderon Saucedo, John L. Orrell

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is currently developing an ultra-low background liquid scintillator counter (ULB LSC) in the shallow underground laboratory. At a depth of 35-meters water-equivalent, the underground laboratory has a multi-layered shielding to keep out cosmic-ray induced background. The ULB LSC, which is located in a clean room facility, is a multi-layered design made up of various materials, including plastic scintillator veto panels, borated polyethylene, lead and copper. These layers help lower the contributions of the terrestrial background and intrinsic background, resulting from the impurities present in the materials, to the overall background count rate observed by the ...


Maximizing Precision Of Variable Star Photometry With Digital Cameras In Suburban Environments, David Hergesheimer Aug 2014

Maximizing Precision Of Variable Star Photometry With Digital Cameras In Suburban Environments, David Hergesheimer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Photometry is the measure of the brightness of an object. When making such measurements on stars, it is done is units of magnitude, which is on a logarithmic scale with a base of ~2.512. Variable star photometry using a commercially available digital camera is not going to be as accurate and precise as equipment used by astronomers, and because of the logarithmic scale of magnitude used, determining how much of an effect different error reduction strategies have is not straightforward, and is best done experimentally.

My research is conducting photometry on variable stars (changing brightness) with a digital camera ...


Environmental Testing Of Lasers For Jpl's Cold Atom Laboratory, Carey L. Baxter Aug 2014

Environmental Testing Of Lasers For Jpl's Cold Atom Laboratory, Carey L. Baxter

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

NASA’s Cold Atom Lab (CAL) is a multi-user facility designed to study ultra-cold quantum gases in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS). One of the main goals of CAL is to explore the unknown territory of extremely low temperatures—possibly as low as the picokelvin range!—where new and fascinating quantum phenomena can be observed. At such temperatures matter stops behaving as particles and instead becomes macroscopic matter waves. CAL will be remotely controlled to perform a multitude of experiments and is scheduled to launch in 2016. In order to anticipate problems that might occur during ...


Laser Frequency Stabilization For Lisa, Andrew B. Parker, Andrew J. Sutton, Glenn De Vine Aug 2014

Laser Frequency Stabilization For Lisa, Andrew B. Parker, Andrew J. Sutton, Glenn De Vine

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

This research focuses on laser ranging developments for LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), a planned NASA-ESA gravitational wave detector in space. LISA will utilize precision laser interferometry to track the changes in separation between three satellites orbiting 5 million kilometers apart. Specifically, our goal is to investigate options for laser frequency stabilization. Previous research has shown that an optical cavity system can meet LISA's stability requirements, but these units are large and heavy, adding cost to the implementation. A heterodyne Mach-Zehnder interferometer could be integrated onto LISA’s existing optical bench, greatly reducing the weight, provided the interferometer meets ...


Characterization Of Samples For Optimization Of Infrared Stray Light Coatings, Carey L. Baxter, Rebecca Salvemini, Zaheer A. Ali, Patrick Waddell, Greg Perryman, Bob Thompson Aug 2013

Characterization Of Samples For Optimization Of Infrared Stray Light Coatings, Carey L. Baxter, Rebecca Salvemini, Zaheer A. Ali, Patrick Waddell, Greg Perryman, Bob Thompson

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a converted 747SP that houses a 2.5 m telescope that observes the sky through an opening in the side of the aircraft. Because it flies at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, SOFIA gets 99.99% transmission in the infrared. Multiple science instruments mount one at a time on the telescope to interpret infrared and visible light from target sources. Ball Infrared Black (BIRB) currently coats everything that the optics sees inside the telescope assembly (TA) cavity in order to eliminate noise from the glow of background sky, aircraft exhaust ...


Flitecam Data Process Validation, Jesse K. Tsai, Sachindev S. Shenoy, Brent Cedric Nicklas, Zaheer Ali, William T. Reach Aug 2013

Flitecam Data Process Validation, Jesse K. Tsai, Sachindev S. Shenoy, Brent Cedric Nicklas, Zaheer Ali, William T. Reach

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

FLITECAM Data Processing Validation

Many of the challenges that come from working with astronomical imaging arise from the reduction of raw data into scientifically meaningful data. First Light Infrared Test CAMera (FLITECAM) is an infrared camera operating in the 1.0–5.5 μm waveband on board SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy). Due to the significant noise from the atmosphere and the camera itself, astronomers have developed many methods to reduce the effects of atmospheric and instrumental emission. The FLITECAM Data Reduction Program (FDRP) is a program, developed at SOFIA Science Center, subtracts darks, removes flats, and dithers images ...


Telescope Assembly Alignment Simulator Performance Optimization, Joshua G. Thompson, Brian Eney, Zaheer Ali, Bob Thompson Aug 2012

Telescope Assembly Alignment Simulator Performance Optimization, Joshua G. Thompson, Brian Eney, Zaheer Ali, Bob Thompson

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The Telescope Assembly Alignment Simulator (TAAS) calibrates scientific instruments (SI’s) that are installed on the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). An SI’s accuracy is directly dependent on the consistent performance of the TAAS, which has never been fully characterized. After designing various thermal and optical experiments to identify the current unknowns of TAAS, we now have a far better grasp on how the equipment behaves.