NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft is gearing to make its first ever encounter with the sun’s corona. If things go as per schedule, the history could be created in the late 2018. This will be the first that a NASA’s mission could reach such closer to the sun. As per reports, the spacecraft is integrated with revolutionary cooling systems to maintain its performance even in extremely hostile conditions.
Breakthrough Technology in Solar Panel to Support the Mission
Experts have revealed that every system and equipment on board Parker Solar Probe (excluding a special particle detector and four antennas) will be guarded from the sun by a breakthrough thermal protection system. The shield is nearly eight foot in diameter and will defend itself against intense energy and heat of the Sun.
Every equipment and system in the Parker Solar Probe will remain guarded from the intense heat of the Sun however with the exception of the two solar arrays, which will power the spacecraft. When the spacecraft gets closer to the sun it will receive 25 times more solar energy than they would while orbiting the Earth. The temperature of thermal protection systems is likely to go above 2,500°F (1,370°C) when the spacecraft is closest to our star. However, the cooling systems fitted in the spacecraft will keep the arrays at a nominal temperature of 320°F (160°C) or below.
Mary Kae Lockwood, who is one of the spacecraft system engineers for the Parker Solar Probe from John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab said that the solar arrays are designed to operate under extremely harsh conditions, which will be the very first of its kind.