NPS Terahertz project: IR HAB flight testing and integration
Correa de Souza, Marcello
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Terahertz (THz) technology has become very attractive for space purposes. In this context, Department of Defense (DoD)-Space recently started to sponsor the THz Project at NPS to develop this technology for future space applications. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype THz imager that could be flown in space. Given the proposed THz architectures, the infrared (IR) imager is an appropriate first step in that direction. Therefore, this study is a relevant starting point for the THz Project at NPS since it shows the results of experiments using an IR camera integrated on high-altitude balloon (HAB) flights. The objective of this thesis is to study the integration concerns in order to evaluate possibilities and suggest appropriate configurations. This study provided relevant knowledge about a Raspberry Pi–controlled command and data handling board with a radio and an Electrical Power System for the main bus, designed 3D printed pieces, developed interfaces between cameras and boards, assembled and disassembled structures, managed weight / power / data budgets, and accomplished the launch and recovery operations. The recommendations at the end of this thesis indicate that better configurations should be adopted for the next stages of the project.
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