Application：NASA’s balloon project | TDC Corporation
TDC has produced precision parts for NASA’s “Balloon Project”
I found beautiful movie of electric blue clouds. It is known as noctilucent clouds. It is a kind of weather phenomenon that the clouds shine reflecting sunlight from below the horizon. It happens before sunrise or after sundown. This movie is captured by NASA’s balloon project. A very small part which is made by TDC is used for position control of the camera on the floating balloon. I’m very happy to know that our technology is contributing in such spectacular project.
Commitment to ultra-precision machining of ceramic parts used in balloon project telescopes
TDC polished very small parts for the balloon projects.
When I attended an exhibition held in Germany in 2008, a person in charge of a European company who visited the TDC booth said, “TDC’s exhibition samples are often shiny metal, but can it be made of ceramic? “
when I answered Of course, ceramics is my specialty and that is no problem, the person in charge was very pleased, saying, “If you use this technology, you can improve the accuracy of your products!” After that, the evaluation of the prototype was good, and we have been receiving mass production and repeat orders.
I made a part of “actuator” that converts a small amount of electricity into motion. TDC technology is used as the ultimate flat and smooth guide to precisely control the amount of linear movement on the micro-order. “
What is balloon project?
“NASA has funded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by $ 5.6 million and has been working on it for about five years. It’s about putting the latest telescope on a balloon and finding a star that resembles the Earth from about 40,000 meters above.
The name of the telescope is “PICTURE-C”, and it weighs about 800 kg, has a total length of 4 m, and has a width of 1 m. A balloon about the size of a football field is required to set it in the air, and the observation time is only a few hours. After a certain amount of time, it will be disassembled and dropped with a parachute.
The balloon project is said to have the great advantage of being able to make difficult observations from the ground. Observations with a telescope on the ground have the disadvantage that they cannot be observed in a clear state because of the obstacles such as ambient light and fluctuations in the atmosphere. However, with this method, since there are telescopes on the outer edge of the atmosphere, their influence is small and clear observations are possible.
Therefore, it is an observation project that attracts great expectations if it can observe things that could not be discovered by previous observations. “