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Electrically Controllable Optical Materials for Solar Sails Featured on Cover of Advanced Optical Materials 

Electrically Controllable Optical Materials for Solar Sails Featured on Cover of Advanced Optical Materials 

Volume 5, Issue 4February 16, 2017
Volume 5, Issue 4
February 16, 2017

Research highlighting electrically controllable optical materials for solar sails has been featured recently on the cover of the February 16, 2017 issue of Advanced Optical Materials.

Solar sails represent a novel space propulsion technology based on radiation pressure; however, steering and actuation typically require traditional propellants or fuel. University of Maryland recent graduates Dr. Dakang Ma and Dr. Joseph Murray in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with Prof. Jeremy N. Munday (ECE/IREAP), describe the use of a solar sail device that can be steered by electronically altering its transparency near the edges, which requires only a small amount of power (<0.5 mW cm -2) and no chemical propellant. The researchers use polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) films as the material for their sails. The steering device enables propellant-less altitude control through reflectivity modulation via an applied voltage. To view the article, go here.

In addition to the front cover, their article was also highlighted on Advanced Science News website here, and on their twitter page here

Related Articles:
ECE and MSE Researchers' Work Featured on Cover of Advanced Optical Materials
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Jeremy Munday Receives 2017 Clark School Junior Faculty Outstanding Research Award
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Munday, Ha, and Collaborators' Research featured on the Cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Three ECE Students Named Outstanding Graduate Assistants
Q&A with ECE's New Faculty, Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry
Switchable Solar Window Research Featured on the Cover of ACS Photonics
UMD Physicists Discover “Smoke Rings” Made of Laser Light

February 21, 2017


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