Clark School Home UMD
ECE

ECE News Story

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:
“Solar Smart Window” Offers Privacy and Light Control on Demand
Munday, Ha, and Collaborators' Research featured on the Cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Switchable Solar Window Research Featured on the Cover of ACS Photonics
UMD Physicists Discover “Smoke Rings” Made of Laser Light
Former Chair of ECE and VP for Research, Dr. Patrick G. O'Shea, Named President of the University of College Cork in Ireland (UCC)
UMD Researchers’ New Nanoscale Solar Cells Could Revolutionize Solar Industry
Munday, Hu and Collaborators’ Research on Inside Cover of Advanced Energy Materials
Munday Gives Two Invited Talks at OSA’s Optics and Photonics Congress
Munday, Waks receive $300,000 NSF Grant
Munday Wins Early Career Faculty Space Tech Research Grant from NASA

February 21, 2017


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

UMD Loop Speaks at NASA Goddard, Visits Local Motors

UMD Takes First in Technical Design at DOE Competition

Waks, Chellappa, Milchberg and Sprangle Participate in Different Department of Defense MURI Projects

UMD Steel Bridge Team Builds Their Way to Nationals

UMD’s 4th Annual Bitcamp Hackathon Becomes Largest to Date with over 1,300 Participants

MSE Undergraduate Wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Qu Gives Keynote at WOCC 2017

Prof. Alireza Khaligh to receive Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Illinois Tech

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts