Grades 9-12 (OPSPARC 2017)

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NASA Contest
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Grades 9-12 (OPSPARC 2017)

Our spinoff idea will be utilizing the infrared detectors (near-infrared and mid-infrared), which the James-Webb Space Telescope uses to focus light from deep space stars on its instruments and record the data. It will also include a scaled down version of the cryocooler, which is used to cool the part of the James-Webb that is exposed to the sun. It also suppress infrared background noise.

Design Review

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Over the past 50 years, wild fires have been becoming more destructive, although less common. The number of acres burned have steadly increased and have nearly doubled since the late 1980's and early 1990's (2). With the ever increasing destruction caused by wildfire, it is more necessary than ever to have effective measures to combat them. Our spinoff will use the infrared to show firefighters the ability to see through thick smoke caused by fire, and allow them the see the heart of the blaze. There is already precident of infrared technology being used to indentify the source of fires (1). In designing this spinoff, the most prominent constraint was the cost. It will be very expensive to produce these drones in large numbers.

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Works cited:(1) National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science Mission Directorate. (2010). Infrared Waves Retrieved February 06, 2017, fro(2)Gabbert, A. B. (n.d.). Why have fires gotten larger in recent decades? Retrieved February 09, 2017, from Mission: Science website. (3)(n.d.). Retrieved February 09, 2017, from Retrieved February 09, 2017, from

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Benefits and Detraments of the Design Benefits: The drone is more effcient and time-saving than having to wait for a satellite to come into position over the fire to get an image, whereas the drone is easily deployable. Its size makes the drone easily transportable at a moments notice. The drone can also be used as long as needed as long as the sun is out. Detraments: The biggest detrament to the drone is the cost. The cost of solar panels and infrared camera will be too high for large scale productions. The overall wieght of the drone may be too much to achieve necessary lift.


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