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Posted: Mar 05, 2013
Announcing the Third International Lunar Superconductor Applications Workshop
(Nanowerk News) Russell Cox, Director of Research at Flexure Engineering, announced today that, “We’re excited to host our third LSA workshop in Florida to foster the collaborative work of a diverse group of researchers to unlock the mysteries of the Lunar poles as well as deep space chemistry.”
The LSA workshop series was launched by Flexure Engineering to foster the collaboration and scientific research that combines disciplines as varied as High Temperature Superconductors, Low Temperature Electronics, Cryogenic Engineering and Lunar Science. Prior to 2009 these researchers had little reason to work together. The discoveries made by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) proved that the Lunar poles contain water and other volatile ices and provide the opportunity to study the dusts and plasma processes that created and modified them.
The event which runs April 9 – 11, 2013 is hosted at the Courtyard by Marriot in Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral, Florida. This year’s event features two interactive design challenges: In-Situ Resource Utilization and Three Rovers at the Poles. Both challenges focus on the equipment required (pumps, valves, actuators, and electronics) to operate reliably in the Lunar polar environment at temperatures from 25 to 125 Kelvin. The design challenges address issues in developing DeepCryo Lunar rovers necessary for further exploration of the Lunar poles. As a bonus day, this year’s LSA Workshop also features the LunarCubes Briefing #2, an introduction to the new instruments and technologies based on the CubeSat nanosatellite standards suitable for Lunar missions.
When asked about the inclusion of LunarCubes, Cox said “We established the LunarCubes briefings and this fall’s upcoming workshop to promote the creation of standards for the advancement of low cost and rapidly developed payloads for future Lunar missions. We’re excited to be on the cutting edge of new instruments and technologies that are going to revolutionize Lunar and planetary exploration in this decade.”
Cox went on to note that the Lunar poles are going to be a crossroad of discovery and a gateway to the solar system – and beyond. However, unlocking these mysteries requires new science and engineering specifically designed for the extreme Lunar cold. He says, “An endeavor of this magnitude has to include new research, funding sources and most of all – new alliances and collaboration.”
The organizers of LSA 3 are currently soliciting abstracts for presentation and discussion. This openness to working across disciplines is just what Cox had envisioned. “We want the scientific and engineering communities to come together to shape the future of Lunar and planetary science. Come along with us as we pave the flexible path back to the moon.”