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Caltech to Launch Space Solar Power Technology Demo into Orbit in January

01-03-23

In January 2023, the Caltech Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) is poised to launch into orbit a prototype, dubbed the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD), which will test several key components of an ambitious plan to harvest solar power in space and beam the energy back to Earth. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino SSPP

Caltech CAST to Collaborate with Abu Dhabi-based Technology Innovation Institute

12-16-22

Caltech's Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) and the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, have signed an agreement to begin a global strategic partnership to collaborate on key research priorities. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT Morteza Gharib Thomas Rosenbaum

Professor John Sader Elected to the Australian Academy of Science

11-30-22

John Sader, Research Professor of Aerospace and Applied Physics, has been elected to the Australian Academy of Science. Sader developed pioneering measurement techniques that revolutionized the characterization of materials using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The Sader Method is an international standard for AFM calibration, as is the Sader-Jarvis Method for atomically resolved AFM measurements.

Tags: APhMS honors GALCIT John Sader

Caltech Undergraduates Receive Visionary Concept Award

11-21-22

Caltech Undergraduates have received the Visionary Concept Award at the NASA BIG Idea Challenge for their Lunar Architecture for Tree Traversal In-Service-Of Cabled Exploration (LATTICE) concept. [NASA story]

Tags: Paul Dimotakis Charles Elachi Soon-Jo Chung Michael Mello Jason Kastner Issa Nesnas Steve Wall

Watch Now: Caltech Undergraduates Present Final Concept for NASA BIG Idea Challenge

11-15-22

Caltech’s BIG Idea Challenge Team is presenting its final concept at the NASA Big Idea Challenge Forum at 11:25 PDT on November 15, 2022. [Tune in!]

Tags: GALCIT MCE CMS Soon-Jo Chung

Beaming Clean Energy From Space

10-26-22

Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Sorina Lupu Chosen for the Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) Grant Program

09-22-22

Sorina Lupu, a PhD student in Aerospace, working with Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, was one of the eight young professionals chosen for the 2022-2023 Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) Grant Program. Intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space-related careers, the program provides grants for participation in the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC). 

Tags: honors GALCIT Soon-Jo Chung Sorina Lupu

Tweaking Turbine Angles Squeezes More Power Out of Wind Farms

08-17-22

A new control algorithm for wind farms that alters how individual turbines are oriented into the wind promises to boost farms' overall efficiency and energy output by optimizing how they deal with their turbulent wake. "Individual turbines generate choppy air, or a wake, which hurts the performance of every turbine downwind of them," says John O. Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. "To cope with that, wind farm turbines are traditionally spaced as far apart as possible, which unfortunately takes up a lot of real estate." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE John Dabiri alumni Michael Howland

Improving Aircraft Design with Machine Learning and a More Efficient Model of Turbulent Airflows

07-28-22

Turbulent airflows are chaotic and unpredictable: consider the bumps and jolts one might experience during an airplane flight encountering turbulent air. With increased knowledge of turbulent airflows, airplane designs could become safer, more resilient, and ultimately more fuel efficient.  H. Jane Bae, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has developed a way to use machine learning to further improve the design process. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT H. Jane Bae