Global nonprofit research center recognized for contributions to NASA’s Solar Probe
MENLO PARK, CA APRIL 13, 2020 – SRI International today announces that they have won the Gold Edison Award for their innovative contributions to the Wide-Field Imager for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in the Aerospace Innovation category.
Among the nomination entries comprising the best products, services, and businesses in aerospace innovation for the year 2020, SRI International was chosen as a winner by a panel of over 3,000 leading business executives from around the world. “After a thorough review, the Edison Awards Judges recognize SRI International’s CMOS Imager for the Parker Solar Probe Mission as a game-changing innovation standing out among the best new products and services launched in their category,” said Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of the Edison Awards.
The products and services that were submitted impact the technology and industry concerned with diverse fields including space vehicles, propulsion systems, communications and sensors, habitats, sustainable ecologies, recycling and waste management, agriculture, biological and health sciences, nanotechnology, smart materials, alternative energy, resource extraction, manufacturing and construction and more
“We are honored to be recognized as the Gold winner by the prestigious Edison Awards for our innovative work with the Parker Solar Probe Mission,” says Manish Kothari, President at SRI International. “By being able to study the sun’s corona at a closer distance than ever before, we will be able to unveil even more knowledge about our mysterious sun, making a lasting effect for the future of our planet and space exploration.”
Extreme weather conditions in space, such as solar winds, can cause severe damage to communications, power and essential technologies used on Earth. NASA’s Solar Probe has been designed to fly within 3.8 million miles of the surface of the sun, enabling scientists to capture the closest images of the sun in human history.
SRI International’s CMOS imager, which was used to optimize imaging for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, was developed with large pixels that capture more light, and the ability to withstand radiation exposure of greater than 100kRad. By capturing these images, the probe will take observations that help in understanding and predicting space weather. The images from the Parker Solar Probe have the potential to cultivate further innovation, including preventative and protective technologies that protect Earth’s infrastructure against solar disruption.
Jim Janesick of SRI, a leading expert in CCD and CMOS development, designed the CMOS Imager used in the Parker Solar Probe. The technology was conceptualized with extraterrestrial applications in mind and was supported by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). SRI and the NRL collaborated to create a 2k x 2k Imager that could withstand the radiation emitted by the sun. The imager was then selected by NASA for inclusion on the Parker Solar Probe mission, where it will capture the closest images of the sun.