2015 USAFA Research Report: Discover Falcon Innovation
United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs United States
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The broad range of research being done at the Academy is part of motivating future leaders of character. Collaboration opportunities, to include multi-disciplinary research, work to broaden the scope of cadet learning. One multi-disciplinary project is FalconSAT-7. FalconSAT-7 is scheduled to launch in 2016, and many of our departments and research centers had a hand in making it a reality, including Physics, Astronautical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Management. While Astronautical Engineering cadets completed work on the CubeSat, Physics majors created a photon sieve. The sieve is a novel optical element consisting of a flat opaque sheet with millions of tiny holes. Light passing through these holes is focused in a similar manner to a lens or a mirror. This reduces the size of telescopes without sacrificing clarity.