Nasa says it’s done with parabolic mirrors
In space, parabolic reflecting surfaces are not a part of the plan.
They are part of a Nasa mission, and Nasa’s own research shows that they’re no longer needed.
What’s more, NASA’s own parabolic mirror, the Parabolic Reflector, had already been replaced with a more modern version, called the Visible Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer.
But what happened next was far more dramatic.
It was a surprise when the US Air Force announced that they’d cancelled their plans to build an Air Force parabolic radar.
“There’s not going to be a parabolic Radar anymore,” the Air Force’s Air Superiority Center told reporters.
And the reason?
The Air Force had been spending hundreds of millions of dollars building a radar that would have looked something like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/science/australia-parsable-radar.html?pagewanted=all The Airforce’s decision to cancel the Paraclar Radar is an important one.
Paracelars are an incredibly high-tech radar that can scan the atmosphere at a rate of several hundred metres per second.
They’re the only radar that’s ever been built to look at the entire sky at once.
It’s a radar used in military surveillance aircraft like the RQ-170 Black Hawk, but it’s also used for commercial flights, and it’s the radar used by the US government.
It also has a massive military application, being used by a range of US and allied nations to gather data on the enemy.
When the Airforce wanted to make a radar for the US military, they decided to go with the one from the 1950s.
The parabolic design is still in use, and the USAF has used it for more than 60 years.
But there’s no reason it couldn’t be used for civilian purposes.
And it would have been a huge step forward in the development of radar technology.
So how did Nasa decide against it?
The main reason is that the ParaLaser Project had been running for almost three decades.
In fact, it was a military-funded effort to design a paracelar, or a parabola.
http-//www.youtube.com/_rZwYZwLdG0 The Paracalar Project was started in 1961 by a team of US scientists led by the late James Doolittle, a physicist who worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
The US military had been looking into developing an airborne radar capable of tracking aircraft and other objects at altitudes over a certain range of 100 metres.
The AirForce was looking into the same idea, but they weren’t keen on the military’s ideas.
“They were interested in building a military radar, but we thought that was a very expensive way to do that,” says Mark Bostock, a US Airforce historian.
“That radar had a very high cost per unit, so it was an idea that would never work.”
But Nasa was keen to take a different approach.
“The military had done some work on the radar, and we thought it would be very useful to get it done,” says Bostocker.
“We wanted to take advantage of the radar’s low cost.”
So Nasa had been trying to design an alternative to the parabolic paraclar.
The idea was to make the radar reflector, which was supposed to look something like the one shown above.
The main difference was that it was made of glass.
“But the thing that made it different was that glass was used as a reflector for the paracolors,” says Mike Eaves, a Nasa engineer and parabolic-reflector researcher.
Glass is made up of a number of layers of different materials, but the primary layer is plastic.
This is the first layer of glass that the AirForce wanted to use, but NASA wasn’t convinced.
“So the Air Department went out and got a glass contractor to put together the glass for them, and they ended up building it,” says Eaves.
That contractor was Raytheon, which is one of the largest contractors in the US.
The company had previously built the famous X-band radar, which would have had a resolution of about 5 metres per pixel.
So the Air Ministry was understandably concerned.
“In terms of the Air Defence Command, we felt that the paraboloids were the best choice for a radar,” says Michael Pappas, a former Air Defence Intelligence officer who’s now the director of the US Office of Naval Research.
Raythean’s engineers would build the Parascalylar Reflector using the same technology.
“It was essentially a glass paracollar,” says Pappan.
And there’s a reason why it looks so similar to the old radar: it’s made of a layer of plastic.
It didn’t make sense to just use glass, it didn’t scale up to the size of a par