Slideshow: NASA’s incredible unsung sensors
Carolyn Mathas - September 27, 2012
It’s mindboggling to think of how many sensors are used by NASA. Temperature, position, pressure, imaging, inclinometers, navigational, accelerometers, force…and the list goes on. What follows is a look at just some of the sensor-based systems at NASA and a few of the commercial technologies that have fallen out of NASA projects. While this merely scratches the surface of what exists, I hope you enjoy the collection.
One of NASA’s most widely used sensor networks, AERONET, isn’t in space
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) is comprised of sun photometers, the ground-based instruments that measure tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols. When volcanoes, wildfires, pollution plumes, dust storms and other phenomena take place, AERONET’s sensors detect the presence of aerosols by measuring subtle fluctuations in sunlight. Sensors are deployed at an array of locations worldwide.