Browse Prior Art Database

Sun Vane for Passively Tracking the Sun in Space

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000095304D
Original Publication Date: 1965-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Grisham, WH: AUTHOR

Abstract

The sun vane is attached to a stabilized satellite through low friction bearing 10. Yoke 12 carries the sun vane through low friction bearings 14 and 16. Flat reflecting disk 18 is attached at one end of rod 20. At the other end of rod 20 is conical vane 22 and vernier vanes 24. Tips 26 of vanes 24 are tapered so as to dampen oscillations in the system.

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Sun Vane for Passively Tracking the Sun in Space

The sun vane is attached to a stabilized satellite through low friction bearing
10. Yoke 12 carries the sun vane through low friction bearings 14 and 16. Flat reflecting disk 18 is attached at one end of rod 20. At the other end of rod 20 is conical vane 22 and vernier vanes 24. Tips 26 of vanes 24 are tapered so as to dampen oscillations in the system.

In operation, the vane is initially actively positioned so that it is captured by the sun. Thereafter, the vane passively tracks the position of the sun. The sun's rays are shielded from vane 22 by disk 18. If for some reason vane 22 strays out of the shadow provided by disk 18, the energy of the sun's rays striking exposed vane 22 pushes it back into the shadow of disk 18. Vane 22 is normally held in the shadow of disk 18 by vanes 24. The tips 26 of vanes 24 extend just outside the shadow provided by disk 18 and are tapered so as to provide a dampening of oscillations of the vane in and out of the shadow. In this way, vanes 22 and 24 cooperate to passively track the sun.

The sun vane can be used to position components relative to the sun or to shield components from the sun's rays.

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