Insect communications and the eyes of animals have provided a fundamental design clue for a NASA effort to develop a new family of highly efficient solar energy converters for spacecraft and earth-bound use.
Professor Bailey is shown with Dr. Philip S. Callahan of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture examining a large moth. Dr. Callahan is an entomologist currently on a courtesy professorial appointment from the USDA to the Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences on the University of Florida Campus. Dr. Callahan's extensive pioneering work with insect antennae was done about the same time as Professor Bailey's EWEC work and generally supports the validity of the concept.
Professor Bailey and Dr. Callahan are shown in a close-up shot examining some of the latter's photographs of insect antennae produced with a scanning electron microscope.
Professor Bailey and Dr. Callahan are shown in a medium shot examining a scanning electron microscope photo of insect antennae and a metal model of collectors Bailey designed for the EWEC technique. The EWEC collectors resemble insect antennae in design and operation.
Close-up shot of the EWEC collectors.
From the gate of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, Greenbelt, Md.
Long shot of Harold J. Peake (right), Head of Goddard's Aerospace Technology National Needs Office, examining a spacecraft solar panel with a colleague. This office is responsible for helping transfer Goddard's technology to the civil economy for possible practical use.
Close up to Harold J. Peake and colleague with solar panel.
Professor Robert L. Bailey of University of Florida's Electrical Engineering Dept. is shown in his Florida office describing the solar energy conversion technique. The form rubber insulter he holds is somewhat similar in design to the absorbers for the new solar energy conversion technique called EWEC. Bailey conceived the concept while working on a temporary basis an Goddard in 1968. He will be the chief investigator for EWEC at the University of Florida.
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Background: Insect communications and the eyes of animals have provided a fundamental design clue for a NASA effort to develop a new family of highly efficient solar energy converters for spacecraft and earth-bound use.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre , Greenbelt, Md., has awarded a basic research grant for the work to the University of Florida, Gainesville. The new concept, called Electromagnetic Wave Energy Conversion (EWEC), calls for the absorption of the sun's electromagnetic radiation by an array of insulated components for direct conversion to electricity. It is based on the technique whereby insect antennae and animal eyes absorb electromagnetic radiation (infrared and visible light) and convert it to electrical impulses for relay to the central nervous system or the brain in the process of communications and seeing. (See attached release for more details.)