Date: March 11, 2019

The Parker Solar Probe
https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/parker-solar-probe
launched in August of 2018 on a mission to study the atmosphere of the sun.
Our company, newForge Technologies, has been working closely with the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, the builders of the spacecraft, on the solar power system for the spacecraft for the last 6 years.
During this time, we have been involved in basic research on cell performance in the challenging solar environment near the sun, testing of components, building equipment for qualification and validation of the flight wings, and the analysis of data.
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Throughout all of this work, Python has played a key role in our organization from data visualization and exploration, data modelling, signal extraction, test equipment automation, and the development of human machine interfaces (HMI) for test equipment.
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In this talk I will share how Python played a key role in solving some of the many technical and scientific challenges our team faced in developing techniques and equipment for the testing of individual solar cells, test coupons, and entire solar panel wings.
I will also discuss building one of the first models to describe the degradation of solar cell performance in high irradiance, high temperature (HIHT) missions.
Finally, I will share our observations on how Python fits into a rapid development, physical engineering environment where requirements change rapidly in large multi-disciplinary teams.
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About the speaker
Dr. Matthew Schurman received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Rutgers University in 1996.
He has worked in a wide range of fields, including semiconductors, capital equipment, telecommunication components, medical devices (especially optical sensing), and space based solar power.
He is currently the managing partner of newForge Technologies, an engineering firm based in Wrightstown, PA.