An instantaneous flash of light (left) lasting 3 milliseconds and as bright as the sun is sent to one of the two solar panels (right) that will provide the power for the Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft that will record the impact into Comet Tempel 1 in July, 2005. Nick Taylor, the Deep Impact Test Manager is seen in the picture on the left and in the background as he conducts the tests. Nick is safe because he is behind the flash, and not looking directly into the lamp housing that produces the flash.
The image on the right shows the solar panels receiving the flash. Such pre-flight tests are a vital part of preparing the spacecraft for in-flight operations. Tests showed that the solar panel produces 1000 watts as specified by the design requirements. The spacecraft is built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Boulder, CO. The solar panels were built by Spectrolab in Sylmar, CA.
CREDIT: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.