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Pseudo-Sun Instrument Tops Invent Alaska Competition




Recent University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate Brandt Lomen took the top prize in the university’s 2018 Invent Alaska Competition for a device that can test solar cells on Earth, in space and on other planets by mimicking the light of the sun.

Lomen’s Pseudo-Sun Instrument was initially designed to test the solar cells on satellites, but when Lomen presented the instrument at a conference, researchers there had ideas for numerous applications, terrestrial and extraterrestrial.

The Pseudo-Sun Instrument uses a combination of colored LED lights to mimic the sun’s spectrum and can be adjusted to match the sun’s location in relation to the solar cell.

The $7,500 in prize money from the competition will fund a student to continue Lomen’s work and to conduct research on potential customers. Lomen has accepted a job at BAE Systems Inc. but will continue to be involved in the development of the Pseudo-Sun Instrument.

The Invent Alaska Competition, sponsored by the UAF Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, aims to encourage invention and commercialization of inventions by UAF and University of Alaska Southeast students and employees.

Other winners of this year’s competition include:

  • UAS researcher Heidi Pearson for a video camera and sensor system to record dolphin behavior and life events in their natural habitat.
  • UAF affiliate professor Lee Santoro for Arctic Automatic, a smart controller that can help prevent vehicles from freezing up in Arctic conditions.

For additional information, visit https://inventalaska.com.


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