- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:03:03.000Z
This proposal addresses the need for miniature, narrow-linewidth, deep UV optical sources that operate at very low ambient temperatures for use in advanced in situ planetary science instruments for non-contact detection and classification of trace amounts of organic, inorganic, and biogenic materials using Raman and native fluorescence spectroscopic methods. The sources include aluminum gallium nitride semiconductor lasers and ultra-narrow-linewidth transverse excited hollow cathode lasers emitting between 210 nm to 250 nm, a spectral range with demonstrated higher detection sensitivity and specificity than sources emitting at longer wavelengths. Applications include non-contact robot-arm or body mounted chemical imaging instruments and detectors for direct analysis of trace levels of chemical species containing C, N, H, O, S, Cl, on surfaces or as extractions from soil, rock, or ice. We have achieved the highest recorded deep UV semiconductor internal quantum efficiencies at wavelengths below 250 nm. But continuing difficulties of attaining laser emission and prospects for narrow line-width compatible with Raman applications has caused us to redirect a significant portion of the Phase II effort to another class of deep UV laser with a more proven UV Raman track record and the potential for miniaturization for robot-arm-mounted applications.
A Light Weight, Mini Inertial Measurement System for Position and Attitude Estimation on Dynamic Platforms, Phase IIdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:06:09.000Z
Impact Technologies, LLC in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology, proposes to develop and demonstrate a flight-worthy hardware prototype of a miniature, low cost/weight/ power device that provides stable and highly accurate near continuous positioning, attitude, and inertial measurements while being subjected to highly dynamic maneuvers and high vibration effects. In contrast to conventional methods that utilize either unreliable magnetic field sensors or extensive ground-based real-time tracking and control units that are expensive, large and power-consuming to operate, our innovative design focuses on identifying the gravitational vector onboard in real-time to bound sensor drift errors to achieve high degree of accuracy. The objective is achieved by a unique design that combines a dual-arc low-cost accelerometer array with three-axis rate gyros and GPS. Advanced filtering techniques such as the Unscented Kalman Filter are proposed to estimate sensor bias and drift effects. High vibration effects are estimated and eliminated by subtracting the imposed loading from the accelerometer measurements to provide a highly robust system in the presence of highly dynamical and vibrational conditions. Testing of the prototype system includes shaker table laboratory and hardware-in-the-loop tests along with an optional relevant vehicle platform test with support from NASA.
Wideband Autocorrelation Radiometer Receiver Development and Demonstration for Direct Measurement of Terrestrial Snow and Ice Accumulationdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:43:06.000Z
The seasonal terrestrial snow pack is an important source of water for many parts of the globe. Snow's high albedo, relative to the terrain in the absence of snow, is an important driver of Earth's energy balance, and long term changes to the statistics of the snow pack's properties are both a consequence and a cause of climate change. The global quantification of the amount of water in the snow pack reservoir is a long term objective of NASA's Earth Science Division. Thus far, the primary means of quantifying the amount of snow on the ground has been via the differential scatter-darkening mechanism, such as the 19 and 37 GHz brightness difference. While a 35+ year time series of passive microwave satellite data has been made, progress in understanding the scatter-darkened brightness signature of snow continues, especially for forested areas where vegetation scattering confounds the signature. This proposal looks to advance an alternative approach to using passive microwave to measure the snow accumulation. Wideband autocorrelation radiometry (WiBAR) is a technique wherein the electromagnetic propagation time across a layered media, such as snow pack or lake ice, can be remotely sensed. Thermal emission from the ground under the snow pack propagates up through the snow pack to the receiver. When the upper and lower surfaces of the snow pack are locally smooth, which is true at sufficiently long wavelengths, additional paths result from the reflection of the upward traveling wave from first the upper and then the lower surface of the snow pack. Arriving at the antenna, these waves are identical except for their amplitude and the time lag associated with the extra transit of the snow pack. This time lag is the observable. For sufficiently long wavelengths, the snow snow grains that cause the scattering are sufficiently deep in the Rayleigh region so as to be of minor importance. Unlike scatter darkening, where the microscopic properties of snow dominate the signal and the desired macroscopic properties are secondary, for WiBAR, the macroscopic properties of the snow depth is the most important parameter determining the signal, modified by the density (and thus it measures SWE), and the microscopic properties, responsible for the scattering, reduce the signal strength but do not alter the quantification of the accumulation. The bandwidth of the radiometer determines the minimum vertical extent that is observable. A wide bandwidth (several gigahertz) is desired for the relatively shallow snow covers encountered on Earth. We have demonstrated that this signal exists and can be observed both for a snow pack and for a fresh-water lake ice pack with ground-based observations. We have done this with a spectrum analyzer functioning as the radiometer receiver back-end: in the frequency domain, the delayed ray interferes with the direct ray to produce constructive maxima and destructive minima in the brightness spectra. But this technique is inherently slow, as the number of samples required is high and the instantaneous bandwidth is low. This frequency-domain approach is much too slow for spaceborne or even airborne observation. These observations also confirm the robustness of the approach to radio-frequency interference (RFI): since the observable is a time-delay and not a brightness magnitude, the narrow-band RFI does not mask the broadband WiBAR signature. We propose to develop a radiometer back-end that observes the entire spectrum of interest simultaneously, which will greatly reduce the observation time, possibly down to the order of milliseconds, which would make observations from a moving platform possible. We will then demonstrate the technological advancement in a direct comparison to the spectrum analyzer-based receiver measurement in a laboratory setting.
Voluntary Consensus Organization Standards for Nondestructive Evaluation of Aerospace Materials (including Additive Manufactured Parts)data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:54:27.000Z
<p>This NASA-industry effort accomplishes the following:</p><p>1) Lead collaboration between NASA Centers, other government agencies, industry, academia, and voluntary census organizations (ASTM Committees E07 on Nondestructive Testing, F42 on Additive Manufacturing (AM) Technologies, and ISO Technical Committee (TC) 261) to develop national standards for NDE of aerospace materials used in NASA/aerospace applications.</p><p>2) Lead a leveraged interlaboratory study (ILS) to develop NDE for qualification and certification of AM parts.</p><p>3) Lead ASTM E07 development and periodic revision of flat panel polymer matrix composite (PMC) standards: ASTM E2533 (Guide) , E2580 (ultrasonic testing (UT) , E2581 (shearography) , E2582 (flash thermography) , E2661 (acoustic emission) , E2662 (radiographic testing (RT)) , and draft work item WK40707 (active thermography).</p><p>4) Lead periodic revision of composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) standards: E2981 (overwrap)  and ASTM E2982 (liner) .</p><p>5) Develop a new NDE of AM Guide (ASTM WK47031) .</p><p>6) Develop a new eddy current test (ECT)-UT-profilometer standard practice or test method for fracture control of metal parts using 90/95 Probability of Detection (POD) of critical initial flaws sizes in metal parts (TBD).</p><p>7) Respond to NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) and NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) requests as needed (e.g., AM, advanced manufacturing, counterfeit parts and ESA/JAXA collaboration).</p><p>The historical standards development time line (Items 3 through 6) is shown in <strong>Figure 1</strong>. The WK47031 effort (Item 5) constitutes the bulk of the present focus and capitalizes on momentum created by the release of the FY14 <em>Nondestructive Evaluation of Additive Manufacturing</em> <em>State-of-the-Discipline Report </em>(NASA-TM-218560) . The ultimate goal vis-à-vis WK47031 is to determine the effect-of-defect of specific seeded flaw types while determining detection thresholds using controlled embedded features. A portion of this effort also dovetails with the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Universal ECT-UT-Profilometer Scanner project.</p> <p><strong>Background:</strong> One of the main obstacles slowing the acceptance and use of advanced materials (e.g., PMCs, COPVs and AM parts) in NASA and commercial space applications is the lack of a broadly accepted materials and process quality systems, including sensitive NDE procedures with well-defined accept-reject criteria. Matching VCO standards are also needed to ensure process and equipment control, finished part quality and consistent inspection methodologies for finished parts after manufacturing and after installation of parts in service. In AM, the possibility to ‘design to constraint’ offers a paradigm shift opening the door to make parts with shorter production lead times, less waste, improved cost, maximized properties, and reduced weight. However, to fully realize the merits of this and other advanced processing technologies, and to ensure parts of the highest quality end up in NASA/aerospace applications, new approaches to for in-situ monitoring NDE used during manufacturing, post-process NDE used on as-build and finished parts are needed. In AM, for example, NDE procedures must be able to detect flaw types (<strong>Figure 2</strong>), many of which are not found in cast, wrought or conventionally welded parts (<strong>Figure 3</strong>). Deeply embedded porosity, complex part geometry, and intricate internal features (e.g., lattice structures) impose additional challenges on conventional NDE.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Technical Approach: </strong> In the WK47031 effort (<strong>Figure 4</strong>), a NASA-led interlaboratory study (ILS) is currently being conducted to identify and refine NDE for inspection of AM aerospace parts. This effort is spread across g
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:08:25.000Z
Access to space for Small Satellites is enabled by the use of excess launch capacity on existing launch vehicles. A range of sizes, form factors and masses of small sats need to be accommodated. An integration process that minimizes programmatic/technical risk to the primary, allows "late flow" integration and predictable cost/schedule for the secondary enables regular and cost-effective access. The integration process proceeds smoothly when the right adapter accommodates the secondary in a seamless way. Design_Net, with our commercialization partner SpaceAvailable Inc. has designed a family of adapters that meet these criteria and one has been selected by NASA to complete development for targeted NASA rideshare opportunities. We are also currently working with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for a broader class of rideshare accommodations, and development of interfaces that allow late access on Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV)s. Design_Net will continue, via this SBIR Phase 2, to develop the selected adapter to a structurally tested engineering model. This adapter can accommodate everything from 6u and 12u carriers to full up "ORS class" (800lb) small satellites and is applicable to Minotaur IV, Falcon 9 and Taurus 2.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T10:53:04.000Z
<p>The project will develop a system of 3D-printed connectors that can be used as a kit of parts to connect inflatable air beams to form a variety of spacecraft interior outfitting components. Examples of inflatable IVA structures that can be assembled include crew quarters, waste & hygiene compartment, crew medical restraint system, splints, science payload racks, stowage and other equipment racks, science glove box, recreational devices, other portable devices, work surfaces and other workstations, support braces, other secondary structures, etc. This inflatable technology can enable such hardware to be packaged in much smaller volumes for delivery in logistics flights or potentially to be integrated within inflatable spacecraft, increasing trade space options. Crew can also reconfigure spacecraft in-flight, using the ability to 3D-print custom connectors to redesign living spaces or create entirely new interior architectures to respond to mission developments or psychosocial needs.</p> <p>The Habitabiltiy Design Center has already prototyped scale models of inflatable crew stations and initial prototypes of a standard interface connector. These connectors have demonstrated basic capability, but are too large relative to the airbeams for pracitcal use. We have a notional reduced size connector and will use this concept as a starting point, to fabricate and test under operational inflation pressures. Pending initial success, we will fabricate various connectors to provide several linear and angled connections. This will form the basic building block for assembly of a variety of crew stations and support hardware.</p><p> </p><p>This research addresses HAT Needs Numbers 12.1.a and 12.1.b and provides steps towards several HAT-specified performance targets: Bladder Material Selection: The potentially frequent cycles of inflation and deflation experienced by IVA inflatable structures will require bladder material and seal interfaces capable of resisting puncture, tear, flex cracking, or other damage due to folding, handling, or stowage temperatures. Predictive Modeling of Deployment Dynamics: Inflation or deflation may involve imparted torques and loads that require IVA inflatable structures to be anchored to the spacecraft secondary structure prior to the initiation of inflation or deflation. Lightweight Structures and Materials Optimization to Realize Structural System Dry Mass Savings (Minimum of 20-25%) and Operational Cost Savings: The inflatable air beam and connector technology offers significant dry mass savings over traditional IVA structural materials. Structural mass savings for an individual crew quarters is expected to be in excess of 75% over ISS crew quarters.</p><p> </p><p>The intended product deliverable of this activity includes three airbeams of at least 12-inch length and no less than one each of the following: 90-degree connector, 45-degree connector, 180-degree connector, 90-degree five-airbeam connector, 60-degree three-airbeam connector. Additionally, a test report and CAD models for each connector will constitute deliverables of this activity.</p><p> </p><p>Upon completion of this initial ICA effort, we will be able to demonstrate use of the airbeams in conjunction with existing Logistics to Living Modified Cargo Transfer Bags (MCTBs) to demonstrate deployable partitions as an initial example case. This demonistration will be helpful in explaining the potential for continued investment to reduce both mass and habitability risks. We will continue to pursue research funding for further development and will also pursue options to directly engage exploration programs to generate solutions for their specific mission architectures.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T10:45:44.000Z
Decomposing monopropellant hydrazine across a spontaneous catalyst bed is the gold standard for small propulsion systems responsible for attitude control on satellites and spacecraft. Such a propulsion system is both simple and reliable, and offers reasonable performance. However, the simplicity and reliability enjoyed today is the result of a nearly two-decade effort designed to identify and perfect a spontaneous catalyst. Modern hydrazine replacements generally do not work well with hydrazine catalysts, so the enormous costs associated with a new catalyst development effort have stalled the widespread acceptance of potential hydrazine replacements. Our proposed effort will explore the use of an alternative ignition source that eliminates the need for a catalyst bed entirely. It achieves the same simplicity enjoyed by traditional monopropellant propulsion systems, but dramatically increases thruster response time on both startup and especially shutdown. It requires low power because it exploits a unique property of most of the propellants often cited as the future replacement for hydrazine. It is also low cost because it requires a very low part count and development issues will be trivial.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T14:21:42.000Z
To achieve the capability to affordably produce scores of nano-spacecraft for envisioned constellation missions, a new manufacturing process is needed to reduce the time and cost of fabricating and testing the nanosats. However, to achieve substantial savings, a fundamental paradigm shift in how spacecraft are built must be made. Current spacecraft are built with the same processes and procedures used in the 1960?s, whereas electronics technology has gone far beyond that of the early days. So while the size of satellites has steadily decreased, the manufacturing time has not experienced similar reductions. Given that labor to build a satellite remains the single largest element of cost, the opportunity remains to dramatically shorten program schedules and lower cost through the infusion of new techniques and innovative processes in the construction of structures, electronics, harnessing and most importantly the testing process. AeroAstro proposes to set aside the conventional rule book and explore a broad range of Design for Manufacture material and process innovations that could lead to a dramatic shortening of the micro/nano-satellite manufacturing timeline with concomitant savings in unit manufacturing cost.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:05:53.000Z
Plants exhibit a robust transcriptional response to gamma radiation which includes the induction of transcripts required for homologous recombination and the suppression of transcripts that promote cell cycle progression. Various DNA damaging agents induce different spectra of DNA damage as well as collateral damage to other cellular components and therefore are not expected to provoke identical responses by the cell. Here we study the effects of two different types of ionizing radiation (IR) treatment HZE (1 GeV Fe26+ high mass high charge and high energy relativistic particles) and gamma photons on the transcriptome of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Both types of IR induce small clusters of radicals that can result in the formation of double strand breaks (DSBs) but HZE also produces linear arrays of extremely clustered damage. We performed these experiments across a range of time points (1.5-24 h after irradiation) in both wild-type plants and in mutants defective in the DSB-sensing protein kinase ATM. The two types of IR exhibit a shared double strand break-repair-related damage response although they differ slightly in the timing degree and ATM-dependence of the response. The ATM-dependent DNA metabolism-related transcripts of the xd2DSB response xd3 were also induced by other DNA damaging agents but were not induced by conventional stresses. Both Gamma and HZE irradiation induced at 24 h post-irradiation ATM-dependent transcripts associated with a variety of conventional stresses; these were overrepresented for pathogen response rather than DNA metabolism. In contrast only HZE-irradiated plants at 1.5 h after irradiation exhibited an additional and very extensive transcriptional response shared with plants experiencing extended night. This response was not apparent in gamma-irradiated plants. We treated 5-day-old WT and atm-1 seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana with 100 Gy of Gamma radiation (over a span of 15 minutes) or 30 Gy of HZE (over a span of approximately 12 minutes). Gamma irradiations were completed at 8:40 am while HZE irradiations were conducted in two runs (due to space limitations) which were completed at 1:09 and 1:28pm respectively. Gamma treated seedlings were sampled at 10:10 am 11:40 am 2:55 pm 8:40 pm and 8:40 am. HZE treated seedlings were sampled at 2:39 pm 4:09 pm 7:24 pm 1:09 am and 1:09 pm. Un-irradiated WT and atm-1 control seedlings were sampled at 10:45 am on Day #1 and 9:15 am on Day #2. There are a total of 22 experimental or control conditions with two replicates per condition yielding 44 samples overall.
Low-Cost Manufacturing Technique for Advanced Regenerative Cooling for In-Space Cryogenic Engines, Phase IIdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:29:08.000Z
The goal of the proposed effort is to use selective laser melting (SLM, an additive manufacturing technique) to manufacture a hot fire-capable, water-cooled spool piece that features an advanced regenerative cooling technique that combines high heat flux performance with low pressure drop. SLM enables us to "print" the spool piece in days, despite the complexity of the regenerative liner's inherent flow passage complexity. This reduction in manufacturing lead time, combined with the fact that SLM manufacturing costs are driven in large part by the amount of raw powder used during fabrication, results in a substantial cost reduction for future regeneratively-cooled rocket engines. Additionally, the proposed advanced regenerative cooling approach features a heat-pickup efficiency that is at least two orders of magnitude higher than traditional milled channel liners and/or brazed tube bundle chambers. As a result of our Phase I activity and confidence in our commercialization path, we will be making a capital investment to stand up an SLM manufacturing capability in house. We plan to augment that investment with an internally-funded trade study that we will use to derive main combustion chamber performance requirements for a future expander cycle engine. Those requirements will feed into Phase II design requirements and, ultimately, to supporting our commercialization opportunity presented by the Affordable Upper Stage Engine Program.