- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:02:22.000Z
This data set contains Calibrated data taken by the New Horizons Solar Wind Around Pluto instrument during the Pluto encounter mission phase. This is VERSION 3.0 of this data set. This data set contains SWAP observations taken during the the Approach (Jan-Jul, 2015), Encounter, Departure, and Transition mission sub-phases, including flyby observations taken on 14 July, 2015, and departure and calibration data through late October, 2016. This data set completes the Pluto mission phase deliveries for SWAP. This is version 3.0 of this dataset. Changes since version 2.0 include the addition of data downlinked between the end of January, 2016 and the end of October, 2016, completing the delivery of all data covering the Pluto Encounter and subsequent Calibration Campaign. Also, updates were made to the calibration files, documentation, and catalog files. Finally, downlink data several days beyond the end of the nominal end of mission phase were included in this data set in an attempt to fill out the products at the nominal end of mission phase; refer to the CONFIDENCE_LEVEL_NOTE in this data set catalog for more details.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:39:46.000Z
<p>Future astrophysics missions require efficient, low-temperature cryocoolers to cool advanced instruments or serve as the upper stage cooler for sub-Kelvin refrigerators. Potential astrophysics missions include Lynx, the Origin Space Telescope, and the Superconducting Gravity Gradiometer. Cooling loads for these missions are up to 300 mW at temperatures of 4 to 10 K, with additional loads at higher temperatures for other subsystems. Due to low jitter requirements, a cryocooler with very low vibration is needed for many missions. In addition, a multi-stage cooler, capable of providing refrigeration at more than one temperature simultaneously, can provide the greatest system efficiency with the lowest mass. Turbo-Brayton cryocoolers have space heritage and are ideal for these missions due to negligible vibration emittance and high efficiency at low temperatures. The primary limitation in implementing Brayton cryocoolers at temperatures below 10 K has been the development of high efficiency turbines. On the proposed program, Creare plans to leverage recent developments in gas bearing technology and low-temperature alternators to realize a high-efficiency, low-temperature turbine. On the Phase I project, we will perform a proof-of-concept demonstration of the turbine technology at temperatures down to 4 K. On the Phase II project, we will build and demonstrate an advanced low-temperature turbine at temperatures of 4 to 10 K.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:06:13.000Z
<p>We propose to use laboratory measurements to calibrate spectroscopic electron density diagnostics relevant for solar physics to accuracies of better than 20%. Our results will be directly applicable to solar spectroscopy and can also be used to test theoretical calculations. Improving the accuracy of density diagnostics will increase the scientific return of current and planned solar missions such as Hinode, SDO, Solar Orbiter, Solar-C, and sounding rocket observations such as EUNIS. This work will address the Laboratory Nuclear, Atomic, and Plasma Physics element of the Heliophysics Technology and Instrument Development for Science program. Density is a key parameter for solar physics. It is used to determine the energy and force balance in various solar regions and to understand the nature of solar structures. Among the numerous areas in which accurate density measurements are needed are coronal heating, coronal seismology, coronal mass ejections, solar flares, and understanding the nature of inhomogeneous structures in the solar atmosphere. The primary density diagnostics for solar plasmas use ratios of emission line intensities, at least one of which is density sensitive. This sensitivity arises due to the atomic physics of the system. It depends on the collisional excitation and deexcitation rates and radiative transition rates for the several atomic levels directly involved in the transition, as well as cascade contributions from many higher energy levels. Essentially all of these data comes from theoretical calculations, which have not been adequately tested. The theoretical results are usually compared to other calculations or to observed solar spectra, neither of which independently tests the theory. Moreover, the calculations rarely provide any uncertainty estimates and large systematic errors are possible depending on the complexity of the atomic model used. A recent comparison of several diagnostic line ratios showed discrepancies in the inferred density of factors of 2 to 10. This implies that observations are unable to accurately interpret spectra in order to describe solar structures, which severely limits our ability to model the underlying physics. Our measurements will reduce the uncertainty of density diagnostics by an order of magnitude. We will calibrate density sensitive line intensity ratios using the Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. EBIT is a cylindrical trap, in which an axial magnetic field guides an electron beam running along the axis. The electron beam forms an electric potential well that confines the ions in the radial direction, while biased electrodes at each end provide axial confinement. Collisions between the ions and the electron beam ionize and excite the trapped ions. By adjusting the electron beam parameters we can vary the density in the trap and measure how the various line intensity ratios change. The ion emission line spectra will be measured using high resolution ultraviolet spectrometers. The electron beam density will be derived from the electron current and X-ray or extreme ultraviolet images of the beam. The effective density experienced by the ions depends on the overlap of the ion cloud with the electron beam. To determine the overlap, the geometry of the ion cloud will be measured using an optical CCD. The resulting effective electron density will range from 1E8 to 1E13 cm-3. We will also compare our results to new theoretical calculations and to published atomic data in order to identify the underlying causes of any discrepancies we find. We will concentrate on ions most relevant for solar physics. For example, we will measure diagnostics from Fe IX - XIII found in the 170-210 Angstrom wavelength band, as these lines and wavelengths are observed by various solar spectrometers. We will also measure diagnostic line ratios from other ions and wavelengths that are important for specific instruments.</p>
Development and Space Environmental Testing of a new Low-Cost Induction Magnetometer for Small Satellitesdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:07:02.000Z
<p>Science Goals and Objectives: A fundamental parameter of the Sun-Earth space environment is the magnetic field. The magnetic field of the Sun and Earth constrain the motion of the plasma and energetic particle environment, define different boundaries (shocks, discontinuities) and regions of the Sun-Earth system, and interact with the plasma environment through waves and magnetic reconnection to energize and interconnect the solar and terrestrial plasma environments. Small satellites, such as CubeSats, enable the development of future constellation missions that have scores of spacecraft. Recently “deep space” CubeSats have been proposed that could be used for a magnetosphere constellation mission to measure the structure of the Earth’s magnetotail to determine the spatial scale of phenomena such as bursty bulk flows, reconnection sites, the general convection patterns in the plasma sheet, and magnetic structures such as flux rope plasmoids. Such a constellation mission in combination with MHD models provide the first ever global time evolving vector field and streamline images of the magnetotail. In order to meet these science objectives low-cost, low-volume, low-mass and low-power vector magnetometers are needed on each spacecraft. These magnetometers will provide a snapshot of the global magnetotail magnetic field that can be used to identify magnetotail regions and energy state, provides crucial observations of signatures of dynamic processes such as magnetic reconnection, flux rope formation and evolution, magnetic flux convection, and the ULF wave environment. The magnetic field strength provides the information needed for calculations of the particle phase space density, plasma Beta, and Alfvén speed. Because of its importance for understanding essentially all of the outstanding questions in space physics and its importance for space weather predictions, essentially all future NASA Heliophysics missions require a vector magnetometer so this instrument development proposal would have broad impact. Methodology: To address the science requirements of future Heliophysics missions and to enable large scale-constellation missions, this proposal has a goal of reducing the cost (to $1000s of dollars), mass (order of 10 grams), volume (about 2 cm3) and power (< 100 mW) of traditional fluxgate magnetometers by an order of magnitude over those currently flown while having comparable precision, noise-level, linearity, and stability. The UM new digital induction magnetometer takes advantage of mobile phone magnetometer sensor development to reduce the mass, power consumption, and increase the radiation tolerance of the fluxgate magnetometer. The instrument does not use an A/D converter making it much more radiation tolerant than traditional fluxgate magnetometer designs. The commercial magneto-inductive magnetometer from PNI is modified and used with custom-built sensors to increase the sensitivity. In the new induction magnetometer, the magnetic field is measured by counting the time between flips of the magnetic induction of the circuit, which is dependent on the strength of the applied DC field [Leuzinger and Taylor, 2010]. One of the hidden costs of fluxgate magnetometers is the need for a boom. This drives up the complexity of the mission and adds significant mass due to cabling and the boom itself. By driving down the resource needs and cost of the magnetometer, a new approach can be incorporated in CubeSats that eliminates the need for a boom [e.g., Sheinker and Moldwin, 2015]. This approach places several magnetometers inside and on the bus to be able to identify spacecraft magnetic signals in the data so that the external field can be recovered with processing and careful magnetic cleanliness and characterization prior to launch.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:07:30.000Z
OBJECTIVES: A major challenge for infrared remote sensing instruments of cold outer solar system targets is simultaneously detecting surface composition as well as surface temperatures. For cold targets <200K, the weak solar insolation results in thermal emission being in the far-IR. Given compositional signature are sensed in mid-IR, the science instrument needs a broad spectral grasp extending to the far-IR. The instrument development proposed here will determine surface composition and temperature of cold targets by using two focal planes to measure simultaneously both the mid- and far-IR. The objective of the proposal is to develop to TRL 3 a versatile infrared imaging spectrometer, spanning the spectral wavelength range 7 to 50 µm, with spectroscopic measurements in the 7-14 µm range and radiometric band measurements spanning 7-50 µm. This instrument is ideal for missions to airless bodies, including but not limited to Triton on a future Neptune Flagship-class mission, Trojan Asteroids, Enceladus or Io New Frontiers class missions. This instrument will build on substantial existing heritage and investments at GSFC, including the Voyager IRIS, Cassini CIRS, and recently a Thermal IMager for Europa Reconnaissance and Science (TIMERS) concept developed under Instrument Concepts for Europa Exploration (ICEE). The proposed instrument development will provide NASA a cold target optimized thermal imaging spectrometer to study cryovolcanism, heat flow, composition, and terrain. The innovative dual-focal plane design provides simultaneous mapping at mid and far IR wavelengths. The baseline design uses a custom 4-line 32 thermopile pixel array and a 384x288 pixel microbolometer array. The instrument has the capability to resolve temperature contrast to an accuracy of better than or equal to 2 K for surface temperatures greater than 70 K. The instrument can also provide 7-14 µm spectra of the surface with a spectral resolution of 200-350. METHODOLOGY: The thermal imaging spectrometer proposed here will build on substantial work that has already been done at GSFC on thermal instruments. In particular, this proposal will develop the key measurement concept namely the thermopile focal plane, which measures thermal radiation with multiple channels from 7-50 µm and allows some light to pass into a optical backend that measures the spectra from 7-14 µm. This backend consists of an Offner spectrometer that incorporates a grating and images a slit onto a microblomter array. Designed for pushbroom operation, the spacecraft velocity will be used to map the surface. The project has a work plan to develop the instrument over 3 years to TRL 3. We will begin with optical, mechanical and focal plane subsystem development, and finish with fabrication of key components to demonstrate key elements and provide a proof of concept of instrument capabilities. RELEVANCE: The proposed instrument development project responds directly to the PICASSO goal “to conduct planetary and astrobiology science instrument feasibility studies, concept formation, proof of concept instruments, and advanced component technology development.” The specific missions that we are targeting are a Flagship-class mission – currently under study by the Ice Giants Science Definition Team – and also New Frontiers missions to Io, Enceladus and Trojan asteroids. We will achieve this goal through development of a proof of concept prototype. Through infrared thermal mapping of planetary surfaces, this instrument will directly address science questions raised in the 2013 Decadal Survey for Planetary Sciences.
SCEPS In Space - Non-Radioisotope Power Systems for Sunless Solar System Exploration Missions (Phase II)data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:03:34.000Z
Stored Chemical Energy Power Systems (SCEPS) have been used in U.S. Navy torpedos for decades. The Penn State Applied Research Lab proposes to continue the study of applying this robust, high-energy-density concept to exploration missions that can't be powered by sunlight. Plutonium could be used, but its scarcity leaves many targets unexplored. In the NIAC Phase II study we will mature the Venus mission studied in Phase I and expand understanding of SCEPS for other targets. Testing will be done to determine SCEPS performance using CO2 as an oxidizer (Venus' atmosphere), and the Venus mission key risk areas addressed. Venus science goals will be revisited to prepare the Venus concept for the next level of study. Also, we will engage with the leaders in science planning for small bodies (asteroids and comets), outer planets (Jupiter's and Saturn's moons), and robotic missions to our own Moon and make a determination of the first, most high-impact use of SCEPS in space.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:05:20.000Z
<p>Develop the algorithms and prototype software for computing robust trajectory solutions that combines one-way onboard radiometric measurements with optical imagery that is part of autonomous navigation system for deep space exploration. With the advent of NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, operationally accurate and reliable one-way radiometric data sent from a radio beacon (i.e., a DSN antenna or other spacecraft) and collected using a spacecraft’s radio receiver enables the development and use of autonomous radio navigation. Autonomous navigation using NASA’s AutoNav software system (developed by JPL) has been a critical technology for many deep space missions, including Deep Space 1, Stardust, and Deep Impact. For these missions, autonomous navigation was conducted using passive optical imaging of nearby bodies with an on-board camera system. Optical data provides strong angular information about a spacecraft’s ‘plane-of-sky’ relationship to the object being imaged. Range (or ‘line-of-sight’) information, orthogonal to the plane-of-sky, is more difficult to determine from optical data due to parallax issues of observations taken from far distances. A more direct measure of line-of-sight is obtained with radiometric tracking of range and Doppler. These measurements compliment the optical data such that, when combined with optical, yield a more complete, almost kinematic, robust solution for a spacecraft’s absolute position in space. Indeed, the fusion of these two data types is central to an autonomous deep space navigation capability that will be needed for a wide range of future missions – examples include autonomous landings on small or large bodies, human asteroid and Mars explorations, and efficient navigation for future orbiters and interplanetary craft.</p><p>Space explorers – robotic or human - need to safely navigate the depths of the solar system with the tools available to them. They need reliable, abundant, and timely information telling them their trajectory so that they can plan an effective course. With both the number and complexity of robotic mission operations increasing, and the advent of solar system exploration by humans, there is a need to have robust, fault tolerant, on-board, and automated navigation. The DS-1, Deep Impact, and Stardust missions proved the viability of autonomous navigation, that was even mission critical for defined, short lived mission phases (i.e., chasing the impactor for DI, or comet flyby for Stardust). However, autonomous navigation has not become routine. It is not yet safe enough to ‘cut the cord’ with Earthly bound navigators - breakthroughs are required. Another benefit that could be realized with the deployment of reliable autonomous navigation is a significant reduction in DSN utilization via combining optical and radio (with DSAC) data thus reducing tracking requirements in cruise, and, at places such as Mars, taking full advantage of Multiple Spacecraft per Aperture for tracking.</p><p>This technology task is developing a new extensions to JPL’s AutoNav that will provide qualitatively new capabilities, crossing the threshold into the realm of reliable and safe on-board navigation by capitalizing on the technology advancement provided by DSAC for conducting one-way radio navigation. DSAC coupled with a capable radio (such as the Universal Space Transponder in development) solves the measurement problem – routine collection of Doppler and, with some enhancements to the DSN, range are now possible. However, AutoNav cannot yet process this data; enhancements to AutoNav’s measurement modeling, dynamic modeling, and state estimation capabilities are required. The requisite models exist today in JPL’s ground software, but these do not take into account the realities of an onboa
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:02:48.000Z
This data set contains Calibrated data taken by the New Horizons Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera instrument during the pluto cruise mission phase. This is VERSION 1.0 of this data set. The spacecraft was in hibernation for much of the Pluto Cruise mission phase, and the focus for RALPH (MVIC and LEISA) during Annual CheckOuts one through four (ACO1-4) was preparation for the Pluto Encounter in 2015, including functional tests, and calibrations. Science observations performed during this phase included Uranus and Neptune at phase angles (44 degrees and 34 degrees, respectively) not available from Earth (MVIC), calibrations with Neptune as a navigation test target (MVIC), Sun in the Solar Illumination Assembly (SIA) (MVIC and LEISA), the M6 and M7 clusters (MVIC), and other calibrations (stray light, dark, interference with other instruments).
Development of a new time of flight particle telescope for ion mass composition of solar energetic particlesdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:43:57.000Z
Scientists and engineers from The Aerospace Corporation propose to develop a new time of flight by energy mass spectrometer using a new technology: carbon solid state detectors (diamond detectors). The proposed research project will further test a new instrument concept using diamond detectors in a time of flight by energy mass spectrometer. Diamond detectors are a relatively new technology, and they have many benefits over the standard silicon and germanium solid state detectors. Diamond detectors have significantly higher radiation tolerance compared to silicon and germanium detectors, and critical to this proposed project, diamond detectors have much faster response times, on the order of 10 ps (1e-11 seconds). When combined with commercially available ultra-fast preamplifiers and electronics, we have already demonstrated in the lab that two of these detectors can be used to measure the time of flight and energy deposit of >10 MeV heavy ions over a detector separation distance of < 10 cm. Those lab tests served as a proof-of-concept of the successful functionality of the critical components of the new instrument, which raised the technology readiness level (TRL) of this concept to TRL-3. We are proposing to continue development of this new instrument concept and design and develop a prototype instrument that will be tested in a relevant lab environment, raising the TRL to TRL-6. If successful, the proposed development will render this instrument ready for inclusion on proposed missions of opportunity. The prototype instrument will be designed with efficiency in mind, with our goal being an instrument with size, weight, and power specifications that will allow it to be flight-tested on a future CubeSat mission. The instrument design will benefit from Aerospace’s decades-long participation and leadership in energetic particle telescope design; it will incorporate the state-of-the-art electronics and materials technology that Aerospace has developed over its well-established history developing instruments for energetic particle detection. Furthermore, we will take full advantage of Aerospace’s long-standing partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab 88-inch cyclotron facility, where we will test the performance of the instrument at discriminating the mass and measuring the energy of a cocktail of different >10 MeV ions (including protons). This project has the potential to provide an entirely new type of instrument for the detection and very high energy ions, providing a very accurate measure of the incident ion energy as well as discriminating the mass of the ions, enabling ion composition studies of energetic populations such as solar energetic particles (SEPs), trapped radiation in planetary magnetospheres, and potentially even anomalous cosmic rays. The proposed project also tests a new technology, diamond detectors, and broadens our understanding of the potential uses for this technology in the process.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:44:00.000Z
The UV spectral range has been specifically identified in the Decadal Survey as it is rich with key information that can be employed to study planetary systems. Ultraviolet spectroscopy has previously enabled studies of emission from atmospheres & exospheres, surface activity, and plasma properties related to bodies ranging from planetesimals to satellites to the major planets. The UV spectral range also provides diagnostics of surface characteristics including mineralogy, frost & condensation, and bulk ices. Because of these reasons, UV spectrometers have been included on most planetary missions dating back to the 1960s. We propose to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of a compact, modular ultraviolet and visible imaging spectrometer that employs advanced detector, optical coatings, and grating. The instrument will enable the elimination of high voltage power requirements as well as a reduction in mass and volume; it will also exhibit reduced sensitivity to radiation and it will have higher dynamic range and greater overall stability. As part of the proposed effort, we will mature the spectrometer by advancing the delta-doped detector camera subsystem. We will evaluate the performance of the camera in CU-Boulder’s testbed. University of Arizona will provide science objectives to help guide development, and will evaluate individual components as well as the full instrument in their testbed.