Monolithic Power Integrated Circuits for Merging Power Electronics, Management, and Distribution, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:23:32.000Z
APIQ Semiconductor proposes development of a scalable, wide bandgap (WBG) monolithic power integrated circuit (MPIC) technology for power electronic conversion, management, and distribution. The proposed WBG microelectronics are to be based upon low defect, homogeneous gallium nitride (GaN) based materials using native GaN substrates. The technology to be developed will replace silicon power switches and drivers in power electronics systems to yield high efficiency, high density, reliable module based systems. Inclusive in the proposal are devices for 1200 V or more power switching and digital integration. Devices will be evaluated for high temperature and heavy ion radiation hardness, with performance improvements over competing technologies expected from low materials defects and carefully managed electric field profiles.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:14:30.000Z
Our project investigated whether a software platform could integrate as wide a variety of devices and data types as needed for spaceflight biomedical support. The SpaceMED v2.2 prototype system was successfully developed and consists of 3 separable software layers: 1. MEDcomm: listens for medical and environmental devices over multiple communication protocol standards, connects to the devices, collects and time-stamps data, and packages that data for robust communication to the MEDproxy layer. It supports USB mass storage, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet protocols, most any 802.15.4 radio bridge (e.g., devices using Zigbee or ANT+ protocols), and filesystem-accessible locations. Devices from 7 distinct manufacturers plus any device that makes data available in file format are supported. 2. MEDproxy: receives data from MEDcomm and routes it to the data archive and MEDview graphical displays. The data archive includes a table for telemetry data, a repository for file-based data, and a metadata store which provides pointers to the stored files and data channels. MEDproxy also hosts webservice and websocket data interfaces. 3. MEDview: runs inside a web browser for query and viewing of both real time and historical data from multiple medical sensors using nearly any computing platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, tablet, smart phones). The MEDproxy webservice uses a login page for security and customization. The search page enables selection of individual or multiple datasets for display, whether historical or real-time. Control of an external device can also be achieved via MEDview. These three modules can be co-located on the same computer (standalone configuration), or distributed across multiple computers or devices. A radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based system was also developed, for rapid association of devices with patients and/or locations. SpaceMED has demonstrated a throughput of over 20,000 samples per second for telemetry data, equivalent to 10 simultaneous 12-lead ECG systems running simultaneously at 250Hz. Long-duration benchmarking and physiology laboratory analog testing with human participants using 8 sensors over 4 hour experiments were also successfully conducted. Importantly, SpaceMED can be configured to automatically forward all acquired data to NASA's Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD). User training of NASA EMSD developers was conducted to facilitate SpaceMED integration and utilization with EMSD. The delivered SpaceMED v2.2 prototype is thus capable of highly automated collection, management, and display of both telemetry and multimedia data in real-time or via the data archive. Our integration efforts enable all data collected by SpaceMED to be automatically transferred to NASA's EMSD databases. SpaceMED could serve as a smart operating system underlying biomedical and environmental devices, eventually to be integrated with guided-procedures, decision-support, and therapeutic systems.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T22:59:10.000Z
The operating conditions of conventional multijunction solar cells are severely limited by the current matching requirements of serially connected devices. The goal of this SBIR program is to enhance the operating tolerance of high efficiency III-V solar cells by employing nanostructured materials in an advanced device design. By using quantum wells and quantum dots embedded in a higher band gap barrier material, solar cell devices that avoid the limitations of current matching can be constructed. This Phase I effort will focus on quantifying the trade-offs between short circuit current and open circuit voltage in InGaP / InGaAs nanostructures. Ultimately, the technical approach employed in this program has the potential of achieving conversion efficiencies exceeding 50% with a single p-n junction device, enabling improved overall performance and lower manufacturing costs than existing technologies.
- 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).
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:48:05.000Z
InVADER will study underwater hydrothermal systems at Axial Seamount, the largest and most active volcano on western boundary of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate off the coast of Oregon. The vents at the Axial Seamount generate chemical energy which can sustain life, and are high-fidelity analogues to putative vent systems on Ocean Worlds. Our investigation will include in-situ observation, real-time data gathering and interpretation, and sample collection, analysis, and return. To support these efforts, we propose a research program with three main goals. Goal 1 - Science: Characterize the geochemistry, geobiology, and metabolic activity in Axial Seamount as an analog for planetary exploration. We will identify active microbial metabolisms in hydrothermal environments through in-situ and laboratory analyses of returned samples. In parallel, we will characterize the mineralogy, hydrothermal fluid characteristics, and geological context of vent systems. Goal 2 - Science Operations: Validate science operations strategies, adaptive science data processing, and instrument control. We will: perform laboratory LRS/LIBS/LINF measurements of hydrothermal fluid and mineral samples; test science operations and science planning strategies in the field; develop data fusion strategies for the synergistic visualization and exploitation of science data; and develop, test, and validate new exploration strategies based on in-situ laser sensing and sample coring. Goal 3 - Technology: Demonstrate InVADER's astrobiology technology. We will: performance-test InVADER with natural samples (both fluid and precipitates) from hydrothermal vent sites; deploy InVADER and perform in-situ analyses in Axial Seamount; develop routines for recording imaging and spectroscopic data, first level science data processing, and sample caching, analysis, and return. To implement these Goals, we will integrate and deploy an astrobiology payload that features a combination of rapid, in-situ, standoff analyses and sample coring instruments: stereo optical imaging; laser Raman spectroscopy, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, and laser-induced native fluorescence (LRS/LIBS/LINF); and a coring tool. Both the imaging and coring systems have been successfully tested underwater. The spectroscopy suite is a replica of an existing TRL 4 system for planetary exploration. We will install the payload into the OOI Cabled Array, a chain of power/data distribution nodes connected by subsea telecom cable. InVADER will integrate a payload containing 3D visual mapping and LRS/LIBS/LINF technologies into a divebot. This payload will enable standoff determinations of: a) relevant disequilibria in vent systems, b) composition and mineralogy of hydrothermal chimneys and associated precipitates, c) relevant small-scale features that are indicators of vent geochemistry and/or habitability, and d) the presence and distribution of organics. Thus, the project is relevant to PSTAR's overarching objectives and addresses multiple areas of Science, Technology, and Science Operations fidelity. While these vent characteristics can be analyzed using existing technologies, such analyses cannot, at present, be conducted simultaneously, in an autonomous, non-destructive rapid way. InVADER aims to fill these gaps, and advance readiness in vent exploration on Earth and ocean worlds by simplifying operational strategies for identifying and characterizing seafloor vents. We will integrate and apply a novel technology package for the search for signatures of life in extreme underwater environments, thereby addressing the call for "development and application of technologies that support science investigations ... and identification of life and life-related chemistry in extreme environments." Our team brings expertise in geochemistry, mineralogy, and astrobiology of hydrothermal systems, as well as ocean engineering, spectroscopy, robotics, science operations, and analog research.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:37:24.000Z
One of the biggest problems facing spaceflight today is the accumulation of orbital debris because it threatens the successful operation and lifespan of existing satellites. The predominant cause of orbital debris is the jettisoning of launch vehicle upper stages after their usefulness is over once a rocket reaches orbit altitude. While their orbit slowly decays, these obsolete upper stages then share an orbit with valuable satellites presenting a danger to those satellites by either hitting them or hitting other rocket bodies and breaking into smaller pieces which can be just as dangerous but become much harder to track. These collisions potentially add an exponentially growing number of debris in orbit. One way to reduce the number of rocket bodies in orbit is to have a drag device connected to the upper stage of the launch vehicle that deploys once it is jettisoned from the payload. The intent of this device is to increase atmospheric drag and thus accelerate deorbit. By reducing the time debris is in orbit we will reduce the amount of debris thereby reducing the threat to satellites. When designing this device, it is important to minimize the packaged mass and volume of the final design to minimize the impact on the launch vehicle payload capacity. This project requires background research to accumulate data on upper stage sizes and masses, final orbits, and the current time it takes them to deorbit. An orbital mechanics review would be required to determine the effectiveness of the drag device compared to size. This research will help to develop initial requirements to start the design phase of the device. The design depends greatly on the materials and the dynamics of the device. It requires a flexible membrane to allow packaging, and foldable booms to stiffen the membrane once it is deployed. These will most likely be made from composite materials. The dynamics will be determined through computer models and simulations, followed by the building of various prototypes to test the deployment and folding configurations. Testing the deployment will occur in three phases. The first is by offloading the gravity within the lab to facilitate quick design iterations based on test results. The second is testing the deployment in a reduced gravity aircraft for higher fidelity testing. Finally, it will be tested in space on either a cubesat or launch vehicle upper stage. The results of each round of testing will allow the design and models to be improved. The research required for this device applies to the technology area 12.3 Mechanical Systems because of the subsection 12.3.1 Deployables, Docking and Interfaces. This lower level element emphasizes the importance of being able to overcome the constraints of launch vehicle fairing size. The area of deployable space structures is still a fairly new research topic with a lot of room for development and study. This project will definitely help to increase the body of knowledge on the dynamics, design techniques, and testing techniques. The necessity for a reliable restraint/release mechanism will benefit development research, as well, as this is a very important aspect of any deployment system. The flexible sail material will require development and research into how flexible membranes stow and respond to the environment of space. Finally, it is possible that the goal of this project will necessitate a fairly large deployable, which would increase research data for large lightweight stiff deployables.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:31:35.000Z
<p>WRANGLER will accomplish these functions by combining two innovative technologies that have been developed by TUI: the GRASP deployable net capture device, and the SpinCASTER tether deployer/winch mechanism. Successful testing of both technologies in a microgravity environment has established these technology components at mid-TRL maturity. The leverage offered by using a tether to extract angular momentum from a rotating space object enables a very small nanosatellite system to de-spin a very massive asteroid or large spacecraft. The WRANGLER system is suitable for an incremental development program that will validate the technology through an affordable test flight in which a nanosatellite launched on a rideshare opportunity would capture and de-spin the upper state used to launch it.</p>
Lightweight and Compace Multifunction Computer-Controlled Strength and Aerobic Training Device, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:03:34.000Z
TDA Research proposes to develop a computer-controlled lightweight and compact device for aerobic and resistive training (DART) to counteract muscular atrophy and bone loss and to improve the overall wellness of astronauts operating in microgravity. The DART will be able to provide resistive loads up to 350 lbf and will accurately simulate the load profile of a mass in a 1-g environment. It will also be capable of applying custom load profiles such as eccentric overloading. In aerobic training mode, the DART will simulate the loads of a rowing machine with loads up to 175. The system will computer-controlled and can automatically calibrate to a user's range of motion. The total weight of the device will be less than 20 lbs and have a compact form factor to enable integration into a small crew module. By using a regenerative energy recovery system, the average power consumption of the DART will be less than 100 W during an exercise session. TDA is able to build on previous experience building exercise equipment for NASA and develop the DART in a short timeframe. TDA will prove the feasibility of providing effective aerobic and resistive training with a single device that is lightweight and compact in Phase I. At the end of Phase I a prototype will be delivered to NASA for evaluation. In Phase II we will advance the technology and provide the second generation prototype to NASA for testing on the International Space Station.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:45:37.000Z
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop new solar cells based on a ferroelectric semiconductor absorber material that can yield a 30% increase in efficiency and a 20% increase in specific power compared with current triple-junction III-V cells. These gains will be realized by exploiting a unique charge separation mechanism in ferroelectrics that enables open-circuit voltages many times the band gap, leading to maximum power conversion efficiencies exceeding the conventional Shockley-Queisser limit (33%). PSI and team members will create photovoltaic cells based on Earth-abundant SnS stabilized in a ferroelectric state by epitaxial strain engineering. By combining above-gap cell voltages with the high absorption coefficient (<1 x 105 cm-1 at 500 nm), low density (5.22 g/cm3), and ideal band gap (1.1 eV) of SnS, a mass-specific power density of 120 kW/kg (mass of absorber material, 1 um absorber thickness) is projected. In addition, a maximum cell efficiency of >45% is anticipated to be achievable. Importantly, these cells will also offer improved radiation resistance due to the reduced carrier diffusion lengths required by the unique ferroelectric charge separation mechanism. During Phase I, PSI, guided by first-principles calculations conducted by the PARADIM Center at Cornell University, will demonstrate room-temperature ferroelectric ordering in SnS through epitaxial strain engineering. During Phase II, PSI and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will demonstrate the potential of the proposed absorber by achieving above-band gap open-circuit voltages in prototype cells. During a Phase III effort, the efficiency of these cells will be increased to a target value of 45% through reduction of intrinsic defects, leading to substantial improvements in cell size, weight, and power output.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:46:54.000Z
Scientific/Technical/Management Science Goals and Objectives: A major goal of the NASA planetary space program has been the search for life in our solar system. On Mars, this effort has been focused on the successful search for water and habitability. The next step will be searching specific locations for signs of past life. One of the most promising places are the hydrothermal sinter deposits in the Nili Patera caldera of the Syrtis Major volcano. These deposits would have been long-lived, with the suitable environmental conditions and provide a well-mapped feature for a targeted mission. To prepare for this type of mission, we propose a series of experiments and field operations to develop the required methodologies. Operating at an extinct hot spring deposit in a Martian analog and extreme life environment in Iceland, we will collect samples and in-situ measurements to determine the resolutions and data sets required to answer the key mission objectives. We will also test trafficability to determine the spacecraft capabilities required for mission success. The proposed advancements break down into the categories of Science, Science Operations and Technology. Science objectives will focus building on the extensive set of terrestrial literature to answer questions specific to this mission. For example, how do we identify all potential signs of life preserved in the sinters and how to sinters record signs of environmental and volcanic properties. Specific to this proposal will be to understand what spacecraft instruments will be required to answer these questions. Science Operations will focus on the suite of instruments needed to operate together to answer the mission goals and what type of samples and mobility will be required for success. The Technology section will be to develop the methods to meet the requirements determined by the science effort. This includes sample collection and handling methodology and determining a plan to develop currently available field instruments into planetary capable versions. Methodology: Dr. Skok will lead a diverse team of hydrothermal, biological and instrumental experts to study a comparable hot spring deposit in Iceland to examine all the potential mission issues and scenarios, along with sample requirements. A combination of lab analysis of collected samples and in-situ deployment of field instruments will be used to prepare for this future mission. Relevance to Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research: This proposal meets the stated PSTAR goal of funding projects to planetary analog sites to develop the technologies and methodologies required for future missions, especially to extreme environments. Hot spring environments are key habitats on Earth and provide a planetary independent energy source and habitable zone.