- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:06:03.000Z
Cog-Gauge is a portable hand-held game that can be used by astronauts and crew members during space exploration missions to assess their cognitive workload decrements that possibly result from fatigue, stress, or neurocognitive deficits. Cog-Gauge combines behavioral workload assessment using a dual-task approach with predictive workload models to counter the effects of game learning. The game will be built using an iterative usability driven approach where emphasis will be placed on building an engaging relevant game that builds from contextual task analysis and user profiling. The specific technical challenges foreseen are integrating two approaches of cognitive workload modeling, and using learning curves to model game learning, then using algorithms to determine a user's workload as soon as they complete a timed interaction with the game. Specific questions to address pertain to feasibility of proposed solution and hardware/software requirements.
Integrated SiC Super Junction Transistor-Diode Devices for High-Power Motor Control ModulesOoperating at 500 C, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T11:07:58.000Z
Monolithic Integrated SiC Super Junction Transistor-JBS diode (MIDSJT) devices are used to construct 500<sup>o</sup>C capable motor control power modules for direct integration with the exploration rovers required to operate in Venus-like environments. The Phase I of this proposed work will focus on the integrated MIDSJT device development and high-temperature packaging. Phase II will focus on the integration of the MIDSJT devices to construct full 3-Phase Inverter Motor Control Modules. Although SiC is the semiconductor material of choice for fabricating high-temperature (> 150 <sup>o</sup> C) power electronics, existing SiC MOSFET and JFET based transistor device technologies perform poorly at temperatures exceeding 200 <sup>o</sup> C. The proposed gate oxide-free Integrated MIDSJT device technology will overcome several problems associated with existing SiC device technologies by: (A) exhibiting desirable normally-OFF operation yet best-in-class on-state characteristics at temperatures as high as 500 <sup>o</sup> C, (B) eliminating parasitic inductances/capacitances associated with interconnecting discrete devices, and (C) eliminating high-temperature gate oxide reliability issues. Special device designs and fabrication processes will be investigated in this work for reliable device operation at 500 <sup>o</sup> C. Novel power device packaging techniques in the areas of power substrate, die-attach, chip metallization and wire bonds will be explored to demonstrate reliable module operation at 500 <sup>o</sup> C after several thermal cycles.
Validation of the NSBRI Astronaut Cardiovascular Health and Risk Modification (ASTRO-CHARM) Integrated Cardiovascular Risk Calculatordata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:04:16.000Z
In 2012, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) supported the development of an integrated tool, termed the Astronaut Cardiovascular Health and Risk Modification (ASTRO-CHARM) Integrated Cardiovascular Risk Calculator. The initial version of this tool was delivered to NSBRI in February of 2014 and has already been implemented in spaceflight on an ad hoc basis. This project seeks to update and validate the ASTRO-CHARM calculator. <p></p> Specific Aim 1: To refine the ASTROCHARM tool using extended cardiovascular (CV) event data. Version 1 of the ASTROCHARM tool comprised 6782 subjects with a 159 CV events over a mean follow up of 7.5 years. Both the Dallas Heart Study (DHS) and Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) have now extended their CV event follow up to 10 years. Given the younger age of the cohort and resultant lower event rates, enhancing the endpoint numbers will provide more stability and accuracy for the updated risk score model (ASTRO-CHARM version 2.0). <p></p> Specific Aim 2: To validate the ASTROCHARM tool using the Framingham Heart Study coronary artery calcium (CAC) cohort. The ASTRO-CHARM tool demonstrated robust measures of internal validity when assessed in the original combined cohort. These included accurate event rate calibration, as well as improvement in the c-statistic and clinical risk reclassification compared with traditional risk factors alone. However, external validation in another cohort is essential before broader implementation. The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) is the highly regarded original large U.S.-based population-based cohort, where CV risk scores originated. A cohort of the FHS underwent CAC scanning including 2740 subjects <65 years of age, with a mean 8 years of CV event follow up data, and is an ideal study in which to validate the ASTRO-CHARM model. <p></p> Specific Aim 3: To develop a mobile device application to facilitate broad implementation of the ASTRO-CHARM tool. The near universal availability of mobile technologies has enabled broader use of more sophisticated risk scores. Prior versions such as the Framingham Risk Score initially used tabular formats and adding of integer points, and were infrequently utilized in clinical practice. The Pooled Cohort Equation as part of the New 2013 ACC/AHA (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association) Cholesterol Guidelines has witnessed brisk uptake of a more complex algorithm, partly due to a well-received mobile app that has witnessed more than 64,000 downloads in its first two months.Once validated, a similar tool developed for the ASTROCHARM will greatly enhance its clinical impact. <p></p> ASTROCHARM Version 2. The investigators have extended endpoint data to include another 145 events (304 total), with a median follow up of 10.9 years. They have used these expanded endpoints to refine the ASTRO-CHARM calculator and assessed measures of internal validity of the new calculator including discrimination and calibration which were all robust. They applied the ASTRO-CHARM model to the Framingham Heart Study CAC cohort (n=2057). The ASTRO-CHARM calculator showed good discrimination (c-statistic 0.79) and calibration (Goodness-of-Fit Chi-square: 13.2, p=0.16) in the Framingham study. The authors developed a prototype iPhone app for the ASTRO-CHARM and demonstrated this tool to NASA/NSBRI in late July of 2016. They are preparing the manuscript for scientific publication and the app for broad dissemination for NASA/NSBRI and terrestrial medicine applications. <p></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.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T11:01:24.000Z
The Lunar Organic Waste Reformer (LOWR) utilizes high temperature steam reformation to convert all plastic, paper, and human waste materials into useful gases. In the LOWR, solar thermal concentrators are used to heat steam directly to 600 C, after which the steam is mixed with a small amount of oxygen and injected into a reactor which is being fed with waste materials via a lock hopper. At the high temperatures, the oxygenated steam will react with all organic materials to produce a gas mixture largely composed of hydrogen, CO and carbon dioxide. After removing the remaining steam from the product stream via condensation, the gases are dusulfurized and then fed to a catalytic reactor where they can be combined with hydrogen to produce methane, methanol, or other fuels. Both the necessary hydrogen and oxygen for the process can be produced by electrolysis of part of the water content of the waste material, which is extracted from the wastes directly by the reformer itself. With effective recycling of the steam, no consumables are lost in the process. All products are liquids or gases, making the system highly reliable and subject to automation. In the proposed Phase 2 program, Pioneer Astronautics will build a full-scale end-to-end LOWR system capable of turning 10 kg of waste per day into methane and oxygen.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:14:07.000Z
This proposal discusses the development and demonstration of a swath-based airborne instrument suite intended as a calibration and validation with relevance to the ICESat II, SWOT and CryoSAT II missions. In particular our innovation will leverage prior NASA developments to focus on system miniaturization and increased performance. It will also support NASA's airborne science missions by utilizing long-endurance unmanned aircraft such as the Ikhana or the Global Hawk. These platforms become directly relevant due to the often remote nature of regions of interest, particularly as one considers the cryosphere. The Phase I will result in a system design that can be realized in a Phase II effort. During the Phase I, measurement requirements will be revisited and key technologies will be identified and incorporated where advantageous into a revised design. Data volume and system automation will be specifically evaluated and a plan for on-board data storage and compression/processing will be proposed. An accommodation feasibility study for the Ikhana will be evaluated. The Phase II effort will realize a prototype of this sensor. At the end of the Phase I, a technology readiness level of 3 will be achieved.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:21:01.000Z
We will prove the key technical components of an ISRU facility that can potentially beneficiate hundreds of tonnes/yr of volatile material from small carbonaceous asteroids and process this material into H2O, CO2, hydrocarbons (e.g. methane) and LOX propellant. This proof of concept will allow humanity to confidently develop propellant and materials processing plants and depots at the top of the Earth's gravity well. A key motivation is to enable human missions to Mars or the Moon to launch with less propellant, water, and oxygen than currently required. Crewed exploration missions will be supplied at the depot and depart with full tanks, dramatically reducing the cost of exploration and development of the solar system and proving that humans can "live off the land" in space using asteroids as feedstocks. This concept is motivated by the need for extremely lightweight, practical, and inexpensive ISRU that once developed can be used on NEOs in the size range of ARM targets (or pieces of ARM targets) in a micro-g environment. This concept makes maximum use of thin-film capture and enclosure mechanisms (like ARM) for material processing; low-pressure thin-film inflatable solar concentrators for the lightest possible, high-quality solar thermal power; deployable thin-film sun shields for cold traps and temperature control; and material processing systems without significant electronics, robotics, complex mechanisms, or mechanical components. Our proposal will provide design concepts that show how small Diaphanous Systems can be used to capture and contain small asteroids, pyrolytically devolatilize large quantities of water and carbon dioxide, separate the extracted volatile constituents, and store them at a depot as useful resources for exploration and industry. Although some system components are currently at TRL 4 or above, the use of these components in a light-weight, practical design to extract and process volatiles from an asteroid is currently at TRL 1-2. Our focused research program will advance the concept to TRL 3. We will do this by building a sub-scale laboratory apparatus that simulates the effect of a solar thermal furnace on small, unprocessed samples of carbonaceous meteorites, then on small samples of asteroid simulants, to validate their similarity to the target meteorites, and then on larger (meter-scale) carbonaceous asteroid simulants. Our proposal will cite scientific work proving that pyrolysis can thermally devolatilize H2O from carbonaceous meteorites at 250C and CO2 at 600C. We will extend that work to engineering applications of how the materials are preprocessed and perform the experiments in a space-like environment in a vacuum chamber. We will show how solar thermal surface heating propagates through asteroidal material, how the porosity and friability of the asteroidal material affect the out-migration of volatiles, and the degree to which applied mechanical shock and/or other mechanical processing is needed to enhance gas transport. Our team is led by Dr. Leslie Gertsch, Deputy Director, Rock Mechanics & Explosives Research Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology in an industrial partnership with ICS Associates Inc, and its Chief Engineer, Dr. Joel Sercel who will provide systems engineering and mission perspective. Our technical advisors include Mr. Robert Mueller of KSC who will provide linkage to NASA programs; Prof. Robert Jedicke of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, an expert on orbit distributions, sizes and origins of NEOs; and Dr. Alexander N. Krot, faculty researcher at the University of Hawaii and expert on meteorite mineralogy. NASA Technology Area: 7
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 2018-07-19T11:08:28.000Z
Aircraft Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs are implemented by most of the aircraft operators. Vast amounts of FOQA data are distributed between many computers, organizations, and geographic locations. This project develops methodology for transforming such distributed data into actionable knowledge in application to aircraft health management from the vehicle level to the fleet level to the national level. The distributed data processing methodology provably obtains the same results as would be obtained if the data could be centralized. The data mining methods are efficient and scalable so that they can return results quickly for 10Tb of distributed data. This data mining technology that we call Distributed Fleet Monitoring (DFM) developed in SBIR Phase I satisfies these requirements. The data are transformed into models, trends, and anomalies. The model training and anomaly monitoring are formulated as convex optimization and decision problems. The optimization agents are distributed over networked computers and are integrated through remote connection interface in a scalable open grid computing framework. Though the data and the computations are distributed, they yield provably the same optimal solution that would be obtained by a centralized optimization. DFM feasibility was demonstrated in the problem of monitoring aircraft flight performance from fleet data using large realistic simulated datasets. We demonstrated efficient computation of quadratic optimal solution by interacting distributed agents. The feasibility demonstration successfully recovered aircraft performance anomalies that are well below the level of the natural variation in the data and are not directly visible. The algorithms are very efficient and scalable. Phase I demonstration extrapolates to processing 10Tb of raw FOQA data in under an hour to detect anomalous units, abnormal flights, and compute predictive trends.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:43:18.000Z
<p>The Scotch-Tape Mirror for Hard X-rays project is to test the possibility of building a grazing incidence mirror for hard X-rays (E>20 keV) using a "scotch-tape" design, in which a thin plastic tape with a specific thickness profile and a multilayer reflective coating is tightly wound into a roll. The goal is to find a low-cost way of building a telescope for hard X-rays with a very large effective area.<p/><p>The project is to build a grazing incidence mirror for hard X-rays (E>20 keV) using a "scotch-tape" design, in which a thin plastic tape with a specific thickness profile and a multilayer reflective coating is tightly wound into a roll. Key challenges are (a) to find a suitably smooth tape subatrate (this has been done), (b) to wind a large number of tape shells onto the smooth metal centerpiece without introducing and accummulating shape irregularities, and (c) to give the tape the variable thickness profile in order to achieve the desired optical figure. Our immediate goal is to demonstrate the idea feasibility by building a crude conical X-ray concentrator. If successful, we will aim at building and flying a mirror prototype on a balloon and then proposing for an Explorer mission or MOO. The ultimate goal is a telescope with 1 m^2 effective area at E=30 keV.</p>