- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T11:33:32.000Z
Silicone coatings are the system of choice for inflatable fabrics used in several space, military, and consumer applications, including airbags, parachutes, rafts, boat sails, and inflatable shelters. Commercial silicone coatings with improved mechanical, thermal and physical gas barrier properties are needed for a broad range of space, military, and commercial applications. The phase I program has demonstrated that addition of small amounts of nanostructured additives enhances tear strength, tensile strength, and hardness without significantly degrading other important properties, thermal stability, puncture resistance and air permeability of commercial silicone coatings. It was also shown that properties of coatings are strongly correlated with the chemistry and composition of nanostructured additives. The significance of the Phase I innovation is that commercially used coating formulations were utilized as the starting material, making it easier to be adopted in practice. Success in Phase I has enabled us to put together a strong Phase II team, composed of commercial silicone coating applicators, an airbag assembly developer, and a large supplier of silicone coating formulation. The focus of the Phase II program will be to develop nanostructured additives for several different types of commercial silicone coatings to meet their specific application needs. Additionally, nanostructured additive technology will be scaled up, and prototype airbags will be fabricated.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:08:47.000Z
Unlike the world wide web or general libraries, digital libraries typically serve a specialized community of experts sharing a relatively narrow focus, such as some aspect of law, science, technology, or business. Moreover, these experts are not ?casual users?; they have stringent information requirements. For these reasons, digital libraries increasingly invest in sophisticated methods for indexing and retrieving their information assets. This proposal describes an innovative approach towards indexing and data retrieval that will dramatically imporove this process. The goal of our research is to develop and test a method of knowledge-based information retrieval, in which a request for information is posed as a question, and information sources are identified that pertain to steps in the logical process of answering the question. We aim to develop automated methods that: 1) Receive a user?s question requesting information, 2) Find relevant information sources, and 3) Explain their relevance to the user?s request. To evaluate our results, we plan to build an information retrieval system for the wide variety of users needing information on the effects of global climate change, and to measure its success compared with human experts and conventional systems.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T15:57:23.000Z
JEM Engineering proved the technical feasibility of the FlexScan array?a very low-cost, highly-efficient, wideband phased array antenna?in Phase I, and stands ready to develop it into a fully-functional, flight-qualifiable prototype in Phase II. JEM developed an S-Band (2.0-2.3 GHz) antenna array design appropriate for the stratospheric balloon application through requirements definition, modeling, and performance predictions. The critical technology for this array is an electrically-controlled Variable Delay Line (VDL), used to provide true time-delay for beamsteering. VDLs were designed, built and tested, and shown to have excellent performance. The VDLs were tested over 2.4 million cycles without degradation, indicating good life, especially for the balloon application. A 4-port linear beamformer was built, and used to validate the beamformer concept. The objective of the proposed 24-month Phase II effort is to develop, prototype, and demonstrate a flight-qualifiable FlexScan phased array that achieves the bandwidth, antenna gain, and scan range required for a balloon-borne TDRSS data link in S-band, while meeting environmental requirements. Upon completion of Phase II, the FlexScan array will be ready to commercialize for the balloon-borne application, with other NASA and non-NASA commercial applications soon to follow.
Generating Autoclave-Level Mechanical Properties with Out-of-Autoclave Thermoplastic Placement of Large Composite Aerospace Structures, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:25:16.000Z
Out-of-autoclave thermoplastic tape/tow placement (TP-ATP) is nearing commercialization but suffers a moderate gap in mechanical properties compared with laminates fabricated via thermoset autoclave processing. Out-of-autoclave thermoplastic processing significantly lowers composite aerospace part costs, but the property gap must be closed. This STTR program, endorsed herein by Boeing and Cytec Engineered Materials, will remedy the mechanical property shortfall and enable large composite aerospace structure important to NASA to be manufactured without an autoclave. Accudyne is teaming with University of Delaware -- Center for Composite Materials to apply their state-of-the-art TP-ATP process/property models to elucidate the physical mechanisms affecting microstructural quality that cause the property gap. Models will be applied to the NASA LaRC TP-ATP deposition head to optimize the head configuration and machine operating parameters, and the control systems for full mechanical properties. Laminates will be manufactured to demonstrate the property improvements. The process, head, and equipment changes will be upgraded on the NASA-LaRC thermoplastic tape head. In Phase 2, process/head modeling will be extended through laminate fabrication and testing, and a component of interest to NASA will be fabricated demonstrating the improved "autoclave level" mechanical performance.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:51:31.000Z
In the Phase I program, Busek Co. Inc. tested an existing Hall thruster, the BHT-8000, on iodine propellant. The thruster was fed by a high flow iodine feed system, and supported by an existing Busek hollow cathode flowing xenon gas. The Phase I propellant feed system was evolved from a previously demonstrated laboratory feed system. Throttling of the thruster between 2 and 11 kW at 200-600V was demonstrated. Testing has shown that the efficiency of iodine fueled BHT-8000 is the same as with xenon, with iodine delivering slightly higher thrust to power (T/P). Plume current was also measured at a variety of operating conditions. Preliminary design work for a new thruster to be built in Phase II was also completed. In Phase II a complete iodine fueled system will be developed including the thruster, hollow cathode, and iodine propellant feed system. The nominal power of the Phase II system is 8 kW. However, it can be deeply throttled as well as clustered to much higher power levels. The technology can also be scaled to >100 kW per thruster to support MW-class missions. The target thruster efficiency for the full scale system is 65% at high Isp (~3000 s) and 60% at high thrust (Isp~2000 s). These projections are based on Phase I testing and prior testing of higher power thrusters. Iodine enables dramatic mass and cost savings for lunar and Mars cargo missions, including Earth escape and near-Earth space maneuvers. High purity iodine is available commercially in large quantities at much lower cost than xenon. Iodine stores at 2 to 3 times greater density than xenon and at approximately one thousandth of the pressure and may be stored in low mass, low cost propellant tanks instead. Passive, long term storage of a fully fueled system is feasible including storage in conformal tanks which may be used to shield internal components against some types of space radiation.
- 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 2018-07-18T20:30:39.000Z
<p>Armstrong researchers have developed a networked instrumentation system that connects modern experimental payloads to existing analog and digital communications infrastructures. In airborne applications, this system enables a cost-effective, long-range, line-of-sight network link over the S and L frequency bands that supports data rates up to 10 megabits per second (Mbps) and a practically unlimited number of independent data streams. The resulting real-time payload link allows researchers to make in-flight adjustments to experimental parameters, increasing overall data quality and eliminating the need to repeat flights.</p><p><strong>Work to date</strong>: The team has developed and flight-tested the 10 Mbps bi-direction aircraft-to-ground, line-of-sight network. A follow-on project, Space-Based Range Demonstration and Certification (SBRDC) Flight Demonstration #2, involved integration of this system with a phased-array antenna and controller to provide a 10 Mbps over-the-horizon network downlink. This prototype system was further refined into a more operational system that provided the Airborne Research Test System (ARTS) aboard the Full-Scale Advanced Systems Testbed (FAST) access to thousands of parameters from the heavily instrumented aircraft. Engineers were able to view ARTS network data output in the control room, without replacing any aircraft instrumentation or ground equipment.&nbsp; Additionally, four streams of network data from onboard hot-film sensors was recorded onboard and transmitted to the control room.</p><p><strong>Looking ahead</strong>: Work has begun to design a new system that incorporates state-of-the-art transceiver technology. The new system is expected to allow a five-fold improvement in throughput, to 40 Mbps.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Flexible</strong>: Expands the utility of existing airborne platforms with legacy communications systems by supporting state-of-the-art payloads that leverage current network technology</li><li><strong>Economical</strong>: Achieves a bi-directional, line-of-sight network without the need to replace existing communications infrastructure</li><li><strong>Flight efficient</strong>: With real-time control of experimental parameters, reduces the need for repeat flights</li></ul><p><strong>Applications</strong></p><ul><li>Secure local line-of-sight communications</li><li>Global space-based communications via satellite links</li></ul>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T10:13:06.000Z
Creare and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University propose to design, develop, test, and deliver an ultra compact star tracker specifically intended for small satellites such as the CubeSat platform. Our design is based on proprietary "folded optics" technology previously developed by our partner for use in military and commercial optical applications that require a compact footprint and high performance. The folded optics design is superior to conventional refractive optics in miniature star trackers because (1) the compact footprint is achieved without sacrificing accuracy; (2) the light-gathering aperture is much greater, leading to better sensitivity; (3) the aperture geometry makes the shielding baffles smaller; and (4) the imaging sensor can be shielded efficiently from cosmic radiation. During the Phase I project, we will demonstrate the feasibility of our innovation by finalizing the design, performing analysis to determine the optimal design parameters, and testing a benchtop prototype to verify the design models. In Phase II, we will fabricate the optimized design, test the prototype in the laboratory and in the field, and deliver the prototype to NASA.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:49:57.000Z
Nearly all mechanism applications require some form of gearbox. Wet lubricated gearbox technologies are limited to the relatively narrow temperature ranges of their lubricants. Dry lubricated gearboxes have proven to be problematic with poor life and reliability characteristics. Testing has shown that dry lubricated rolling elements can be made to work reliably provided they are operated at conservative contact stresses, however when dry film lubrications are tested under the sliding conditions in conventional transmissions they are no longer reliable. During the Phase I SBIR Rocketstar Robotics developed the preliminary design of a transmission that consists of all rolling elements and has eliminated all of the sliding elements that exist in conventional gearing. The transmission operates at contact stress values that are conservative and within the envelope proven through previous testing to provide reliable performance in rolling elements. The resulting transmission can be provided in a range of sizes and offers considerable torque capability within a reasonable envelope while operating within conservative rolling contact stress regimes at operating temperatures from near absolute zero to over 500C. The development and test of a successful prototype could revolutionize the torque transmission industry and open the door to mechanisms operations over a much broader temperature range than is now possible. Rocketstar Robotics proposes that the design be carried through the detailed design phase which includes detailed analysis models and that multiple prototypes be built of two different size transmissions. The units would then be tested for performance and life over the extremes of temperature from near cryogenic to 500C operation. Rocketstar will build 3 small 100 in-lb units and 3 large 400 in-lb units for testing along with spare splines to allow development testing with multiple DFL types. One of each unit will be delivered to NASA.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:06:03.000Z
<p>Novel Processing Approach to Enable Hybrid Material System Designs for Turbine and Rocket Engines</p><p>Demonstrate feasibility of using electron beam melting (EBM) for a hybrid disk, where a state-of-the-art powder metallurgy alloy (LSHR) is bonded to single-crystal Ni-alloy (LDS).</p> <p>The successful completion of this effort will demonstrate that direct deposition is a viable technique to successfully fabricate hybrid components of two dissimilar materials that typically are bonded to create the final structure.</p><p>These type of dissimilar metal bonds is a technology that has yet to be demonstrated using additive manufacturing (AM). Only recently have monolithic advanced nickel-based superalloys AM builds been observed and reported in the literature. No known work has been published of satisfactory fabrication of even monolithic high strength powder metal disk alloys, which have been verified to be durable for rotating, fatigue-critical hardware. If successful, the work here would establish the proof-of-concept of an AM hybrid disk, as well as platform for the creation of new hybrid components.</p>