- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:30:17.000Z
Mars planetary surface access is one of NASA's biggest technical challenges involving advanced entry, descent, and landing (EDL) technologies and methods. This NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) project intends to solve one of the top challenges for landing large payloads and humans on Mars by using advanced atmospheric In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) methods that have never been tried or studied before. The proposed Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining concept mission architecture will make Mars travel routine and affordable for cargo and crew, therefore enabling the expansion of human civilization to Mars.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:43:40.000Z
The semiconductor material InAlAs has the potential to improve upon current space photovoltaics in a number of ways. InAlAsSb lattice-matched to InP would operate as the top cell in a triple-junction design with an AM0 efficiency of 37.1%, a cell-level mass specific power >1000 W/kg, and panel-level mass specific power of 662 W/kg. Development of InAlAs for engineered substrates would result in a lattice-matched triple-junction cell with a 1-sun AM1.5 efficiency of 40.4%. Additionally, InAlAs lattice-matched to InP has the appropriate bandgap for operation in low-intensity low-temperature conditions. Development of these proposed photovoltaic cells is particularly warranted since the InP materials system is known to be exceptionally radiation tolerant, which is ideal for space operation. Furthermore, lattice-matched cells are lighter and more mechanically stable than their metamorphic counterparts. The technology proposed in this application would increase capability and durability for missions needing onboard power or electric propulsion, and would also correspond to technology gains for terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic systems. The materials proposed in this study have undergone little to no development. Development of these materials would occur via semiconductor growth methods of metal organic vapor phase epitaxy or molecular beam epitaxy. Growth conditions such as temperature, gaseous precursors, and gas ratios can be adjusted to target desired material properties. This research would initially focus on materials development. Once the desired material are grown, they can then be fabricated in complete photovoltaic cells and tested for radiation and temperature tolerance which are important considerations for space applications.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:23:36.000Z
Accurate measurement of atmospheric parameters with high resolution needs advanced lasers. In this SBIR program we propose to develop innovative Q-switched high power 2-micron fiber laser with pulse energy greater than 10mJ, repetition rate of 10Hz to 1KHz, and pulse duration of 200ns using innovative highly efficient Tm-doped glass fiber. This new fiber laser will be an all-fiber laser system consisting of actively Q-switched fiber laser and fiber amplifiers. This proposed all-fiber laser system is compact, highly efficient, robust and highly reliable, which is especially suited for NASA's application where operating environment is always extremely rough. In Phase I we will design and fabricate Tm-doped glasses, design and fabricate single mode and double cladding single mode Tm-doped fibers, and demonstrate Q-switched single frequency 2-micron fiber laser and amplifiers.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:48:46.000Z
<p>Frequent, short-term crew exposure to elevated CO2 levels combined with other physiological impacts of microgravity may lead to a number of detrimental effects, including loss of vision. This technology project seeks to develop a prototype of a real-time location system integrated with a CO2 sensor to monitor and correlate space-time-CO2 concentration with physical symptoms and functional evaluations of impairment. The CO2 sensor will be integrated with a low-power ultra-wideband (UWB) communication system with location-tracking capability. Although the initial development is oriented to the measurement of CO2, the system concept can easily be adapted to accommodate other types of sensors. <p/><p>Recent findings indicate that frequent, short-term crew exposure to elevated CO2 levels combined with other physiological impacts of microgravity may lead to a number of detrimental effects, including loss of vision. To evaluate the risks associated with transient elevated CO2 levels and design effective countermeasures, doctors must have access to frequent CO2 measurements in the immediate vicinity of individual crew members along with simultaneous measurements of their location in the space environment. To achieve this goal, a small, low-power, wearable system that integrates an accurate CO2 sensor with an ultra-wideband (UWB) radio capable of real-time location estimation and data communication is proposed. This system would be worn by crew members and would automatically gather and transmit sampled sensor data tagged with real-time, high-resolution location information. Under the current proposed effort, a breadboard prototype of such a system will be developed. Although the initial effort is targeted to CO2 monitoring, the concept is applicable to other types of sensors. For the initial effort, existing EV Modular Instrumentation System (MIS) Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) hardware will be leveraged to integrate a low-power CO2 sensor with a commercially available UWB radio system with ranging capability. In addition, potential for integration of this system with EV's Electronic-textile System for the Evaluation of Wearable Technology (E-SEWT) will be evaluated.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-08-02T15:25:23.000Z
Our mission archetype is exploration of hazardous, non-planar terrain, such as Martian caves or icy crevasses on Europa. Clusters of SPEARS sensors will be used to gather scientific measurements over a wide area. The major objective of this study is to demonstrate general feasibility of the concept and to make inroads in a few crucial technology bottlenecks. Experimentation with an early terrestrial prototype will demonstrate viability of core ideas and assist in evangelism. We will leverage existing test facilities, like our planetary roverscape, to provide great value relative to funding level. Lastly, analysis of SPEARS architecture in the context of possible future missions will ground this work for NASA relevance. A study in projectile payload selection will be performed, considering environmental and optical sensors. Strategies for anchoring, localization, and comms will be surveyed. Various thrust modalities (e.g. compressed gas vs. mechanical) for the launcher system will also be compared. Most critically, several automated multi-sensor data fusion techniques providing image stabilization, panoramic stitching, and 3D mapping (several of which this team has pioneered) will be evaluated and demonstrated. This will be accomplished by the construction of a basic terrestrial proof-of-concept system comprised of a CO2 projectile launcher and 2-3 example projectiles such as a camera, illuminator, and radio beacon. Existing algorithms and software will be built upon to demonstrate processing techniques, and extensions implemented to meet observed challenges will directly advance the state of the art.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T06:58:45.000Z
The development of future Kerosone/LOX engines will require higher chamber pressures to increase performance and reusability in order to decrease operating costs. However higher chamber pressures result in higher heat fluxes through the walls. This places greater stress on the cooling systems. Fuel film cooling is an effective method to reduce the heat flux, however since the fuel is not combusted, it reduces performance of the engine. Furthermore, an issue with using kerosene as coolant is coking that results from the thermal decomposition of the propellant. This decreases heat transfer and reduces the lifespan of the chamber material. This process has been previously studied in regenerative cooled chambers but the mechanisms for coke formation have not been well established. Additionally, in a fuel filmed cooled chamber the process is much more complicated with coking resulting from interactions with the liquid film and gaseous core flow. Currently the only models that exist for coking have been developed for the chemical and petroleum industries. The conditions inside a rocket combustion chamber however are much more severe and extrapolation of existing models will result in large error. Therefore coking models for rocket conditions are in need of development. For this project, an experimental and computational approach is proposed to understand the coking phenomena at rocket conditions. Experiments will be done to study coking behavior in a heated pipe reactor for the liquid fuel and for combusted gaseous products. SEM and an x-ray elemental detection analysis will be performed to determine the chemical characteristics of the coke layer. The results will be compared with another experiment that will involve coking in a liquid fuel film and gaseous core flow environment. Existing coke models will be modified to match the data at the higher pressure and temperature conditions from the experimental results. The end result would be an experimentally validated coking model that would serve to aid in the design of future reusable liquid booster engines and advance NASA's Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Roadmap.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T23:00:07.000Z
Virtual Collaborative Training and Operations Simulation System, Phase II
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:56:23.000Z
The purpose of this project is to advance the technology of interband cascade (IC) lasers and their facet coatings and to design, build, and deliver to NASA a tunable, narrow linewidth mid-infrared laser source operating in the 3.2 ¡V 3.6 micron wavelength band. Initial work will develop improved IC laser active regions as well as ultra-low-reflectivity anti-reflection facet coatings. We will also develop an effective epi-side-down die attach process for IC lasers using a Au/Sn solder. The objective of this initial work is to achieve laser chips emitting in the appropriate wavelength region and operating in continuous wave mode at heat sink temperatures > 25aC and with several 10s of mW of output power. The team will then use our extensive experience with external cavity laser sources to design, build, and deliver a versatile, tunable mid-infrared source to NASA using the developed IC laser gain chip. The delivered tunable laser source will be at a TRL level of 5 and will enable sensitive earth science trace gas measurements and enhance NASA¡¦s existing measurement capability by significantly improving the sensitivity and performance of trace gas sensing by virtue of a considerably improved source technology.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:39:55.000Z
<p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">To meet the NASA need for measurement of pressure, temperature, strain and radiation in a high temperature and/or harsh environment to support rocket ground test, RC Integrated Systems LLC (RISL) proposes to develop a novel Additive Manufacturing of Integrated Sensor (AMIS) System, providing accurate simultaneous measurement of multiple parameters including pressure, temperature, and strain in high temperature and/or radiation environment. The AMIS is based on use of novel materials for high-temperature operation and uniquely designed fiber optic sensors. The AMIS sensors can tolerate operating temperatures up to 1800 degrees C and achieve measurement errors within 0.5% for temperature sensors and 0.2% for pressure and strain sensors. In mass production, each additive-manufactured microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor will cost about $10. In Phase I RISL will demonstrate the feasibility of AMIS for in-situ measurement of temperature and strain by fabricating and testing a technology readiness level (TRL)-4 prototype, with the goal of achieving TRL-6 by the end of Phase II.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:28:51.000Z
<p>The Global Aerosol Measurement System (GAMS) project is developing a new, low cost satellite capability for measuring the properties and distributions of particles in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (collectively, the UTLS). This altitude region is important because there have been observed increases in the amount of particles in the UTLS. These particles typically reflect sunlight back into space and cool the Earth. GAMS will measure the altitudes and amounts of these particles by looking to the side of the spacecraft, through the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere, and provide detailed information about how particles are changing in the UTLS.</p><p>The goal of the Global Aerosol Measurement System (GAMS) project is to develop needed technologies and observation strategies to optimally measure the distributions and properties of particles in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). The GAMS concept is based on the limb-scattering measurement techniques used on past sensors, most directly from the heritage of the Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite (OMPS) Limb Profiler (LP) currently flying on board the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) spacecraft. OMPS-LP was launched on Suomi NPP in 2011, with the next planned launch of this instrument in 2022 on the next generation Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2). Because of the length of time between the NPP and JPSS-2 launches there is the potential for a significant data gap for these important measurements. The GAMS concept is intended to be a simple and low cost measurement system that could be ready to fill such a gap.</p><p> </p><p>The current OMPS-LP system measures light reflected by particles in the UTLS by looking behind the Suomi NPP path, looking through the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere (i.e., the limb). Although OMPS-LP has proven capable of detecting the presence of background particles in the UTLS, as well as particles from volcanic eruptions and meteorites entering Earth’s atmosphere from space, it has very limited spatial coverage and suffers from sensitivity issues since it preferentially sees particles in one direct with respect to the sun. GAMS seeks to overcome both limitations by making measurements of reflected light In two or more directions relative to the spacecraft flight. Because GAMS focuses only on the limb profiling capabilities (versus the more comprehensive but more complicated OMPS system) it can be contained in a relatively smaller spacecraft, which will reduce deployment costs. Additional increased spatial coverage can be realized by flying multiple copies of the GAMS instrument in different orbits.</p><p> </p><p>In this stage of the GAMS project we are working to develop capabilities for adding additional spectral channels to our detector system. We initially targeting 350 nm for altitude registration and 675 nm for aerosol detection. We are now developing an extension to include an additional channel at 1020 nm for aerosol detection. This channel will provide additional sensitivity to aerosol in the lower stratosphere, provides heritage overlap with other sensors (e.g., SAGE), and paired with the 675 nm channel provides additional information to recover other aspects of the aerosol distribution (e.g., particle size). We are additionally developing an observation simulator based on model output from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS-5) atmospheric model. This will allow us to prototype assimilation methodologies to ingest the eventual GAMS observations into aerosol prediction models.</p>