- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:05:12.000Z
By properly characterizing the thermo-mechanical activity within non-nuclear test articles, nuclear operation can be more accurately controlled and confidence in thermo-mechanical simulations will be high. However, the ability to characterize non-nuclear test core simulators is currently limited by the lack of instrumentation options available for measurements of parameters of interest such as temperature, strain, and pressure. The key to obtaining sufficient data lies in distributing large numbers of sensors throughout the core to monitor these parameters in real-time. Unfortunately, this type of measurement is not currently feasible. RTDs and thermocouples provide only single point measurements and, because of logistical problems associated with limited physical accessibility, cannot be used in any significant numbers and therefore serve to limit knowledge of the dynamic and complex thermal system represented by the test core. In the pursuit of early flight fission, more detailed measurements are needed for modeling the behavior of the core during operation. To address this need, Luna Innovations proposes to develop fiber-optic instrumentation sensors capable of high temperature operation based on Luna's unique distributed sensing technology, which uses fiber Bragg gratings as the sensing transducers for temperature, strain, and pressure measurements.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:14:17.000Z
Noise has become a primary consideration in the design and development of many products, particulary in aerospace, automotive and consumer product industries. Communities near airports are often exposed to high noise levels due to low flying aircraft in the takeoff and landing phases of fligh and the major contribution to the overall noise is comming from the propulsion source noise. It is proposed to develop solutions based on integrated generalized acoustical holography and active noise control technologies that will enable the identification and reduction of turbomachinery noise. In this development, generalized acoustical holography will be used for noise source identification and active noise control together with passive control will be used for the noise reduction.
Development of Wavelet Stochastic Estimation for Identifying the Contribution of Turbulent Structures to the Sound Field of Shear Flows, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:04:16.000Z
Fundamental understanding of noise generation and the development of noise reduction technology requires the development of tools that can analyze simultaneously the relationship between the turbulent flow field and the pressure field both near and far. In this proposal we will demonstrate how Wavelet Stochastic Estimation (WSE) is the most optimal method for correlating the source region to the sound field when using a microphone array and Particle Image Velocimetry. WSE first transforms the far-field pressure signal into the wavelet domain which then enables both temporal and frequency information to be correlated with the flow field. By adding the frequency information to the correlations, it becomes easier to extract the contribution from the large-scale structures and thus relate their dynamics to noise generation. We also demonstrate how WSE can be used with flow structure identification methods, such as the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD), to further improve the link between the sound field and the turbulent flow field. The proposed technology supports the Fundamental Aeronautics Program by improving noise prediction and measurement methods. The technology will be available for both subsonic and supersonic vehicles, with particular emphasis on noise sources generated from shear flows.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T15:53:30.000Z
A robust flow control method promising significantly increased performance and virtual shape control for natural laminar flow (NLF) sections is proposed using a novel momentum porting concept. Significant aerodynamic, systems, and control benefits are possible through the integration of virtual aerodynamic shaping technology into modern aircraft. Virtual aerodynamic shaping involves using flow control technology to manipulate the flow field to achieve a desired result regardless of the geometry. A high-payoff approach to significantly increased air vehicle performance is the use of a novel momentum porting concept for the virtual shaping of extended run natural laminar flow sections. The objective of this research is to incorporate a robust and simple tangential pulsed jet blowing system that requires no external air to design and virtually shape an extended natural laminar flow section offering radical performance enhancement in the form of increased lift-to-drag and maximum lift. Additionally, the system will produce a wing design enabling a hinge-less, full-span virtual shaping capability which can be used for fully pilot reactive roll control, span load tailoring, and gust load alleviation. The system will provide significantly enhanced performance for the air vehicle throughout the entire flight envelope.
Lunar Volatiles Extraction Technology for Future Fusion Power and Multi-Outpost Scale Human Space Explorationdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:43:44.000Z
The proposal is for the development of a prototype lunar volatiles extraction system the will demonstrate a process for acquiring helium-3 and volatile gases that can be used for life support. Helium-3 could be used in future fusion reactors that would produce no radioactive waste. The process of acquiring helium-3 produces far more life supporting volatile gases than helium-3, and incorporates many of the technologies that may be required in the future for supporting multiple in space outposts from lunar resources. The prototype system will be based on a past lunar volatiles miner design, developed at the University of Wisconsin Fusion Technology Institute, and will be a scaled down version that will investigate issues of system optimization for volatile production, component degradation due to continuous exposure to regolith simulant and thermal energy efficiency of the prototype's heat pipe heater system.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:42:47.000Z
GLO: A Solar Occultation Instrument Suitable for Constellations of Small Satellites A key challenge in the Earth Science community is to exploit rapidly advancing microsatellite (microsat) technology in the task of providing the myriad of global measurements required to understand key processes. Microsats offer the possibility of inexpensive access to space, but also present payload design challenges resulting from issues such as limited size, weight, and power (SWaP) capacity and pointing capability. We propose a technology demonstration of an instrument we refer to as GLO (GFCR (Gas Filter Correlation Radiometry) Limb solar Occultation) which would measure the vertical profile of atmospheric trace species, with state-of-the-art accuracy. GLO contains 23 Visible Near Infrared (VNIR) and Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR) spectral bands and measures 10 constituents plus temperature (T), yet fits into a 29x16x16 cm form factor, weighs 5.25 kg, consumes just 28.2 W during observations, and does not levy stringent pointing requirements to the spacecraft. GLO has heritage from HALOE and AIM/SOFIE, both highly successful solar occultation (SO) instruments, but (using recent advances in focal plane array (FPA), and cooler technology) is much smaller and requires substantially less power. In addition, it has significantly improved vertical resolution, pointing, and Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) aerosol and T measurement capability, as well as much reduced sensitivity to aerosol contamination in trace gas retrievals. Novel aspects of the GLO sensor include: use of tactical, but space qualified, imaging FPAs (low cost); GFCR with imaging arrays (precise channel coalignment and registration); proxy GFCR for UTLS H2O and O3 (increased insensitivity to aerosol contamination in the UTLS); and VNR plus SWIR aerosol extinction measurement capability (aerosol extinction plus bulk properties). While GLO could have many applications (including, e.g., an inexpensive stratospheric monitoring sensor), we conceived it to probe a key but poorly documented component of the climate system, the UTLS, in a mission concept referred to as SOCRATES (Solar Occultation Constellation for Retrieving Aerosols and Trace Element Species). The goal of SOCRATES is to quantify the role of the UTLS in climate change. For SOCRATES, GLO measures T, radiatively active gases (H2O, O3, CH4, N2O), aerosols, and transport tracers (HDO, CO, HCN, HF, HCl) with vertical resolution (<1 km) and geographic sampling required for UTLS radiative forcing calculations. Satellite SO instruments provide high vertical resolution and precision, but sample only 2 latitudes per orbit. To mitigate this shortcoming, SOCRATES consists of a constellation of 6 GLO sensors, deployed from a single launch vehicle into orbits with slightly different mean altitudes. The dispersing orbits provide the required spatial and temporal sampling, with coverage from ±65° latitude. We have shown that the SOCRATES GLO constellation (6 sensors & microsats) meets all measurement complement, accuracy, vertical resolution, and spatial sampling requirements, and can be fabricated, launched, and operated in a 26-month mission within the NASA Earth Venture Mission cost capped budget. Under this proposal, we will refine the design and fabricate a complete prototype GLO sensor [identical in form, fit and function to the SOCRATES/GLO sensor except for the use of non-space qualified (but functionally identical) components], perform functional and environmental tests to confirm it can meet SOCRATES measurement requirements, and validate the instrument concept through ground and balloon-based observations. This will provide a nearly complete demonstration of the GLO technology, and measurement approach and capabilities. The goal is to raise the GLO sensor technique and design from TRL 4 to TRL 6, providing risk reduction for the SOCRATES mission concept, and for the use of GLO in other missions.
- 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 2018-07-19T09:09:38.000Z
<p><strong>An infrastructure for integrating a UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer that can address broad planetary science goals will be developed. Earth and other solar system bodies have characteristic spectral signatures in this spectral range. Results will be used to explore the new concept for planetary science missions and evaluate system parameters.</strong></p> <p> </p><p><strong>A system that integrates a commercially available UV- Vis-NIR spectrometer will be developed for studying planetary objects. Trade studies will be performed to explore application limits in furthering planetary and earth science goals. The signal-to-noise is also sufficient to look for particular Mineralogical signatures in the UV. </strong></p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T12:10:18.000Z
This proposal introduces an innovative concept aimed to develop, for the first time, a 1k pixel far infrared focal-plane array with the following key design features: 1- A top-illuminated, 2D germanium array (32x32 single or 64x64 mosaic) with the possibility of extension to very large formats. The quantum efficiency is enhanced by metalizing the bottom surface for a second pass. 2- A 2-side buttable 32x32 (64x64 mosaic) CTIA readout multiplexer using advanced cryo-CMOS process. The unit-cell design is optimized for far IR detectors, eliminates detector debiasing, and improves pixel uniformity. The readout is operational down to at least 2.0K. 3- A novel, direct hybrid design using indium-bump technology. This integrated design offers superior noise performance and effectively addresses the readout glow, detector heating, and thermal mismatch between the detector and the readout. This is the key discriminator of this project. The projected sensitivity of this array as well as the 1k pixel (4k pixel mosaic) format meets the stated requirements of future NASA instruments. This effort fits well within the scope of the SBIR Subtopic S4.01 and will be a benefit to many large and small NASA projects such as SOFIA and SAFIR.
A Multi-Wavelength Transceiver for In Situ Validation of Airborne Remote Sensing Instruments, Phase IIdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:15:53.000Z
The overall goal of this Phase II SBIR effort is to develop a three-wavelength, backscatter transceiver for in situ validation of ongoing High Spectral Resolution Lidar measurements. The key innovation in the effort is the use of a multi-element, non-linear waveguide for highly efficient, three wavelength generation in a collinear geometry ideally suited for use in the backscatter nephelometer at the HSRL wavelengths currently under development with NASA Langley's Aerosol Research Group Experiment. Developing an in-flight, backscatter measurement at the three HSRL wavelengths is a critical acquisition for the LARGE program in order both to validate and to establish a direct link between the existing suite of instruments flown to determine of the microphysical properties of aerosols and the remote HSRL measurement. The proposed in situ instrument will validate ongoing remote sensing measurements while further informing climate models through more accurate estimates of atmospheric aerosol distributions.