Lunar Navigator - A Miniature, Fully Autonomous, Lunar Navigation, Surveyor, and Range Finder System, Phase IIdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:05:05.000Z
Microcosm will use existing hardware and software from related programs to create a prototype Lunar Navigation Sensor (LNS) early in Phase II, such that most of the effort can be spent in extensive field-testing, making corrections as needed, and critical evaluation of the LNS performance on Earth and projected performance on the Moon. By using NGS survey markers, with centimeter-leve position accuracy, as test sites, we expect to create a truth model for both absolute and relative position measurements that is essentially error free (relative to the LNS accuracy), thus allowing very accurate characterization of both random and systematic errors for both absolute and relative position measurements. This unambiguous characterization of the total error will allow validation (or correction) of the navigation error models and assessment of system performance with a high level of confidence. Additionally, the LNS prototype hardware is sufficiently small (roughly shoebox size with a laptop PC for data collection) and easy to set up (put on a tripod over the NGS marker), that it can easily be taken to multiple test locations. Finally, a detailed technology roadmap will be created showing how the TRL 6 LNS can be raised to TRL 9, ready for flight.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T10:10:34.000Z
To solve the problem of autonomous navigation on small satellite platforms less than 20 kg, we propose to develop an onboard orbit determination receiver for small LEO satellites which lack stable Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), continuous GPS coverage, or ground tracking. The system is a refinement of existing spaceborne receiver technology built around a new, innovative collective detection and direct positioning algorithm developed by Dr. Penny Axelrad, a reduced set of GPS hardware, and a compact orbit propagator. The small satellite collective orbit determination receiver (SCOR) brings together efficient reference orbit representations, snapshot GPS sampling, collective detection and direct positioning, and modular orbit propagation methods, to produce an effective new approach for onboard support of small satellites. Since the collective detection algorithm does not require continuous GPS tracking to generate navigation solutions, portions of the receiver can be duty cycled to reduce power consumption between measurements. Additionally, this approach allows for satellites without pointing capabilities to obtain sufficient measurements to generate solutions by taking multiple snapshots when the spacecraft attitude is in a favorable orientation with respect to the GPS constellation.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T18:55:21.000Z
High peak power, high efficiency, high reliability lightweight, low cost QCW laser diode pump modules with up to 1000W of QCW output become possible with nLight's new laser diode package methodology. Following the design principles from our Phase I results, we propose an innovative packaging architecture to provide NASA with highly reliable 808nm laser diode pump sources for space based LADAR systems or other uses. nLight proposes a package development program to demonstrate up to 1000W of QCW pump power, with greater than 100E8 laser shot reliability.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:10:40.000Z
NASA has identified a need for a tool that will give a non-expert the ability to quickly create animation of a mission scenario. This type of depiction can be important during a mission's development phase. Animation can show things that are not possible to see in the physical world and can help explain difficult concepts. Animation allows visualization of the mission without having to understand all the physics required. The communication of any mission scenarios through the medium of video - be it live action or animation - requires a particular set of skills: most notably, a sense of timing and layout. The sense of timing in animation can be compared to that of music; length, rhythm and order are the crucial elements for an effective delivery of an idea or emotion. Professional animators acquire this knowledge through formal training, education and years of experience. Although it would be impossible to impart this knowledge instantaneously, with current technology it can be encapsulated within a set of "digital elements" that can be manipulated and arranged to form a coherent stream of images (video) with order and meaning. Our proposed innovation is to develop a set of tools that can be used by a non-expert to build a virtual mission scenario that can be used for analysis, presentations and outreach. We will create a method for developing a collection of elements (objects, actions) with initial focus, space mission specific. The toolset will have elements that have the animation expertise incorporated. This will reduce the need for the user to have animation experience.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:27:54.000Z
UAS have the potential to offer great economic and operational advantages, but realizing this potential will require greater operational flexibility for UAS in the National Airspace. New technologies that enable beyond visual line of sight operations and that allow one operator to control multiple vehicles will expand the range of missions that can be accomplished and reduce operating costs. Automated upset recovery technology will reduce reliance on a human operator to mitigate hazards posed by Loss of Control (LOC) due to upset, leading to greater operational freedom. This technology is critical because LOC due to upset is one of the main causes of accidents in manned aircraft and is already emerging as an important causal factor in UAS accidents. LOC of an UAS operated at low altitude poses a hazard to people and property on the ground and is a barrier to relaxing operational restrictions. The Phase I research has developed a recovery system that replaces the perception, cognition, and decision making of a skilled operator with a two-stage automated recovery architecture and an innovative upset detection system. The decision about when to activate each stage of a recovery is difficult to make at design-time, so the upset detection system employs a novel statistical testing framework that combines at run-time numerous pieces of data including vehicle attitude, rotational rate, and controller performance to answer the question: Has an upset occurred? During Phase I, the recovery system was evaluated in a high quality simulation of a small fixed-wing vehicle. All hardware needed for flight testing was obtained, and systems integration work was performed. The proposed Phase II effort will focus on flight testing of the recovery system, including tests with multiple vehicle designs. The Phase II team includes a flight testing and commercialization partner with a track record of safe, legal, and effective UAS inspection operations in support of commercial customers.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:12:28.000Z
Building on the success of our Phase I efforts, Mikro Systems, Inc. (MSI) proposes to advance the state-of-the-art in high resolution, high-aspect-ratio X-ray/gamma-ray collimator fabrication by reducing slit pitch by a factor of ~2, from 35 microns to 20 microns, using an innovative hybrid micro-machining technology. Fine grids having high-aspect-ratio (>50:1) and made from dense materials are the enabling components for solar and astrophysical imaging missions requiring high angular and/or spectral resolution at X-ray/gamma-ray energies. Instruments for these missions are severely constrained by size and mass considerations, and any technology that allows a reduction of size and/or mass without reducing image quality would contribute significantly to NASA's ongoing instrumentation development. Angular resolution is a function of the grid-pitch and distance between grids in a bi-grid collimator. Consequently, this advance in technology will have a significant effect on the angular resolution and/or instrument length and mass of grid-based optics required for x-ray and gamma-ray imaging in space. In Phase I, MSI demonstrated the technical feasibility of producing collimator grids with pitch as fine as 16 microns.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:07:11.000Z
We propose to build and test thin film transistor control circuitry for a new high-resolution adjustable X-ray mirror technology. This control circuitry will greatly simplify the wiring scheme to address individual actuator cells. The result will be a transformative improvement for the X-ray Surveyor mission concept: mathematical models, which fit the experimental data quite well, indicate that 0.5 arcsecond imaging is feasible through this technique utilizing thin slumped glass substrates with uncorrected angular resolution of order 5-10 arcseconds. In order to correct for figures errors in a telescope with several square meters of collecting area, millions of actuator cells must be set and held at specific voltages. It is clearly not feasible to do this via millions of wires, each one connected to an actuator. Instead, we propose to develop and test thin-film technology that operates on the same principle as megapixel computer screens. We will develop the technologies needed to build thin film piezoelectric actuators, controlled by thin film ZnO transistors, on flexible polyimide films, and to connect those films to the back surfaces of X-ray mirrors on thin glass substrates without deforming the surface. These technologies represent a promising avenue of the development of mirrors for the X-Ray Surveyor mission concept. Such a telescope will make possible detailed studies of a wide variety of astrophysical sources. One example is the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM), which is thought to account for a large fraction of the normal matter in the universe but which has not been detected unambiguously to date. Another is the growth of supermassive black holes in the early universe. This proposal supports NASA's goals of technical advancement of technologies suitable for future missions, and training of graduate students.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T05:40:02.000Z
MagiQ proposes to develop a compact tunable high-efficiency low-power-consumption entangled photon source. The source, based on inter-Fabry-Perot-cavity Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC) of pump light in periodically polled non-linear waveguides (PPLN or PPKTP) is expected to provide high spectral density flux of entangled photon pairs. The output wavelength will be within the C-band (1529 to 1563 nm) permitting usage of plethora of components developed for classical communication links. The Fabry-Perot setup will provide for the narrow frequency output -- an attractive feature for low power communications in presence of the ambient light. Waveguide-based inter-cavity SPDC is the main proposed innovation. The entangled output wavelength tuning will be achieved by changing the wavelength of the pump light. The wavelength agility will facilitate device usage in the reconfigurable communications links -- a feature that can be very important in the planetary exploration systems involving small robotic explorers. Breadboard demonstration of the time-bin entanglement setup will be completed during Phase I of the project; delivery of a fully functional device producing both, time-bin and polarization entanglement is expected at the end of Phase II.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:16:32.000Z
VPT proposes an innovative concept whereby complex NASA space power electronic systems can be configured using a small number of qualified hybrid DC-DC converter and EMI filter modules. This significantly reduces nonrecurring engineering in the design of space power converters. In the SBIR Phase I, VPT configured a space station power converter using a VPT standard product hybrid DC-DC converter and EMI filter. The system met all Space Station power quality requirements including the very challenging input impedance requirement. Two engineering units were developed and went through a full battery of space station power quality tests NASA-JSC. The approach also demonstrated a significant size and weight savings. The phase II workplan includes: (a) selection of three NASA power system applications across different branches for development of detailed power requirements, (b) design and build engineering units of each of these systems using a modular approach of VPT hybrid converters and subject each to engineering tests, (c) make necessary changes to selected VPT standard product hybrid converters in order to meet NASA requirements for design, parts selection, element evaluation, screening, radiation hardness, and qualification, (d) build a qualification unit for one system and subject it to formal qualification tests.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T06:59:14.000Z
The research focus in the field of remotely sensed imagery has shifted from collection and warehousing of data ' tasks for which a mature technology already exists, to auto-extraction of information and knowledge discovery from this valuable resource ' tasks for which technology is still under active development. In particular, intelligent algorithms for analysis of very large rasters, either high resolutions images or medium resolution global datasets, that are becoming more and more prevalent, are lacking. We propose to develop the Geospatial Pattern Analysis Toolbox (GeoPAT) a computationally efficient, scalable, and robust suite of algorithms that supports GIS processes such as segmentation, unsupervised/supervised classification of segments, query and retrieval, and change detection in giga-pixel and larger rasters. At the core of the technology that underpins GeoPAT is the novel concept of pattern-based image analysis. Unlike pixel-based or object-based (OBIA) image analysis, GeoPAT partitions an image into overlapping square scenes containing 1,000'100,000 pixels and performs further processing on those scenes using pattern signature and pattern similarity ' concepts first developed in the field of Content-Based Image Retrieval. This fusion of methods from two different areas of research results in orders of magnitude performance boost in application to very large images without sacrificing quality of the output. GeoPAT v.1.0 already exists as the GRASS GIS add-on that has been developed and tested on medium resolution continental-scale datasets including the National Land Cover Dataset and the National Elevation Dataset. Proposed project will develop GeoPAT v.2.0 ' much improved and extended version of the present software. We estimate an overall entry TRL for GeoPAT v.1.0 to be 3-4 and the planned exit TRL for GeoPAT v.2.0 to be 5-6. Moreover, several new important functionalities will be added. Proposed improvements includes conversion of GeoPAT from being the GRASS add-on to stand-alone software capable of being integrated with other systems, full implementation of web-based interface, writing new modules to extent it applicability to high resolution images/rasters and medium resolution climate data, extension to spatio-temporal domain, enabling hierarchical search and segmentation, development of improved pattern signature and their similarity measures, parallelization of the code, implementation of divide and conquer strategy to speed up selected modules. The proposed technology will contribute to a wide range of Earth Science investigations and missions through enabling extraction of information from diverse types of very large datasets. Analyzing the entire dataset without the need of sub-dividing it due to software limitations offers important advantage of uniformity and consistency. We propose to demonstrate the utilization of GeoPAT technology on two specific applications. The first application is a web-based, real time, visual search engine for local physiography utilizing query-by-example on the entire, global-extent SRTM 90 m resolution dataset. User selects region where process of interest is known to occur and the search engine identifies other areas around the world with similar physiographic character and thus potential for similar process. The second application is monitoring urban areas in their entirety at the high resolution including mapping of impervious surface and identifying settlements for improved disaggregation of census data.