- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-20T07:17:05.000Z
This project will develop a much-needed multidisciplinary analysis tool for predicting the impact of aeroelastic effects on the functionality of inflatable aeroassist vehicles in both the continuum and rarefied flow regimes. In this integrated multi-physics multi-disciplinary computing environment, high-fidelity modules for continuum and rarefied aerodynamics, stress, heat transfer, and computational grid deformation are coupled. This flexible and extensible approach allows the integration of state-of-the-art, stand-alone NASA and industry leading continuum and rarefied flow solvers and structural analysis codes into a computing environment in which the modules can run concurrently with synchronized data transfer. The Phase I study proved the feasibilty of this approach. Tightly coupled fluid-structure continuum flow demonstrations were conducted on a clamped ballute configuration. The feasibility of implementing a DSMC flow solver in the simulation framework was demonstrated, and loosely coupled rarefied flow aeroelastic demonstrations were performed. A NASA and industry technology survey identified several software tools for fluid and structural modeling to be integrated into the environment. Phase II efforts will focus on full implementation of these tools. They include NASA-selected CFD and DSMC codes, and commercial leading structural analysis codes capable of modeling non-linear shape and material response of thin-film inflated aeroshells. Extensive verification and validation studies will be performed, and the software will be applied in ballute technology development.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:55:45.000Z
With the availability of small geometry SOI processes, STI has shown that it is possible to design and fabricate improved high performance, analog circuits with excellent rad-hard characteristics using Rad-Hard by Design and Process (RHBD and RHBP) techniques. STI has demonstrated rad hard design techniques by designing circuits using several SOI process for Phase I SBIRs including projects for the Air Force, the Navy and DARPA. STI proposes to use these proven techniques to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a Rad-hard ADC with 48ksps and 18 bit resolution using a 40nm SOI process from GlobalFoundries. The proposed architecture that Silicon Technologies Inc. proposes to implement, is a single loop, fifth order, Sigma Delta Modulator with a five bit Flash ADC for the quantizer. Designing analog circuits which are immune to radiation environments is difficult as ionizing radiation and even single ionizing particles can generate charges in semiconductor circuits. Previous research at STI successfully concentrated on the invention of an improved method to design rad-hard analog circuits called ADONIS. ADONIS is a structured approach which uses a cell matrix method where the designer places symbols representing circuit elements at locations that give optimum analog performance critical for small geometries. This allows a designer to view the schematic and layout simultaneously with immediate access to circuit parameters for SPICE simulations. In addition STI will use a new technique for maximizing the throughput of small geometry circuits for Ebeam Direct Write (EBDW). This new design technology called "1D" was invented by Dr. Michael Smayling, presently a consultant for STI. STI has developed an analog extension to the technology, Straight Line Analog, which will be used in this project. This technology has the benefit of providing EBDW at significantly smaller cost than previous whole wafer EBEAM in addition to improved manufacturing uniformity.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T18:41:42.000Z
In the phase II effort, Intelligent Automation Inc., (IAI) and University of Central Florida (UCF) propose to develop a comprehensive numerical test suite for benchmarking current and future high performance computing activities that will include: (1) dense and unsymmetrical matrix problems faced in space aviation and problems in thermally driven structural response and radiation exchange, (2) implicit solution algorithms with production models and benchmarks for indefinite matrices and pathological cases, (3) configurations scaling for large systems in shared, distributed and mixed memory conditions, (4) documentation for strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of the toolkits used together with recommendations and (5) precision and round-off studies on serial and parallel machines, comparison of solutions on serial and parallel hardware with study of wall clock performance with respect to the number of processors We successfully demonstrated in phase I that we can accurately and precisely benchmark run time solvers of dense complex matrices in hybrid-distributed memory architecture. We achieved highly scalable super-linear speed-up and scalability of the algorithm for large problem sizes. The tools developed in phase II will greatly improve the performance and efficiency to adapt the benchmarks to HPC systems different hardware architectures at NASA facilities and for non-NASA commercial applications.
Laser frequency stabilization and stray light issues for LISA and other future multi-spacecraft missions Projectdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-18T20:28:37.000Z
"The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a joint NASA/ESA project which will use laser interferometry between drag-free proof masses to measure gravitational waves from many galactic and cosmological sources. The same interferometer technology is also the key to future multi-spacecraft missions such as multi-aperture telescope missions. These missions could include several spacecraft all separated by potentially 10s of km, flying in a fixed formation with sub-wavelength variations in their distances. These multi-aperture or distributed aperture telescopes will revolutionize the angular resolution in the infrared, optical, and even X-ray band. This proposal addresses two components which are both critical to these missions. The first component introduces a new technique to stabilize the laser frequency to an optical reference cavity. Laser frequency noise will be the limiting factor for most of the distributed aperture telescope missions; in contrast, LISA can trade frequency noise against ranging precision. This new technique is based on heterodyne interferometry which is also used to measure changes in the distances between the spacecraft. Because of this similarity, this technology can easily be integrated into the payload. It requires the same photo detectors and digital signal processing systems that are used for the interferometry. It utilizes to a large degree existing components, reducing R&D time and cost for all interferometric space missions. We have already started initial proof of principle experiments and have reached already a performance remarkably close to the performance of the standard and long time-favored modulation/demodulation technique. Now we propose to study this technique in more detail, study the limiting noise sources experimentally and theoretically, and push it to the limitations of the reference cavity itself. The expected final fractional frequency noise should be better than 0.01ppt for measurement times of a 1000s. This
High Temperature, Radiation Hard Electronics Architecture for a Chemical Sensor Suite for Venus Atmospheric Measurements, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:22:53.000Z
Makel Engineering, Inc. proposes to develop a high temperature, radiation hard electronics sensing architecture for a high temperature chemical sensor array suitable for measuring key chemical species in the Venus atmosphere. The previously developed Venus Microsensor Chemical Array (VMCA) consists of sensing elements which can operate in a 500 C environment, but which currently rely on silicon based electronics for signal acquisition, control and data transmission, which requires active cooling for a Venus mission deployment. NASA GRC has demonstrated simple SiC electronic circuits, such as differential amplifiers and logic gates that were packaged and operated for a world-record of thousands of hours at 500 C. Ongoing work at NASA, universities, and industry is increasing the complexity and capability of SiC devices. This proposal aims to develop electronics designs and architecture to enable NASA's high temperature SiC electronics to be applied to the VCMA to form a science instrument suitable for a future Venus mission. Phase I will develop innovative designs using near term SiC components to provide transduction and signal processing needed to operate the VMCA without active cooling. Phase I designs will be demonstrated in hardware using silicon versions of electronics components which are achievable in SiC. This process is the key first step in applying emerging development of SiC electronics to a harsh environment chemical sensing need. Phase II will focus on implementation of the SiC electronics design utilizing the best available SiC components.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T12:15:36.000Z
Automation and autonomy technologies, such as automated planning software, are key elements in realizing the vision for space exploration. A fundamental requirement for success with these technologies is that they operate using valid models or ontologies of the application domains. Making ontological information available to automated systems is difficult because 1) domain experts reason in domain terms, not the formal logic of ontologies; 2) the states and configurations of the specific objects in the domain are both voluminous and dynamic, making manual entry and maintenance prohibitive; and 3) the data required, especially state updates, need to be extracted or imported from other disparate systems. This proposal seeks to investigate, design and test a framework for consistent ontological modeling both within and across domains that can be exploited by automated planners currently being developed by NASA's exploration technology program. Specifically we will investigate a modeling framework that provides 1) an ontological representation of domain information in a standard format that can be used by NASA's developing planning software, 2) an interactive editing environment to allow domain experts to construct and maintain the ontological information; and 3) a general, systematic, and maintainable semantic mapping from external data sets into the user-constructed ontology.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:00:22.000Z
<p>Detector technology developments will determine the science product of future astrophysics missions and projects, and this is especially true at submillimeter wavelengths where the science potential is just being unlocked (e.g., Herschel Space Observatory) but instruments are very far from using efficiently each photon arriving at the focal plane of telescopes. Demonstration of prototype detectors on a relatively low-cost ground-based or suborbital telescope is a key step toward their use in a major project. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) provides a unique, powerful, and cost-efficient test bed for proving new submillimeter detectors. Recent ‘success stories’ for submillimeter detectors featured in a space mission, but tested first at CSO, include the Herschel/SPIRE bolometer arrays (employed first in Bolocam at CSO) and Herschel/HIFI SIS mixers (developed for CSO in years prior). Looking ahead, the CSO is an ideal test bed for demonstrating novel submillimeter Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs) for wide-field imaging and moderate-resolution spectroscopy, submillimeter wavefront sensing techniques which take advantage of large detector arrays, and potential breakthrough technologies such as broadband quantum-limited parametric amplifiers. Near-term science application targets include the Cerro Chajnator Atacama Telescope (CCAT), and longer-term mission targets are SPICA, Millimetron, SAFIR/CALISTO, SPIRIT and SPECS. </p> <p>The following are the objectives of this project:<br /><br />(1) Demonstration of 1600-element Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID) imaging array operating at 350 micron with near background-limited sensitivity, a critical development step for the Short Wavelength Camera (SWCam) on CCAT;<br /><br />(2) Demonstration of 400-element KID imaging array operating at 850 micron with near background-limited sensitivity, also a critical development step for CCAT cameras;<br /><br />(3) Phase-contrast wavefront sensing at 850 micron with improved sensitivity and accuracy, targeting the eventual measurement of the CCAT telescope surface. <br /><br />The current worldwide state-of-the art for submillimeter imaging detectors is the U.K.’s SCUBA2 instrument, which has 5000 Transition-Edge Sensor (TES) detectors each at 450 and 850 micron. TES’s work well, but may have reached practical limits for a ground-based project in part due to the high detector cost (> $100/pixel). KIDs, on the other hand, should achieve a detector cost of <$10/pixel in the medium term and are therefore the baseline for CCAT’s short-wavelength camera SWCam, which requires 50,000 detectors. KIDs<br />manufactured at JPL have shown background-limited performance in the lab at 350 micron, and a 400-element first-generation prototype was tested at CSO in April 2013 (see Figure) with promising results. The SWCam detectors operate by absorbing radiation directly in the inductive element of a TiN film and are fabricated by remarkably simple lithography. 350 micron is the key band for CCAT, and the SWCam detector work to date has concentrated on this band. By re-optimizing the detailed design according to the operating background power, KIDs can work at fundamental background-limited sensitivity limits over a wide range of applications. Given that 850 micron is also an important band for CCAT, we propose to test an 850 micron imaging KID array at CSO in FY14.<br /><br />In FY12 and FY13, JPL and Caltech demonstrated the first (to our knowledge) implementation of phase-contrast (or Zernike) wavefront sensing applied to a submillimeter telescope (see Figure). In this approach, the detector images the power distribution incident on the pupil (primary mirror), and the phase of the field from a point source is modulated in the image plane in order to map the wavefront in the pupil plane. The resolution in the wavefront mapping improves as the number of imaging elements available grows. Th
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:34:44.000Z
Microcosm, Inc. in cooperation with Aerojet Rocketdyne is presenting an innovative approach to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The single-stage monopropellant system offers the substantial advantage of simplicity, while providing operational flexibility. The projected result offers low cost at high reliability. Our proposed concept employs a gelled hydrazine monopropellant which provides low temperature capability (-54 ?C/ 65 ?F demonstrated), thus reducing the thermal conditioning demand on the Entry Descent Lander (EDL). Precision pointing at the time of launch is not required due to the relatively low, under 10g's, initial acceleration and high control gain provided by the articulated plug nozzle, enabling the use of a single degree-of-freedom EDL launch platform. This proposal combines the strength of a previous proposal submitted to NASA's Planetary Sciences Division, in May of 2010, with the particular expertise of Microcosm Inc. in space mission design as well as its advanced all-composite pressurized structures technology for significant vehicle performance/weight reduction enhancements. The MAV concept and its CONOPS are built on experience by Aerojet, Raytheon and Avaliant and employ a single stage mono propellant design. The proposal takes advantage of the vast experience of the team members from programs such as VIKING, Sidewinder, and AMRAAM, missile guidance algorithm design, communications and health monitoring systems engineering. This single-stage, liquid monopropellant MAV concept leverages recent component advancements resulting from over $500 million in investment by the Missile Defense Agency in miniature interceptor component technology.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-18T19:57:59.000Z
Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership's ASK Magazine archive.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T09:03:10.000Z
Clear air turbulence (CAT), often referred to as "air pockets," is attributed to Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities at altitudes usually above 18,000ft, often without visual cues (clouds, etc.), making it difficult to avoid. The vortices produced when atmospheric waves "break" can have diameters of 900-1200ft and tangential velocities of 70-85 ft/sec. CAT is dangerous to aircraft, recently demonstrated by United flight 967 from Washington-Dulles to Los Angeles on July 21, 2010, which encountered severe turbulence and landed in Denver with over 30 injured passengers, 21 requiring a hospital visit. Many other turbulence incidents have caused injuries or deaths to passengers and crew. Another recently-highlighted hazard is the inadequacy of current airspeed sensors on commercial aircraft. Federal investigators have reported that on at least a dozen recent flights by U.S. jetliners, malfunctioning equipment made it impossible for pilots to know how fast they were flying. A similar issue is believed to have played a role in the June 2009 crash of Air France 447 that killed all 228 people aboard. Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) proposes the Molecular Air Data and Clear Air Turbulence (MADCAT) system which will be capable of providing not only a look-ahead capability to predict clear air turbulence but also a full air data solution (airspeed, angle of attack, angle of sideslip, pressure and temperature). The technology has already been demonstrated in-flight, confirming its ability to measure these air-data parameters. In addition, ground units based upon the same core technology have demonstrated the ability to detect atmospheric turbulence. MAC's direct-detection UV LIDAR technology uses molecular backscatter and does not require airborne particles and/or vapor to be suspended in the air, as other proposed solutions based on radar and LIDAR do. This Phase 2 project will result in a laboratory test model of MADCAT and a plan for subsequent airborne testing.