- 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 2018-07-19T08:49:57.000Z
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 2018-07-19T10:53:04.000Z
<p>The project will develop a system of 3D-printed connectors that can be used as a kit of parts to connect inflatable air beams to form a variety of spacecraft interior outfitting components. Examples of inflatable IVA structures that can be assembled include crew quarters, waste & hygiene compartment, crew medical restraint system, splints, science payload racks, stowage and other equipment racks, science glove box, recreational devices, other portable devices, work surfaces and other workstations, support braces, other secondary structures, etc. This inflatable technology can enable such hardware to be packaged in much smaller volumes for delivery in logistics flights or potentially to be integrated within inflatable spacecraft, increasing trade space options. Crew can also reconfigure spacecraft in-flight, using the ability to 3D-print custom connectors to redesign living spaces or create entirely new interior architectures to respond to mission developments or psychosocial needs.</p> <p>The Habitabiltiy Design Center has already prototyped scale models of inflatable crew stations and initial prototypes of a standard interface connector. These connectors have demonstrated basic capability, but are too large relative to the airbeams for pracitcal use. We have a notional reduced size connector and will use this concept as a starting point, to fabricate and test under operational inflation pressures. Pending initial success, we will fabricate various connectors to provide several linear and angled connections. This will form the basic building block for assembly of a variety of crew stations and support hardware.</p><p> </p><p>This research addresses HAT Needs Numbers 12.1.a and 12.1.b and provides steps towards several HAT-specified performance targets: Bladder Material Selection: The potentially frequent cycles of inflation and deflation experienced by IVA inflatable structures will require bladder material and seal interfaces capable of resisting puncture, tear, flex cracking, or other damage due to folding, handling, or stowage temperatures. Predictive Modeling of Deployment Dynamics: Inflation or deflation may involve imparted torques and loads that require IVA inflatable structures to be anchored to the spacecraft secondary structure prior to the initiation of inflation or deflation. Lightweight Structures and Materials Optimization to Realize Structural System Dry Mass Savings (Minimum of 20-25%) and Operational Cost Savings: The inflatable air beam and connector technology offers significant dry mass savings over traditional IVA structural materials. Structural mass savings for an individual crew quarters is expected to be in excess of 75% over ISS crew quarters.</p><p> </p><p>The intended product deliverable of this activity includes three airbeams of at least 12-inch length and no less than one each of the following: 90-degree connector, 45-degree connector, 180-degree connector, 90-degree five-airbeam connector, 60-degree three-airbeam connector. Additionally, a test report and CAD models for each connector will constitute deliverables of this activity.</p><p> </p><p>Upon completion of this initial ICA effort, we will be able to demonstrate use of the airbeams in conjunction with existing Logistics to Living Modified Cargo Transfer Bags (MCTBs) to demonstrate deployable partitions as an initial example case. This demonistration will be helpful in explaining the potential for continued investment to reduce both mass and habitability risks. We will continue to pursue research funding for further development and will also pursue options to directly engage exploration programs to generate solutions for their specific mission architectures.</p>
- 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>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:45:37.000Z
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop new solar cells based on a ferroelectric semiconductor absorber material that can yield a 30% increase in efficiency and a 20% increase in specific power compared with current triple-junction III-V cells. These gains will be realized by exploiting a unique charge separation mechanism in ferroelectrics that enables open-circuit voltages many times the band gap, leading to maximum power conversion efficiencies exceeding the conventional Shockley-Queisser limit (33%). PSI and team members will create photovoltaic cells based on Earth-abundant SnS stabilized in a ferroelectric state by epitaxial strain engineering. By combining above-gap cell voltages with the high absorption coefficient (<1 x 105 cm-1 at 500 nm), low density (5.22 g/cm3), and ideal band gap (1.1 eV) of SnS, a mass-specific power density of 120 kW/kg (mass of absorber material, 1 um absorber thickness) is projected. In addition, a maximum cell efficiency of >45% is anticipated to be achievable. Importantly, these cells will also offer improved radiation resistance due to the reduced carrier diffusion lengths required by the unique ferroelectric charge separation mechanism. During Phase I, PSI, guided by first-principles calculations conducted by the PARADIM Center at Cornell University, will demonstrate room-temperature ferroelectric ordering in SnS through epitaxial strain engineering. During Phase II, PSI and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will demonstrate the potential of the proposed absorber by achieving above-band gap open-circuit voltages in prototype cells. During a Phase III effort, the efficiency of these cells will be increased to a target value of 45% through reduction of intrinsic defects, leading to substantial improvements in cell size, weight, and power output.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:07:39.000Z
This proposal sets out to answer the following astrophysically important questions: Where are oxygen, silicon, and iron found in the universe? What are their abundances and physical and chemical forms? A complete set of atomic, molecular, and solid-state photoabsorption data. We propose to generate such data through a combination of the following theoretical techniques. Firstly, R-matrix calculations will be carried out to obtain the K-shell photoabsorption of atomic silicon and the L-shell of iron; in this respect atomic oxygen has already been extensively treated by us. Secondly, the UK molecular R-matrix (UKRmol) package will be used to compute the photoabsorption of molecular oxygen (O2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2). And thirdly, we will implement multiple scattering theory in tandem with an atomic R-matrix treatment for each atom to compute photoabsorption cross sections for condensed-matter systems such as oxides, silicates, and other compounds comprising interstellar dust and ice. A final model will be developed in a fashion consistent with the photoabsorption in all environments - atomic, molecular, and solid-state. To this end, a consistent model for all cases is developed that (1) preserves the oscillator strength sum rule per electron, and (2) exhibits the expected identical absorption away from the inner-shell thresholds. Such a model allows for a controlled measure of the quantitative differences in the near-edge structure of atomic, molecular, and solid-state X-ray spectral observations. For oxygen, the atomic neutral and ionic cross sections are now well established from our recent work, and we will use the UKRmol codes to compute K-shell photoabsorption cross sections for O2, CO, and H2O. For more complicated systems, we will perform R-matrix calculations for the individual atoms and utilize multiple scattering theory to compute the photoabsorption cross section. For Si, atomic R-matrix calculations will be performed for the K-shell atomic cross sections, and then multiple scattering theory will be used to treat more complex systems. For the more complex case of iron L-shell absorption, we will perform large-scale atomic R-matrix calculations, using three approaches: a non-relativistic LS-coupled Hamiltonian, a Breit-Pauli Hamiltonian, and a Dirac-Fock Hamiltonian, the latter two to include the important fine-structure splitting of thresholds. Multiple scattering theory will be used with the atomic R-matrix information to treat photoabsorption in solid-state environments, and a consistent atomic, molecular, and solid-state absorption model will be developed. By determining atomic, molecular and solid state cross sections on the same footing, we will use available experimental and astronomical (Chandra) observations, in the case of atomic oxygen, and experimental cross sections, in the case of silicates, to calibrate the exact position of all K-shell thresholds, as well as the absolute cross sections. Moreover, current experimental cross sections for a few silicate compositions will help us study the effects of chemical binding on the position and shape of the cross sections across inner-shell thresholds. Thus, we will be able to provide self-consistent cross sections for all forms of oxygen, silicon, and iron in the X-ray region accessible to Chandra and XMM-Newton. The derived data and analytical model will be made available to the astrophysics community, and will be incorporated into the XSTAR database for x-ray spectral modeling analysis. From observed x-ray spectra near the K-edge of O and Si, and the L-edge of Fe, we will infer the compositions of each of these three elements and help answer the question posed initially: in what forms and abundances are oxygen, silicon, and iron found in the universe?
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:46:54.000Z
Scientific/Technical/Management Science Goals and Objectives: A major goal of the NASA planetary space program has been the search for life in our solar system. On Mars, this effort has been focused on the successful search for water and habitability. The next step will be searching specific locations for signs of past life. One of the most promising places are the hydrothermal sinter deposits in the Nili Patera caldera of the Syrtis Major volcano. These deposits would have been long-lived, with the suitable environmental conditions and provide a well-mapped feature for a targeted mission. To prepare for this type of mission, we propose a series of experiments and field operations to develop the required methodologies. Operating at an extinct hot spring deposit in a Martian analog and extreme life environment in Iceland, we will collect samples and in-situ measurements to determine the resolutions and data sets required to answer the key mission objectives. We will also test trafficability to determine the spacecraft capabilities required for mission success. The proposed advancements break down into the categories of Science, Science Operations and Technology. Science objectives will focus building on the extensive set of terrestrial literature to answer questions specific to this mission. For example, how do we identify all potential signs of life preserved in the sinters and how to sinters record signs of environmental and volcanic properties. Specific to this proposal will be to understand what spacecraft instruments will be required to answer these questions. Science Operations will focus on the suite of instruments needed to operate together to answer the mission goals and what type of samples and mobility will be required for success. The Technology section will be to develop the methods to meet the requirements determined by the science effort. This includes sample collection and handling methodology and determining a plan to develop currently available field instruments into planetary capable versions. Methodology: Dr. Skok will lead a diverse team of hydrothermal, biological and instrumental experts to study a comparable hot spring deposit in Iceland to examine all the potential mission issues and scenarios, along with sample requirements. A combination of lab analysis of collected samples and in-situ deployment of field instruments will be used to prepare for this future mission. Relevance to Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research: This proposal meets the stated PSTAR goal of funding projects to planetary analog sites to develop the technologies and methodologies required for future missions, especially to extreme environments. Hot spring environments are key habitats on Earth and provide a planetary independent energy source and habitable zone.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:28:13.000Z
Managing teams of unmanned vehicles is currently time-consuming and labor intensive. There needs to be a way to control multiple UAV teams with minimal human oversight. The proposed innovation builds on and combines several technologies we have developed to create an architecture and set of software methods that will achieve this goal, significantly advancing the state of the art. The proposed innovations are based on our NASA-funded Aurora planning, resource allocation, and scheduling framework, which has proved optimal in many, many diverse domains, including UAV scheduling; a Probabilistic RoadMap Planner (PRMP) to plan detailed real-time UAV routes to rapidly satisfy and optimize a large number of simultaneous constraints and objectives; the asynchronous consensus-based bundle algorithm (ACBBA) for UAV-to-UAV task negotiation; and the concept of a play (from sports) represented using behavior transition networks (BTNs). The ultimate goal of this proposed effort is to allow intelligent UAV team coordination and control in an intelligent, predictable, and robust way, with little cognitive load on the human users. This will require intelligent real-time planning, role allocation, negotiation, and detailed path planning and, when communication is not possible, autonomous, intelligent, adaptive behavior by the UAVs. In Phase I, we will develop the required AI techniques to automate all aspects of intelligently executing, recommending, and/or automatically selecting appropriate plays, robustly assigning roles and planning routes, and adaptively executing each role, robustly and predictably in environments with varying levels of uncertainty. We will design the ultimate system and, to absolutely prove its feasibility, prototype all aspects of it in Phase I on *actual, physical UAVs*.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T11:42:38.000Z
Our goal is to adapt the peer-to-peer technology (P2P), which has been overwhelmingly successful in popular content distribution, as the basis for development of scientific collaboratory called Scientific Peer Network (SciPerNet), pronounced Cyper-Net. In contrast to P2P networks such as Gnutella, Bit Torrent, and others, SciPerNet incorporates three design elements that are critical to application of P2P for scientific purposes (Figure 1): • User Authentication • Data Integrity Validation • Reliable Searching In order to make SciPerNet an effective tool for distributed collaboration, it will also have built-in features (Figure 2) for creation and management of communities, access to authenticated list of scientists from different professional organizations such as American Physical Society, management and sharing of files, blogs and whiteboarding. It will also provide a number of novel features such as (i) Profiler which replaces the need to create personalized websites, (ii) searching documents for query hits rather than the usual file name only, (iii) U-publish which enables "publishing" scientific papers and their supplementary materials, and EmailAttacher which works by dragging a file into an email utility but rather than attaching and sending the file, it simply creates a link to the folder where the file resides with the instructions for the user on the other end to retrieve it.
Monolithic Power Integrated Circuits for Merging Power Electronics, Management, and Distribution, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:23:32.000Z
APIQ Semiconductor proposes development of a scalable, wide bandgap (WBG) monolithic power integrated circuit (MPIC) technology for power electronic conversion, management, and distribution. The proposed WBG microelectronics are to be based upon low defect, homogeneous gallium nitride (GaN) based materials using native GaN substrates. The technology to be developed will replace silicon power switches and drivers in power electronics systems to yield high efficiency, high density, reliable module based systems. Inclusive in the proposal are devices for 1200 V or more power switching and digital integration. Devices will be evaluated for high temperature and heavy ion radiation hardness, with performance improvements over competing technologies expected from low materials defects and carefully managed electric field profiles.