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.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T13:14:30.000Z
Our project investigated whether a software platform could integrate as wide a variety of devices and data types as needed for spaceflight biomedical support. The SpaceMED v2.2 prototype system was successfully developed and consists of 3 separable software layers: 1. MEDcomm: listens for medical and environmental devices over multiple communication protocol standards, connects to the devices, collects and time-stamps data, and packages that data for robust communication to the MEDproxy layer. It supports USB mass storage, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet protocols, most any 802.15.4 radio bridge (e.g., devices using Zigbee or ANT+ protocols), and filesystem-accessible locations. Devices from 7 distinct manufacturers plus any device that makes data available in file format are supported. 2. MEDproxy: receives data from MEDcomm and routes it to the data archive and MEDview graphical displays. The data archive includes a table for telemetry data, a repository for file-based data, and a metadata store which provides pointers to the stored files and data channels. MEDproxy also hosts webservice and websocket data interfaces. 3. MEDview: runs inside a web browser for query and viewing of both real time and historical data from multiple medical sensors using nearly any computing platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, tablet, smart phones). The MEDproxy webservice uses a login page for security and customization. The search page enables selection of individual or multiple datasets for display, whether historical or real-time. Control of an external device can also be achieved via MEDview. These three modules can be co-located on the same computer (standalone configuration), or distributed across multiple computers or devices. A radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based system was also developed, for rapid association of devices with patients and/or locations. SpaceMED has demonstrated a throughput of over 20,000 samples per second for telemetry data, equivalent to 10 simultaneous 12-lead ECG systems running simultaneously at 250Hz. Long-duration benchmarking and physiology laboratory analog testing with human participants using 8 sensors over 4 hour experiments were also successfully conducted. Importantly, SpaceMED can be configured to automatically forward all acquired data to NASA's Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD). User training of NASA EMSD developers was conducted to facilitate SpaceMED integration and utilization with EMSD. The delivered SpaceMED v2.2 prototype is thus capable of highly automated collection, management, and display of both telemetry and multimedia data in real-time or via the data archive. Our integration efforts enable all data collected by SpaceMED to be automatically transferred to NASA's EMSD databases. SpaceMED could serve as a smart operating system underlying biomedical and environmental devices, eventually to be integrated with guided-procedures, decision-support, and therapeutic systems.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T22:59:10.000Z
The operating conditions of conventional multijunction solar cells are severely limited by the current matching requirements of serially connected devices. The goal of this SBIR program is to enhance the operating tolerance of high efficiency III-V solar cells by employing nanostructured materials in an advanced device design. By using quantum wells and quantum dots embedded in a higher band gap barrier material, solar cell devices that avoid the limitations of current matching can be constructed. This Phase I effort will focus on quantifying the trade-offs between short circuit current and open circuit voltage in InGaP / InGaAs nanostructures. Ultimately, the technical approach employed in this program has the potential of achieving conversion efficiencies exceeding 50% with a single p-n junction device, enabling improved overall performance and lower manufacturing costs than existing technologies.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:26:31.000Z
<p>The Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) supports the advancement of spacecraft-based instrument technology that shows promise for use in scientific investigations on future planetary missions. The goal is to define and develop scientific instruments or components of such instruments to the point where the instruments may be proposed in response to future announcements of flight opportunity without additional extensive technology development.<p/><p>Results of PIDDP have contributed to the development of flight hardware flown on, or selected for, many of NASA's planetary missions. The instrument technology selected through PIDDP addresses specific scientific objectives of likely future science missions. Instrument definition and development studies take place at several stages, including feasibility studies, conceptual design, laboratory breadboarding, brassboarding, and testing of critical components and complete instruments. The technology readiness level (TRL) that PIDDP supports is TRL 1-6. For immature or particularly complex new instruments, proposers initially may choose to only define or develop the most risky components. When the proposed effort is for a component only, the proposed effort describes one or more likely scenarios for possible follow-on instrument development. Scientific objectives of the instruments, proposed follow-on instruments, and future candidate missions are discussed in the proposal for each selected activity. It is the responsibility of the proposer to demonstrate how their proposed instruments address significant scientific questions relevant to stated NASA goals and not for NASA to attempt to infer this.</p>
Developing an Adaptive Robotic Assistant for Close-Proximity Human-Robot Interaction in Space Environmentsdata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:32:22.000Z
As mankind continues making strides in space exploration and associated technologies, the frequency, duration, and complexity of human space exploration missions will continually increase in the years to come. Whether it is a return to the lunar surface, exploring an asteroid, or visiting Mars and its two moons, efficient collaboration between astronauts and robotic systems will be essential to the success and efficiency of future human missions. Improvements in human-robot interfacing and integration can also have substantial near-term benefits, as several new robotic system such as the Dextre, Robonaut 2, and Smart SPHERES have been deployed in the International Space Station in the last five years. The central objective of the proposed research is to enhance human-robot interaction in robotic systems in space in order to unlock the full potential of currently deployed robotic platforms as well as to benefit human space exploration missions in the future. In support of achieving this objective, the specific aims and proposed implementation methods of the research are: 1. Design a safety system capable of ensuring safe and comfortable human-robot interaction by monitoring various parameters such as separation distance, closing rate, and the huma's vision field in order to intelligently adjust the robot's motions. 2. Develop an intent recognition capability based on behavioral models which utilize task-level knowledge and observable parameters such as gaze direction, posture, gestures, and speech to actively predict astronaut intent and respond accordingly. 3. Validate the efficacy of the developed systems, both under nominal conditions as well as with localization uncertainty, through simulation and experimentation by utilizing quantitative measures of human-robot fluency, efficiency, and safety. This research is most closely related to the objectives stated in NASA's Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems Space Technology Roadmap, in particular the Human-Systems Integration section. Within this section, the Safety, Trust, & Interfacing of Robotic/Human Proximity Operations sub-section describes the need for safe physical interactions, which is highly relevant to the first aim of this research. The Intent Recognition & Reaction sub-section, on the other hand, describes the importance of recognizing astronaut intent and reacting to it in an intelligent way, which is relevant to the second aim.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:02:48.000Z
This data set contains Calibrated data taken by the New Horizons Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera instrument during the pluto cruise mission phase. This is VERSION 1.0 of this data set. The spacecraft was in hibernation for much of the Pluto Cruise mission phase, and the focus for RALPH (MVIC and LEISA) during Annual CheckOuts one through four (ACO1-4) was preparation for the Pluto Encounter in 2015, including functional tests, and calibrations. Science observations performed during this phase included Uranus and Neptune at phase angles (44 degrees and 34 degrees, respectively) not available from Earth (MVIC), calibrations with Neptune as a navigation test target (MVIC), Sun in the Solar Illumination Assembly (SIA) (MVIC and LEISA), the M6 and M7 clusters (MVIC), and other calibrations (stray light, dark, interference with other instruments).
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T07:04:52.000Z
<p>Long-duration human exploration and habitation on other planets such as Mars will require not only bringing supplies, but also the ability to use local resources to manufacture needed mission products. <em>In situ</em> resource utilization and manufacturing can lead to substantial mass and volume savings, and increase mission self-sustainability. Example mission materials needed include food and nutrients, polymers (plastics), medicines, fuels, binders and various feedstock chemicals.</p><p>The overarching goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate advanced biological systems that utilize local resources to manufacture high-value products on demand. In many cases, biological systems are either cheaper than competing physico-chemical systems or are the only known method of production. A major project task includes developing methods that efficiently and rapidly convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen to organic substrates that microbes can use to grow and make mission products. Carbon dioxide is the primary component of the Martian atmosphere and is therefore an abundant source of carbon and oxygen. Hydrogen can also be obtained from locally-sourced water. Together, these molecules can form the basis for a wide array of products that support human missions.</p><p>Another major goal of this project is to demonstrate the ability to engineer microorganisms that produce human nutrients on-demand. Providing nutrition on long-duration missions via stored dehydrated food or by growing plants may lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins/nutrients. We are therefore demonstrating the capability to rapidly generate a specific carotenoid (an anti-oxidant) using an engineered yeast grown on an edible dehydrated media. This includes an initial demonstration on the International Space Station over the course of several years to investigate long-duration storage of the microbes and media, and the ability to produce a nutrient of consistent quality and quantity.</p><p>These efforts seek to leverage the rapidly increasing capabilities being developed in the private sector, academia, and National Laboratories regarding genetic engineering, bioinformatics, advanced manufacturing and processing, and chemical engineering techniques. Together, with intentional collaboration, these research areas will spur novel technologies that facilitate microbial bio-manufacturing in space and on Earth.</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 2018-09-07T17:46:54.000Z
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*.