- 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*.
Integrated SiC Super Junction Transistor-Diode Devices for High-Power Motor Control ModulesOoperating at 500 C, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T11:07:58.000Z
Monolithic Integrated SiC Super Junction Transistor-JBS diode (MIDSJT) devices are used to construct 500<sup>o</sup>C capable motor control power modules for direct integration with the exploration rovers required to operate in Venus-like environments. The Phase I of this proposed work will focus on the integrated MIDSJT device development and high-temperature packaging. Phase II will focus on the integration of the MIDSJT devices to construct full 3-Phase Inverter Motor Control Modules. Although SiC is the semiconductor material of choice for fabricating high-temperature (> 150 <sup>o</sup> C) power electronics, existing SiC MOSFET and JFET based transistor device technologies perform poorly at temperatures exceeding 200 <sup>o</sup> C. The proposed gate oxide-free Integrated MIDSJT device technology will overcome several problems associated with existing SiC device technologies by: (A) exhibiting desirable normally-OFF operation yet best-in-class on-state characteristics at temperatures as high as 500 <sup>o</sup> C, (B) eliminating parasitic inductances/capacitances associated with interconnecting discrete devices, and (C) eliminating high-temperature gate oxide reliability issues. Special device designs and fabrication processes will be investigated in this work for reliable device operation at 500 <sup>o</sup> C. Novel power device packaging techniques in the areas of power substrate, die-attach, chip metallization and wire bonds will be explored to demonstrate reliable module operation at 500 <sup>o</sup> C after several thermal cycles.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T04:47:22.000Z
This data set contains CODMAC level 3 cometary, calibration, and instrument checkout data acquired by the Rosetta Orbiter ALICE UV Spectrometer during the first commissioning phase of the Rosetta mission, which occurred March 5, 2004 to June 6, 2004.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-07T17:39:46.000Z
<p>Future astrophysics missions require efficient, low-temperature cryocoolers to cool advanced instruments or serve as the upper stage cooler for sub-Kelvin refrigerators. Potential astrophysics missions include Lynx, the Origin Space Telescope, and the Superconducting Gravity Gradiometer. Cooling loads for these missions are up to 300 mW at temperatures of 4 to 10 K, with additional loads at higher temperatures for other subsystems. Due to low jitter requirements, a cryocooler with very low vibration is needed for many missions. In addition, a multi-stage cooler, capable of providing refrigeration at more than one temperature simultaneously, can provide the greatest system efficiency with the lowest mass. Turbo-Brayton cryocoolers have space heritage and are ideal for these missions due to negligible vibration emittance and high efficiency at low temperatures. The primary limitation in implementing Brayton cryocoolers at temperatures below 10 K has been the development of high efficiency turbines. On the proposed program, Creare plans to leverage recent developments in gas bearing technology and low-temperature alternators to realize a high-efficiency, low-temperature turbine. On the Phase I project, we will perform a proof-of-concept demonstration of the turbine technology at temperatures down to 4 K. On the Phase II project, we will build and demonstrate an advanced low-temperature turbine at temperatures of 4 to 10 K.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-08-02T15:25:24.000Z
This grouping contains the incompressible-flow cases from the 1980-81 Data Library.
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-07-19T08:38:04.000Z
<p>We propose to enhance GSFC’s interplanetary mission design capability by designing a fully automated multi-spacecraft multi-objective interplanetary global trajectory optimization transcription. Advanced trajectory design technologies including the ability to design Distributed Spacecraft Missions (DSMs) are attracting increased interest but no mission design tool is currently capable of performing mission and systems design/optimization for an interplanetary DSM. This effort will deliver a software prototype capable of building the optimal design of a DSM-class mission where multiple spacecraft depart to the heliocentric regime from the same launch vehicle to perform coordinated science. This new capability will lay the groundwork for a follow-on proposal to implement this new capability into NASA Goddard's Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator (EMTG) where it will enable new announcements of opportunity for Distributed Spacecraft Missions.</p>
- API data.nasa.gov | Last Updated 2018-09-05T23:06:09.000Z
Missions to Enceladus that want to determine the habitability of its icy ocean and search for extant life must acquire a pristine sample of the Enceladus ocean brine. The missions can either be accomplished via a lander or flythroughs of the plumes. From the mission and flight system design perspective, flythroughs incur less risk. Also, the planetary protection requirements are easier to meet. One of the key challenges for these missions is to avoid ambiguity of results that has plagued previous astrobiological efforts (e.g. Viking). Therefore, the system must collect a large enough sample to enable analysis by several independent techniques. In addition, the sample collection process must not alter or contaminate the sample, which can skew the analysis. The reliability of the collector after a long cruise time, its cleanliness and low mass are also key concerns. The goal of this proposal is to mature a sample collection mechanism to obtain a pristine sample of the ocean water via multiple flythroughs of the Enceladus icy plumes. The requirements for the sample collector include a large collector area to acquire the most sample while ensuring that it is efficiently transferred into a very small holding volume. It must preserve the sample in its pristine ice form until the instruments are ready to perform analysis and then efficiently transfer the sample to the downstream instruments. EFun is a square meter, <2kg funnel shaped collector that was designed as part of JHU/APL internal development, achieving TRL 3. As the icy particles enter the collector area, they are guided into a small holding volume. Once the ice is in the holder, EFun transforms the sample into liquid, prepares it by controlled dilution, and employs a syringe-like piston to distribute the sample to the instruments. A smaller version of the collector front end was prototyped and tested at NASA Ames vertical gun facility in vacuum and at temperature. These test have proven the integrity of the sample and characterized its collecting efficiency. Under ColdTech, we propose to prototype and test the holding volume of the collector and the sample preparation steps of melting, dilution, and transfer to downstream instruments. The goal is the development of a highly efficient and reliable system. This prototype will then be integrated with the large area collector and be tested as a complete system at Ames over the full range of expected plume environments. We will demonstrate end-to-end sample acquisition, liquefaction, and distribution. In addition, we would design a door mechanism to keep the collector area clean during the cruise. At the end of ColdTech, EFun would achieve TRL 5 and be ready to be proposed in upcoming missions.