Application Briefs

Pre-Launch Processing Enables Advanced Climate Warnings

NASA has awarded Astrotech Corp. and its Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) subsidiary a contract to provide facilities and pre-launch processing services for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, set to launch later this year.

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Prototype Recovers Lost-At-Sea Images

New hardware built by research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is helping NASA retrieve experimental images otherwise lost at sea. The hardware weighs less than two pounds, and serves as a means of locating NASA’s flight imagery recorders that capture valuable image data of decelerators during deployment and deceleration. The small box contains a GPS receiver, satellite communications modem, batteries, and a dual-band antenna. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sought the ARL’s help in ruggedizing a locator unit to limit the risk of losing the data, especially in the event of a catastrophic failure.

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Positioning System Will Keep Test Range on Target

NASA has contracted ADC USA to design and build an Experimental Test Range (ETR) Positioning System that consists of positioning components for a state-of-the-art Radar Cross Section (RCS) and Antenna Measurement compact range chamber facility located at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

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Actuator Meets NASA Requirements for Asteroid Sample Return

BEI Kimco Magnetics designed a customized moving magnet voice coil actuator (VCA) to meet the requirements for the flatplate Michelson moving mirror application on the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRISRex) spacecraft. The OSIRIS-Rex will launch in 2016, rendezvous with the Asteroid Bennu in 2018, and return samples to Earth in 2023. Redundant technology, low-outgassing, and high precision for exact motion control positioning were all essential requirements to the actuator design.

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Cryogenic Supply System Protects Crews from Hazardous Gases

The Cryogenic Refuge Alternative Supply System (CryoRASS), and a smaller liquid air-filled backpack under development at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Biomedical Lab, have the potential to store more than twice the amount of breathable air than traditional compressed gas systems.

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NASA Selects “Game-Changing” Thermal Management Concept

Thermacore was recently selected by NASA Space Technology’s Game Changing Development Program to have one of its thermal management concepts evaluated for potential use in future spacecraft.

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Air-Data System Detects Aircraft Icing

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) has begun work on a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with NASA’s Langley Research Center. The contract, “RIDES: Raman Icing Detection System,” extends MAC’s present aircraft-based optical airdata system technology — which uses ultraviolet laser light to measure air speed, direction, temperature, and density — to also detect conditions aloft when ice is likely to form, enabling a multi-hazard sensing capability.

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