Electrical/Electronics

Deployable Antenna Circuit Board Material Design and Fabrication Process

This technology has applications in solar arrays for small satellites.

The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray (ISARA) antenna requires a rugged circuit board material that will meet the following requirements: (1) remains sufficiently flat over the required operating temperature range with solar cells mounted, and under full solar illumination, including heat dissipation due to ≈30% efficiency solar cells; (2) provides a sufficiently high-quality RF-grade circuit board material needed to print the reflectarray antenna; (3) is sufficiently thin (<2.5 mm) to fit within the available stowage volume; and (4) has low mass density (≈5 kg/m2).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Fabrication
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Rigorous Antenna Noise Temperature Calculation Method for International Space Station Visiting Spacecraft

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

The temperature of the orbiting space station’s Sun-facing side could be up to 250 °F (≈120 °C) and will be a significant antenna noise temperature contributor for visiting spacecraft communication and tracking systems during rendezvous. The conventional antenna noise temperature calculation does not take into account the space station reflection effects, and results in an underestimated antenna and system noise temperature. Thus, the visiting spacecraft communication and tracking system performance could be overestimated during rendezvous.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Antennas, Telecommunications, Antennas, Telecommunications, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Noise, Noise, Spacecraft
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Recurring Anomaly Detection System (ReADS)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC) subject matter experts analyze records in various International Space Station and shuttle databases to identify recurring anomalies. The key problems these experts face in analyzing such database records are:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Analysis methodologies, Data acquisition and handling, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft
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Method for Automatic Optimization of Yaw Maneuvers for Orbiting Space Vehicles

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

A new method for optimizing yaw attitude maneuvers on the International Space Station (ISS) was developed. Docking and undocking operations often require 180° yaw rotations, which are the most common large maneuvers on the ISS. When optimized, some large maneuvers, previously performed using thrusters, could be performed using control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) or with significantly reduced thruster firings. The ability to perform a non-propulsive or low-propulsive 180° yaw maneuver on the ISS has been proven through the zero propellant maneuver (ZPM) and the optimal propellant maneuver (OPM). The ZPM and OPM were created by Draper Laboratory using the computational approach. Each maneuver is unique, and can only be calculated on the ground because significant computer resources are needed for the calculations.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Optimization, Simulation and modeling, Attitude control, Spacecraft guidance, Attitude control, Spacecraft guidance, Spacecraft
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Architecture Framework for Fault Management Assessment and Design

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

Modern spacecraft, aircraft, and surface vehicles support complex science missions in harsh environments. These spacecraft and vehicles provide diverse functionality that is deployed on increasingly complex and heterogeneous hardware and mechanical systems, with stringent dependability requirements.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Failure analysis, Architecture, Architecture, Reliability, Reliability, Spacecraft
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Spacecraft Parameter Database Tool

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The GOES-R Program has requirements to maintain knowledge of the GOES-R satellite onboard memory contents, including managing general satellite operations tables; processor memory dumps for memory verification; creating command loads, memory (table) loads, and command sequences to operate the satellite; verifying stored command and memory (table) loads; and to provide for operator-initiated memory dumps from satellite processors. The principal limitation is the tie to specific spacecraft architecture.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data management, Spacecraft
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Eliminating the Need for Payload-Specific Coupled Loads Analyses Without Mission Risk

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

Amore efficient structural verification process for small satellites has been demonstrated. This new process eliminates the need for payload-specific coupled loads analysis (CLA) and simplifies structural testing while not increasing mission risk. The process entails the following:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Failure modes and effects analysis, Safety testing and procedures, Satellites
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Moon Tours Android

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

This Android app provides a native interface to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal’s (LMMP) lunar data archive and analysis tools. It complements the iOS app previously released, incorporating a very similar feature set. Both apps contain a subset of the functionality available in the desktop/Web version. Compared to the iOS version of the LMMP, the Android version provides the additional tools necessary to perform elevation analysis and perimeter/area measurements.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Historical reference
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Full-Wave Matching Circuit Optimization Shortens Design Iterations

Full-wave matching circuit optimization (FW-MCO) is a new technology introduced by Remcom, which combines full wave 3D EM simulation and circuit optimization to solve an age-old RF problem:

determining which component values provide the desired match for a given matching network layout.

Posted in: White Papers, Communications, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software
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Unique Composite Film Could Become Hard Disc of the Future

A research group from ITMO University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have invented unique conductive magnetic films that will be applied to transparent data storage, flexible displays, as well as electromagnetic radiation protection. Not only can the new material be produced at 25°C and normal pressure, it considerably reduces costs.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers
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