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Experimental Testbed for 1-MW Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Aircraft

A low-cost glider design mitigates risk in conducting experiments for cutting-edge “green” aircraft concepts. Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center are developing a concept aircraft for testing turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP) experiments. TeDP generally involves providing thrust to an aircraft via wing-mounted ducted electric fans, which consist of an electric motor, a fan, stators, and other components surrounded by cylindrical ducting within a fan case. The fan motors are powered by a combined battery and turboelectric generator system. To sufficiently power an aircraft approximately 50 ft (≈15 m) in length and with a gross weight of 25,000 lb (≈11,340 kg), this system must be capable of generating 1 MW of power.

Posted in: Briefs, Aviation, Motors & Drives

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Propellant Loading Visualization Software

Monitoring of complex propulsion pressure systems has been simplified with colors. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Complex pressure systems are utilized during testing in the propulsion branch as well as during the propellant loading stage of a mission. Keeping track of the state of such a system becomes more difficult as the complexity of such a system increases, and when extensive procedures are being followed. A book-keeping system is needed for visualizing these complex systems.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Versatile Platform for Nanotechnology Based on Circular Permutations of Chaperonin Protein

Circular permutation is used to join peptide sequences within a protein template. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The controlled organization of inorganic materials into multi-dimensional addressable arrays is the foundation for logic and memory devices, as well as other nonlinear optical and sensing devices. Many of these devices are currently fabricated using lithographic patterning processes that have progressively developed toward greater integration densities and smaller sizes. At submicron scales, however, conventional lithographic processes are approaching their practical and theoretical limits. At scales below 100 nm, ion and electron beam lithography becomes prohibitively expensive and time consuming, and more importantly, at these scales, quantum effects fundamentally change the properties of devices.

Posted in: Briefs

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Zero-G Condensing Heat Exchanger with Integral Disinfection

The proposed concept promises to improve the life support environment for astronauts. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio A concept for a unique zero-g condensing heat exchanger that has an integral ozone-generating capacity has been conceived. This design will contribute to the control of metabolic water vapor in the air, and also provide disinfection of the resultant condensate, and the disinfection of the air stream that flows through the condensing heat exchanger.

Posted in: Briefs

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Concurrent O2 Generation and CO2 Control for Advanced Life Support

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A life support system generates oxygen in low oxygen and/or hazardous environments such as mining, chemical/biological attacks, nuclear fallout, or space exploration. Based on proven technology, this O2/CO2 control system has the potential to significantly reduce the mass of the oxygen carried into the low oxygen and/or hazardous environment by continuously regenerating the oxygen used by the human subject(s).

Posted in: Briefs

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Gene Expression Signatures for Colon Carcinogenesis and Radiation-Induced Cellular Transformation

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Monitoring colon health and transformation into a diseased tissue, including inflammation and cancer, is difficult using conventional techniques, as individuals are required to undergo invasive procedures. However, by using exfoliated cells, it is possible to characterize the overall health of the colon by monitoring patterns of gene expression.

Posted in: Briefs, Patient Monitoring

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Habitat Demonstration Unit Core Avionics Software

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The Habitat Demonstration Unit Core Avionics Software (HDU-CAS) is designed to provide the required functionality for an engineering prototype of a highly autonomous space habitat element, and to provide an opportunity for new software technologies to be tested in an environment that provides that functionality. The HDU itself must provide basic environmental and infrastructure services, while also supporting a variety of integrated subsystems that aid in the fulfillment of space mission operations. The HDU-CAS must then provide complete command and data handling, and intelligent autonomous operations functions of these needed subsystems in all appropriate circumstances (nominal and off-nominal).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aviation, Electronics & Computers

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