The proposed innovation is a new simulation tool for NASA’s prediction and mitigation of hazardous electric fields created within the payload enclosure and similar electromagnetic field cavities of a launch vehicle and a spacecraft. The research will extend existing statistical power balance modeling methods to specific NASA requirements, including 1) Mapping the different electric field strengths in different regions of the fairing and other complex shaped cavities, due to internal transmitters and operating avionics, 2) Statistically rigorous prediction of the maximum expected electric field in the cavity and/or common mode current in a conductor, even for electrically small, under-moded cavities, 3) Optimization of acoustic and thermal blanketing for shielding effectiveness and RF attenuation.
Phase I will progress the technology TRL from level 4 to 5. The follow-on Phase II effort will meet NASA-specific requirements for prediction of radiation-induced currents in cable bundles, with different cable shielding and grounding design strategies. Radiation sources can include lightning strike and/or electrostatic discharge (ESD). The Phase II work plan will be designed progress the technology TRL from level 5 to 7.
All NASA spacecraft and launch vehicles, particularly those with hardware sensitive to electric fields, will benefit from launch and ascent risk reduction. It is also applicable to on-orbit spacecraft performance. The proposed new technology is a key enabler for NASA to more safely and cost-effectively “tailor” EM environment specifications. So this technology has potential application to nearly all NASA programs.
Navy applications include submarines, surface ships and unmanned underwater vehicles. Army / Air Force applications include military aircraft, rotor craft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Non-government markets include automobiles with increasingly sophisticated control and communications networks, commercial aircraft, medical devices, wireless communications, consumer electronics and appliances.