NASA SBIR Select 2014 Program Solicitation Details| By Technology Area

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The Select SBIR Program Solicitation subtopics are developed by the NASA Mission Directorates and Centers in coordination with the NASA SBIR program.

There are four Mission Directorates (MDs):

    • + Expand Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Select Subtopics Topic

      Topic A20 Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Select Subtopics PDF

      • 53055

        A20.01Air Traffic Management Research and Development

        Lead Center: ARC

        Participating Center(s): LaRC

        The Airspace Systems Program (ASP) seeks innovative and feasible concepts and technologies to enable significant increases in the capacity and efficiency of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) while maintaining or improving safety and environmental acceptability. There are two… Read more>>

        The Airspace Systems Program (ASP) seeks innovative and feasible concepts and technologies to enable significant increases in the capacity and efficiency of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) while maintaining or improving safety and environmental acceptability. There are two projects within ASP (Concepts and Technology Development, CTD and Systems Analysis, Integration and Evaluation, SAIE). The two projects address the following Technical Challenges: 

        • Develop tactical automation technologies for complex operational choke points including surface, arrival/departure, and dense terminal operations.
        • Establish the basis for air/ground functional allocation for separation assurance including safe, graceful degradation of performance in response to off-nominal conditions.
        • Develop strategic automation technologies that integrate probabilistic weather information and flow management capabilities.
        • Conduct seamless integration of automation applications in a resilient, end-to-end Trajectory-Based Operations system.
        • For the highest levels of NextGen performance and beyond, develop concepts, technologies, and system-wide evaluation and validation approaches.

         In support of these technical challenges, ASP seeks proposals in the following areas: 

        • Address integrated arrival, departure, and surface traffic planning for reduced fuel consumption, noise, and emissions during congested flows through:
          • Balanced runway usage and runway configuration management.
          • Precision departure release scheduling.
          • Reduced fuel/noise/emissions continuous descent arrivals with precision scheduling.
          • Maintaining safety in ground operations through the development of concepts and algorithms for both aircraft- and ground-based surface conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) and integration of the two approaches.
          • Developing pilot display requirements and technologies for 4D taxi clearance compliance, and taxi clearance conformance monitoring algorithms and procedures.
          • Dynamic aircraft spacing/separation considering wake vortices. Environmental impacts will be considered as concepts are investigated.
        • Develop a tool for air traffic management cost assessment addressing:
          • Aircraft line of flight impact to the airline and the NAS.
          • Quantify user costs on equipage and training along with benefits delivered by the related new concepts and capabilities.
          • Economic impact of policy decisions for new procedures on given concepts and technologies.
        • Use of innovative data storage, data mining and big data analytics techniques to store, visualize and/or analyze large amounts of archived air traffic management data (radar data, weather data, traffic management initiatives, performance logs, etc.) for use by researchers.
        • Develop Airline Operations Center simulation capability to enable conducting studies to assess integrated traffic/flow management and airline operations, collaborative decision making, and advanced automated concepts to support airline operations.
        • Develop decision support capability requirements to enable Single Pilot Operations (SPO) that will substitute the crew resource management (CRM) or its parts that exists in current operations. 
        • Develop a functional description of airspace architectures and concepts that would enable all markets including but not limited to on-demand and scheduled mobility taking advantage of increased automation in the cockpit and on the ground through interconnected networks.
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        • Q What data, standards, and specifications will NASA provide us with in order to give us a clear direction for work that will be directly applicable at the end of Phase II?

          A Without knowing the content and accomplishments of the specific Phase 1 work, it is not possible to comment on what is applicable to Phase 2, beyond what has been stated in the general SBIR guidelines.

        • Q Is there a standard & protocol for automatic communication between airtraffic control and UAVs, and if so where can we find it? Is the proposed system also to simulate/manage UAVs?

          A UAV operations are not explicitly considered in this subtopic.

        • Q Can you define “graceful degradation of performance in response to off-nominal conditions”?

          A Off nominal" depends upon the situation and can refer to weather or any other unusual circumstance, and it is up to the submitter to determine what off-nominal conditions they might address. "Graceful degradation" refers to being able to have a backup to maintain separation in case of off-nominal conditions.

        • Q Are we to model the exact layouts of airports in the proposed system?

          A Depending upon the application, the detailed layout of specific airports may be required. It is up to the particular technology development whether the specific airport layout is relevant.

        • Q Should the proposed system simulate/manage only commercial flights, or also private and military airplanes?

          A The proposed system should simulate or manage whatever flight data is available

        • Q How many simultaneous flights should our proposed system be able to simulate/manage?

          A If a NAS-wide simulation is planned, then it should to be able to handle at a minimum of 50,000 daily flights and over 5,000 simultaneous flights, which is consistent with current day traffic levels. A reasonable upper bound (but not a requirement) for the simulation would be 3x current day traffic levels. Obviously, if only a portion of the NAS is simulated, then those numbers would drop to a minimum of current day traffic levels in that region and 3x current day levels (potentially) for an upper bound.

        • Q Should we model the communication between control towers of airports and arriving/departing planes? If so, is there an existing standard for automatic communication between control towers and airplanes that you want us to model?

          A There is no required existing standard for the modeling of communication between towers and aircraft.

        • Q What are the current set of standards and requirements of the FAA and others that must be satisfied by the system to be developed? Can you point us to webpages where these standards and requirements can be found?

          A We work with our FAA contacts to determine specific requirements/standards applicable.

        • Q Question 6 of 6:6. If for operational use, with what latency does new data become available during the course of operations? Is it all the same as the archived data elements?

          A We initially anticipate that the simulation capability would be used off-line. Without a direct access to airline data, the answer to the question of latency is unknown.

        • Q Question 5 of 6:5. Is the simulation envisioned for use during operations or only for strategic planning? That is, does it need to be an online model or is it anticipated to run offline?

          A At least initially, airline operations simulation would be used off-line for strategic planning

        • Q Question 4 of 6:4. What relevant archived historical data is available now and how is it accessed?

          A (Same answer as question 3 of 6) There are 22 data sources in the data archive. These include, ADS-B, FAA ATC Advisories, Airline Operations Database, Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Airline Situation Data to Industry, Center radar capture file, Corridor integrated weather system, CTAS cm_sim data, FAA ACES data, Integrated Terminal weather system, Weather observations text data, National flight data center, operational network, Operational TMA/TBFM repository, Rapid update cycle weather files, surface decision support system, Surface management system, Special Use Airspace,, Surface adaptation data, Traffic flow management data to industry, Traffic Flow Management system, and TRACON radar capture files. Access to the data needs to be arranged with NASA.

        • Q Question 3 of 6:3. Can you point us to existing simulations or big-data analytics in this vein being performed now?

          A There are 22 data sources in the data archive. These include, ADS-B, FAA ATC Advisories, Airline Operations Database, Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Airline Situation Data to Industry, Center radar capture file, Corridor integrated weather system, CTAS cm_sim data, FAA ACES data, Integrated Terminal weather system, Weather observations text data, National flight data center, operational network, Operational TMA/TBFM repository, Rapid update cycle weather files, surface decision support system, Surface management system, Special Use Airspace,, Surface adaptation data, Traffic flow management data to industry, Traffic Flow Management system, and TRACON radar capture files. Access to the data needs to be arranged with NASA.

        • Q Question 2 of 6:2. Do you have an a priori position on what depth of simulation is required: e.g., what depth of detail in regards to terminal operations, taxiing, etc.

          A There is a need for very detailed understanding of terminal operations, including airline-controlled activities prior to/following aircraft movement (passenger loading/deplaning, baggage loading, fueling, etc.).

        • Q We have six questions concerning building a model/simulation of airspace operations. This is question one of six:1. Do you have an a priori position on what scope of simulation is required: local airspace, regional airspace, entire country, etc?

          A All level of airspace simulation capability would be welcomed, from local to national airspace.

    • + Expand Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Select Subtopics Topic

      Topic H20 Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Select Subtopics PDF

      • 53061

        H20.01Human-Robotic Systems - Manipulation Subsystem and Human-System Interaction

        Lead Center: JSC

        Participating Center(s): ARC, JPL, KSC

        The objective of this topic is to create human-robotic technologies (hardware and software) to improve the exploration of space.  Robots can perform tasks to assist and off-load work from astronauts. Robots may perform this work before, in support of, or after humans.  Ground controllers and… Read more>>

        The objective of this topic is to create human-robotic technologies (hardware and software) to improve the exploration of space. 

        Robots can perform tasks to assist and off-load work from astronauts. Robots may perform this work before, in support of, or after humans. 

        Ground controllers and astronauts will remotely operate robots using a range of control modes (tele-operation to supervised autonomy), over multiple spatial ranges (shared-space, line-of-sight, in orbit, and interplanetary), and with a range of time-delay and communications bandwidth. 

        Manipulation Subsystem - Proposals are sought that address subsystems that improve handling and maintenance of payloads and assets. Proposals that would directly benefit future ISS robotics (EVA dexterous mobile manipulation and IVA free-flying robot) are highly encouraged. Key technologies of interest include but are not limited to: tactile sensors, human-safe actuation, active structures, dexterous grasping, modular “plug and play” mechanisms for deployment and setup, small/lightweight excavation/drilling devices to enable subsurface access, and novel manipulation methods; as well as, sample handling by both humans and tele-operated robots for storage and in-situ utilization/evaluation. 

        Human-System Interaction - Proposals are sought that address subsystems that enable crew and ground controllers to better operate, monitor and supervise robots. Proposals that would directly benefit future ISS robotics (EVA dexterous mobile manipulation and IVA free-flying robot) are highly encouraged. Key technologies of interest include but are not limited to: robot user interfaces, automated performance monitoring, tactical planning software, ground data system tools, command planning and sequencing, real-time visualization/notification, and software for situational awareness. 

        Offerors are encouraged to consider all Technology Readiness Level efforts TRL 1-8 when considering proposals for the Phase I and Phase II Deliverables. 

        Phase I Deliverables may include - Feasibility studies, or they may support an entirely new and innovative potential solution to the Human, Robotics discipline. Demonstrations, taking adapted or targeted innovative solutions from concept through demonstrations in relevant environments and/or use case. 

        Phase II Deliverables may include but are not limited to - Prototype or Engineering Release products that have evolved from initial concept phases into designs of enough maturity to demonstrate confidence that the product remains viable and feasible for the intended use. The ability to mature concepts along the TRL lifecycle is highly desired and should be emphasized by the offeror. 

        Reference NASA Office of Chief Technologist Technology Roadmap OCT TA (4.3, 4.4 and 4.7)

        (http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/home/roadmaps/index.html)

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        • Q What are the highest priority and most challenging dexterous manipulation tasks you foresee for Robotnaut2?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. Highest Priority: Setting up EVA worksites and tools for the crew, for example portable foot restraints, un-stowing and configuring tools. Manipulating softgoods (space blankets) and other flexible items to inspect for maintenance issues. Most Challenging: Tasks that are difficult to automate: Performing repairs on flexible items, working with patch kits

        • Q How critical is flight-readiness (i.e. low weight and low power) of a technology, versus demonstrating new or advanced capabilities?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. New and/or advanced capabilities are the priority under this subtopic solicitation; however, offerors should consider and demonstrate a development roadmap as part of submitted proposals that reach requisite Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) for operational systems. It should be assumed that eventual intended use of any innovative, new, and/or advanced capability would be for flight systems where low weight and low power consumption are generally always of high priority.

        • Q What are the sample payload sizes and masses that EVA and IVA systems would interact with?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. Offerors should keep in mind that the systems their innovative capabilities will be applied to range from well understood and defined platforms such as International Space Station (ISS) to systems in the concept development phases such as Lunar, Mars, and Asteroid Redirect mission components. Therefore, offerors are encourage to investigate each of these and propose innovations accordingly. For example; tools that would assist or replace IVA/EVA Crew or Humanoid Robots in the removal and replacement of ISS Electrical Power System (EPS) Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs).

        • Q Beyond the ability to perform manipulation of objects with Cartesian-space goals, are other metrics, suchas energy use, human intuitive movements, execution time or trajectory velocities of concern?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. Yes, energy use, human intuitive movements, execution time, and trajectory velocities are all items within the solution space for innovations under this subtopic solicitation. Offerors are encouraged to address as many of these factors as possible when proposing innovative capabilities. However offerors should not feel constrained to solutions that address many or most if they have a particular solution to any one of the items identified above that they feel would be of particular benefit to NASA under this subtopic.

        • Q Is the grasping of irregular shaped objects within scope of thistopic, or is it limited to known objects or object interconnections?

          A Yes, grasping of irregular shaped objects is within scope of this subtopic. For example; Manipulating soft-goods (space blankets) and other flexible items to inspect for maintenance issues. These items may be of irregular shape, and represent additional challenges due to their flexibility.

        • Q Should work focus on a single (mobile) manipulator, or multiple(mobile) manipulators? If multiple, should coordination between them beconsidered, or does each robot operate alone?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. Innovative capabilities are sought for both; coordination between multiple (mobile) manipulators should be considered as an option. However, there are also instances foreseen where robots would operate autonomously and stand alone.

        • Q Is this topic focused on stationary manipulators, or are mobilemanipulators also within scope?

          A The following responses are provided as additional informational data regarding this particular question and should not be considered constraints to the offerors when providing innovative solutions to the overall subtopic heading. Both stationary and mobile manipulators are within the scope of this subtopic solicitation.

      • 53066

        H20.02International Space Station (ISS) Demonstration and Development of Improved Exploration Technologies

        Lead Center: JSC

        Participating Center(s): GRC, JPL, KSC, MSFC

        NASA is investing in technologies and techniques geared towards advancing the state of the art of spacecraft systems through the utilization of the ISS as a technology test bed. Desired demonstrations designed to utilize the ISS as a test bed should focus on increasing the Technology Readiness Level… Read more>>

        NASA is investing in technologies and techniques geared towards advancing the state of the art of spacecraft systems through the utilization of the ISS as a technology test bed. Desired demonstrations designed to utilize the ISS as a test bed should focus on increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in the following fields: 

        • Power Generation and Energy Storage (e.g., regenerative fuel cells).
        • Robotics Tele-robotics and Autonomous (RTA) Systems.
        • Communication and Navigation (e.g., autonomous rendezvous and docking advancements).
        • Human Health, Life Support and Habitation Systems (e.g., closed loop aspects of environmental control and life support systems).
        • Environmental Control Systems.
        • Radiation Protection and Mitigation.
        • Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems.
        • Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing.
        • Thermal Management Systems. 

        Successful proposals in these fields are expected to advance the state of the art of spacecraft systems by: 

        • Increasing capability/operating time including overall operational availability.
        • Reducing logistics and maintenance efforts.
        • Reducing operational efforts, minimizing crew interaction with both systems and the ground.
        • Reducing known spacecraft/spaceflight technical risks and needs.
        • Providing information on the long term space environment needed in the development of future spacecraft technologies through model development, simulations or ground testing verified by on-orbit operational data. 

        For all above technologies, research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility and prototype hardware development during Phase I and show a path toward Phase II hardware and software demonstration and delivering an engineering development unit or software package for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract that could be turned into a proof-of-concept system which can be demonstrated in flight. 

        Phase I Deliverables - Research to identify and evaluate candidate technologies applications to demonstrate the technical feasibility and show a path towards a hardware/software demonstration. Bench or lab-level demonstrations are desirable. The technology concept at the end of Phase I should be at a TRL of 3-6. 

        Phase II Deliverables - Emphasis should be placed on developing and demonstrating hardware and/or software prototype that can be demonstrated on orbit (TRL 8), or in some cases under simulated flight conditions. The proposal shall outline a path showing how the technology could be developed into space-worthy systems. The contract should deliver an engineering development unit for functional and environmental testing at the completion of the Phase II contract. The technology at the end of Phase II should be at a TRL of 6-7. 

        Potential NASA Customers include: 

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        • Q Is there interest in miniature optical navigation sensors to detect rotation and/or acceleration?

          A As they pertain to possible future exploration missions, there is interest in High-precision, low-power, low-mass miniature optical orientation sensors for use in pointing and navigation

        • Q Is there interest in fiber-optic or free-space-optical links for internal communications within the ISS?

          A Demonstrating Optical Communication links (lasercom) is of enough interest to the agency's future exploration efforts that we already have a planned ISS demonstration (OPALS, launching on SpaceX 3 in 2014) and are considering follow on demonstrations.

        • Q Are Free-Space-Optical (FSO) communication links (Lasercom)of interest to the ISS ?

          A Demonstrating Optical Communication links (lasercom) is of enough interest to the agency's future exploration efforts that we already have a planned ISS demonstration (OPALS, launching on SpaceX 3 in 2014) and are considering follow on demonstrations.

        • Q Is biomedical analysis of interest, both for crewmember health and also biological experiments?

          A Expanded answer: This particular subtopic, H20.02, focuses on those technologies that may be demonstrated in/on and leverage the environment provided by the ISS. Successful proposals to this subtopic will focus upon demonstrating system or technology advancements that can be used in future exploration missions. Biomedical analysis for crew member health may be considered of interest. Other subtopics may address ISS capabilities that increase science experimentation or further ensure the health of the ISS crew

        • Q Is early warning fire detection that includes lithium ion battery overheating, of interest? 

          A Fire safety, including detection and mitigation technologies are of interest and importance to NASA's future exploration efforts. Keep in mind that this subtopic H20.02 focuses on those technologies that may be demonstrated and leverage the environment provided by the ISS.

    • + Expand Science Mission Directorate Select Subtopics Topic

      Topic S20 Science Mission Directorate Select Subtopics PDF

      • 53072

        S20.01Array Technologies for Microwave Remote Sensing

        Lead Center: JPL

        Participating Center(s): GSFC

        Two of the key challenges for microwave remote sensing (active and passive) of the Earth’s environment are:  Obtaining measurements of sufficiently high resolution such that in-pixel averaging affects do not introduce errors or otherwise obscure the phenomena being measured. Providing wide-area… Read more>>

        Two of the key challenges for microwave remote sensing (active and passive) of the Earth’s environment are: 

        • Obtaining measurements of sufficiently high resolution such that in-pixel averaging affects do not introduce errors or otherwise obscure the phenomena being measured.
        • Providing wide-area coverage such large scale systems can be studied synoptically and revisit times are sufficiently small to study phenomena with relatively rapid changes. 

        Unfortunately, both are generally at odds with each other. For traditional fixed-beam antenna systems, improvement of resolution necessarily leads to a reduction in coverage. In order to achieve desired coverage and resolution array antenna and sensor technologies can be employed. This may take different forms, depending upon the application. For radar systems, active, electronically-steered phased arrays can provide beam agility that can be used to cover wide swaths with high resolution and can also be used to dynamically target phenomena of interest, maximizing the value of sampling time and on-orbit assets. For passive remote sensors, highly-thinned correlating radiometer arrays can provide high spatial resolutions over a wide areas and focal-plane arrays can be used to bring camera-like properties usually associated with visible-light and IR measurements to sub-millimeter wavelengths. 

        The range of techniques described above will enhance and enable a variety of important Earth science measurements including: Surface deformations (volcanos, fault motion, subsidence), ice sheet thickness and dynamics, atmospheric phenomena such as precipitation, clouds and atmospheric water vapor. 

        The specific technologies solicited are: 

        • Ku/Ka-band electronically-scanned linear arrays - The impacts of clouds and precipitation represent some of the greatest uncertainties in current climate models. The complex interactions in cloud and precipitation systems dictate that they be studied as a whole, whereas previous mission have only been able to study clouds and precipitation separately. To study the complete system at the appropriate spatial scales with adequate resolution requires simultaneous scanning array technology at a range of microwave and millimeter-wave wavelengths.
          • Frequencies (simultaneous): 13.4, 35.6, 94 GHz
          • Array element spacing (typ.): 0.65 wavelengths
          • Transmit power per element (Ku/Ka): 25/5/1 W
          • Transmit efficiency: as high as possible consistent with state-of-the-art
          • Front-end losses as low as possible
          • Manufacturing scalable to 2-3 m long arrays.
        • Low Frequency RF Tomography Technology for Global Biomass and Ice Sheet Investigations - Global biomass and ice sheet investigations require a simple space borne low frequency (100-500 MHz) multi-channel altimeter that can measure 3-D tomography images of the Earth above ground biomass and ice sheet thickness. Doppler beam sharpening (SAR processing) will be used to obtain high spatial resolution along the track and multi-channel altimeters along the cross track will be used for obtaining high resolution in the cross track direction. 

        Phase I Studies Requirements: 

        • Design and feasibility study of low frequency array antenna mounted along the wings of NASAs P3 like aircraft. Design must satisfy both electromagnetic and aerodynamic performances. Frequency of operation: 300 MHz, Bandwidth 50 MHz, Linear/Dual polarized.
        • Design of RF front end and base band processing units for each altimeter channel that are phase locked with each other.
        • Feasibility study of using multi-channel altimeter for 3-D tomography imaging of biomass and ice sheets through simulated data. 

        Phase II Studies Requirements: 

        • Hardware realization of design completed in Phase I studies.
        • Integration of antenna and other electronics with the selected aircraft (need not be NASAs P3).
        • Field campaign to advance technology to TRL 6.
        • P-, L-band Array Antennas:
          • Innovative designs for deployable lightweight antenna arrays for airborne and space borne SAR applications are required. The array designs should meet flatness requirements, minimize stowed volumes and provide robust deployment mechanisms. The array RF performance should support < 20% bandwidth, dual-polarization, high polarization isolation (> 30 dB) phased array radar applications. The use of composite materials that can reduce the antenna weight and maintain surface flatness is desirable.
        • Low Power Digital Correlator Systems for Synthetic Aperture Arrays:
          • Currently this is the key required element for the array on PATH. Several technology programs are under way, but a working, high TRL system is not yet available. 

        Phase I - Design and feasibility study of crosscorrelators with 2-bit resolution operating at 1 GHz clock speed. This includes the digitization and digital crosscorrelation functionality for correlation of 3x128 I-Q receiver outputs from three arms of the instrument. 

        Power consumption is a major driver for the system, most likely only to be achieved by using ASIC chips. The correlator design will include housing and thermal design to demonstrate feasibility for operation in vacuum. 

        Phase II - Implementation and testing of the correlator system. This includes desing, manufacture and functional and thermal testing of the correlator system. Testing of the system in a interferometer system, such as JPL GeoSTAR testbed will demonstrate the performance in a real instrument.

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      • 53077

        S20.02Novel Spectroscopy Technology and Instrumentation

        Lead Center: GSFC

        Participating Center(s): JPL

        In astrophysics, science instruments are “photon starved”. Every photon has to count. Efficient use of light and maximizing signal-to-noise is critical and there is always room for improvement. In many high-resolution spectroscopy systems as much as 50% of the light is lost in the spectrometer… Read more>>

        In astrophysics, science instruments are “photon starved”. Every photon has to count. Efficient use of light and maximizing signal-to-noise is critical and there is always room for improvement. In many high-resolution spectroscopy systems as much as 50% of the light is lost in the spectrometer optics before it gets to the detectors. It is far more cost-efficient to improve detection systems in terms of throughput, efficiency, resolution, and noise than to compensate by making the payload larger. Spectroscopy is applicable in the UV, visible, IR. In terms of instrumentation, answers to higher photon efficiency can be answered through entire novel instrument (system designs) to single components (filters, grisms, gratings, etc.) 

        Transit Spectroscopy, multi-object spectrographs, slit and slit-less spectrographs and associated component and subsystem technologies such as grisms, filters, etalons, etc. enable higher performance and more efficient use of the light collected. High-resolution spectroscopy for galaxy evolution, exoplanet spectroscopy for deciphering the chemical composition of exoplanetary atmospheres. High resolution spectroscopy in UV, Visible, and IR.

        Specific areas of research include: 

        • Image slicers. Imager slicers are stacks of optics that `slice' a field into separate regions and remap them into a pseudo-slit (or slits) that are then fed into a traditional spectrograph. This design can be used to produce an efficient imaging spectrograph that has a high fill factor. Micromirror and lenslet-based integral field spectrographs have a very low fill factor by comparison (less efficient use of pixels by a factor of 4).
        • Micromirror arrays. Micromirror arrays work similarly to lenslet arrays in that they compress the light from a single spatial location into a focused spot. UV wavelengths however require micromirror arrays because refractive optics will not work. In addition, micromirror arrays can operate over broad bandpasses without producing chromatic aberrations.
        • Improved dichroic filters. Dichroic filters reflect a certain bandpass and transmit another wavelength. Improved dichroic filters would enable more efficient use of separate science instruments or a single multi-band imaging instrument.
        • Lenslet-coupled fiber optics for space flight. Fiber-fed lenslet arrays could also be used to produce a pseudo-slit in a similar way to the image slicers. The fiber-coupling losses and problems with packing the fibers closely due to the cladding have precluded their use.
        • Improved Fabry Perot etalons. Fabry Perot etalons are some of the highest resolution spectrometers that are used for instrumentation but they suffer from high loss and large size that make them difficult to implement for space. Improvements in size and efficiency are sought for Fabry Perot etalons.
        • Improved gratings.
        • On chip hyperspectral imaging systems. Hyperspectral imaging is an area of continued interest in particular to Earth Science for applications such as agriculture and land use. These systems tend to be complex and difficult to implement. Approaches to integrate the hyperspectral filtering with the detector are sought.
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        • Q Are dichroic filters at VUV (80-120nm) or FIR (10 microns to 500 microns) in range of interest?

          A The solicitation provides the information required to determine the type of grating that the offerer should propose. Whatever type of grating the offerer believes will meet the needs as stated in the solicitation should be proposed. All spectrometer components within the Optical/UV/IR spectrum will be considered.

        • Q Re: on-chip hyperspectral. Is there a criterion regarding the size of the optical "circuitry" of the device in order for it to be considered "on-chip"?

          A The proposer is free to define the criteria for what "on-chip" means.

        • Q Re: on-chip hyperspectral imaging systems. What spectral range is of interest?

          A  For questions regarding details of mission and measurement requirements please refer to:http://esto.nasa.gov/about_esto_documents.html

        • Q Re: Image slicers. Time multiplexing in the form of fast spatial scanning provides a capability similar or identical to image slicing. How fast this operation needs to be performed in order to satisfy the requirements?

          A For questions regarding details of mission and measurement requirements please refer to:http://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/Astro2010-Prepub-Report.pdfhttp://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/COR_PATR_2013.pdfhttp://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/technology/

        • Q Improved gratings is one of the specific areas of research. What kinds of gratings? Is there interest in gratings that focus as well as disperse radiation? Is there someone to whom I could speak?

          A The solicitation provides the information required to determine the type of grating that the offerer should propose. Whatever type of grating the offerer believes will meet the needs as stated in the solicitation should be proposed. All types can be considered. Focusing and dispersive gratings are of interest.This web-based tool for submitting questions for clarification is the only method of interacting with NASA personnel while the solicitation is active.

      • 53081

        S20.03Radiation Hardened Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Platforms

        Lead Center: GSFC

        Participating Center(s): JPL, MSFC

        Ambitious science goals along with budgetary constraints are driving the need to increase the science return from smaller mission classes. This has led to new interest in cubesats and smallsats as viable science platforms. To enable capable science with these smaller missions, there is a critical… Read more>>

        Ambitious science goals along with budgetary constraints are driving the need to increase the science return from smaller mission classes. This has led to new interest in cubesats and smallsats as viable science platforms. To enable capable science with these smaller missions, there is a critical need to miniaturize instruments, as well as spacecraft subsystems. To this end, this subtopic solicits the development of a radiation hardened structured-ASIC platform to implement flexible instrument processing nodes. This technology would enable integration of all digital functions of an instrument onto a single device, and would also enable similar integration of spacecraft bus digital functions for a cubesat or a smallsat. 

        As flexible instrument processing nodes would reduce board-level assemblies into individual integrated circuits, the overall size/mass/power savings provided to a mission would be dramatic. A sampling of candidate mission applications for this technology includes: 

        • Miniaturized planetary instruments such as magnetometers and imagers.
        • Highly capable heliophysics cubesats along with miniaturized instruments to measure field and particles.
        • Earth observing smallsats and miniaturized instruments.
        • Low power channel readout electronics for astrophysics mission concepts require data acquisition and processing for hundreds or even thousands of individual channels. 

        If broadly applied, the flexible instrument processing nodes may enable currently roadmapped science observations to be implemented in smaller mission classes than are currently planned. 

        To effectively support this broad array of applications, it is imperative that flexible instrument processing nodes be implemented such that customization for specific instruments and missions is both rapid and economical. Historically, the high cost and long development schedule of spaceflight ASICs has largely precluded them from use for mission specific applications. However, the emergence of radiation hardened structured-ASICs has the potential to change this paradigm, and as such, this is the specified platform for the flexible instrument processing node. 

        This processing node will require an aggressive adoption of System-On-a-Chip (SOC) technology, which will provide substantially more resources than are presently available. Target specifications for the platform are; embedded 32-bit processor, 50,000 logic cells, 4Mbit of embedded RAM, 500kbit embedded ROM, and 400 user I/O. While dependent on the user design, maximum clock rates of at least 200MHz and maximum power dissipation of less than 500mW are desirable. As previously stated, it is desired that the node be implemented as a high capacity radiation hardened structured-ASIC platform that can enable highly integrated, instrument specific device implementations, while offering up to a 10x reduction in development cost and schedule as compared to full custom ASICs. Environmental specifications are; radiation hard to at least 1 Mrad TID, latch up Immune to an LET of at least 80, and a device SEE rate of not greater than 0.01 event/day in Adams 90% worst case GEO environment. For descriptions of radiation effects in electronics, the proposer may visit (http://radhome.gsfc.nasa.gov/radhome/background.htm). 

        Proposals should clearly describe: 

        • The top-level device architecture.
        • Individual circuit elements.
        • The routing scheme.
        • Methodologies for radiation hardening.
        • Overall device capacity.
        • Expected performance and power dissipation.
        • Fabrication process and mask programming steps.
        • Software tool flow for user designs.

        Successful proposal concepts should significantly advance the state-of-the-art. If a Phase II proposal is awarded, the combined Phase I and Phase II developments should produce prototype devices that can be evaluated by NASA. 

        It should be noted that NASA can sponsor fabrication via the Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) for this effort.

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        • Q What data, standards, and specifications will NASA provide us with in order to give us a clear direction for the SOC, so that it will be ready for fabrication at the end of Phase II?

          A It is the responsibility of the proposer to develop the necessary specifications to develop the SOC. However, this would entail interaction with the NASA user community (coordinated by the COR). It should however be emphasized that the end goal of this select subtopic is not to implement a specific point design in an SOC, but instead to develop a flexible device that can be tailored to a broad array of applications.

        • Q In the list for "Proposals should clearly describe: ...": what do you mean by "Overall device capacity"?

          A Overall device capacity means the total number of logic, I/O, memory, and other circuit elements on the device.

        • Q Is the SOC to be used in a system controlled by a real-time operating system (OS)? If not, do you know what OS might be used?

          A The SOC may be used in a system controlled by a real-time operating system (OS), but not necessarily. We do not specify which OS might be used.

        • Q Is there a standard interface and communication protocol between the SOC and instruments that NASA is using?

          A We do not specify a standard communication protocol.

        • Q In the target specifications for the platform: 3) is the 4 Mbit of embedded RAM to be fabricated on the same chip as the SOC? 4) what do you mean by "400 user I/O"? 5) what technology do you prefer for the 500Kbit embedded ROM?

          A The RAM is to be fabricated on the same die as the SOC. 400 user I/O, means 400 off-chip connections that the user can utilize for I/O functions. We have no preference on the embedded ROM technology. The proposer should offer the best ROM technology available for the job.

        • Q In the target specifications for the platform: 1) is the budget of 50,000 logic cells for the embedded 32-bit processor only? 2) by "logic cells" do you mean logic gates?

          A The 50,000 logic cells are in addition to the processor. It is assumed that logic cells would include a storage element accompanied by combinatorial logic.

        • Q Can you give a list of instruments for which the SOC will be used, as well as example C code program to process the input from each instrument?

          A We cannot provide specific instruments for which the SOC will be used. However, it is expected that the SOC would be a candidate for use in the a broad range of instruments including synthetic aperture radars, radiometers, mass spectrometers, magnetometers, imagers, and lidars. Example code is not available these instrument classes.

        • Q Can we get sample C code (or pointed to publicly available code) for the applications listed as bullets under "A sampling of candidate mission applications for this technology includes:"?

          A Sample code is not available for candidate mission applications.

        • Q What foundry process technologies are available through the TAPO program? Is there a fabrication cost associated with TAPO for the contractor?

          A TAPO provides access to process technologies ranging from 90nm bulk Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) to 32nm Silicon On Insulator Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (SOI CMOS). While NASA can provide government sponsorship to access TAPO fabrication runs, the cost is expected to be paid by the contractor.

        • Q Are there any examples of technologies (or devices) that are being replaced under this topic, or is this a new need?

          A The technology requested represents a new need

    • + Expand Space Technology Mission Directorate Select Subtopics Topic

      Topic Z20 Space Technology Mission Directorate Select Subtopics PDF

      • 53087

        Z20.01Deep Space Cubesat Technology

        Lead Center: ARC

        Although many small satellites have been developed and flown in low Earth orbit, significant technology challenges exist for their operation in the deep space environment. Small spacecraft, on the cubesat scale, could potentially perform science and exploration missions of great interest to NASA at… Read more>>

        Although many small satellites have been developed and flown in low Earth orbit, significant technology challenges exist for their operation in the deep space environment. Small spacecraft, on the cubesat scale, could potentially perform science and exploration missions of great interest to NASA at a very low cost. Small spacecraft in deep space might also provide support services for other spacecraft and operations such as communications relays or space weather sensors. 

        NASA expects that there will be opportunities to fly several 6U cubesat spacecraft as secondary payloads on launch vehicles that could deploy these payloads on Earth escape trajectories that would take them past the Moon. One specific possibility for such an opportunity for small secondary spacecraft deployments is the first test flight of the Space Launch System (EM-1). EM-1 or similar missions would provide an excellent opportunity for testing innovative spacecraft technologies in the deep space environment. 

        Proposals are sought for integrated spacecraft bus technologies such as guidance, navigation, control, power, propulsion, communications, thermal control, and radiation protection to enable a technology flight demonstration mission in deep space. The integrated design should enable a flight demonstration of one or more of these technologies on a cubesat (6U or smaller) in the 2017 timeframe. The flight demonstration should include mission objectives that are relevant to a deep space mission such as remote sensing or in situ science data collection activities. The development of an appropriate propulsion system to enable maneuvers such as lunar orbit insertion is also of interest. In order to minimize development cost and schedule, the design of this deep space cubesat technology demonstrator should employ mature components where possible along with the necessary new technology to allow for this very small spacecraft to survive and operate effectively in the deep space environment and communicate with Earth from the distance of the Moon and beyond. 

        Phase I projects should focus on the definition and initial development of the needed technologies for a deep space cubesat technology demonstrator. In Phase II, the technologies should be further developed and demonstrated in relevant laboratory environments such as thermal-vacuum chambers. Projects showing sufficient merit will be considered for subsequent Phase II-E or II-X and Phase III funding to support development and qualification of a flight unit for a deep space technology demonstration mission.

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        • Q Is there interest in miniature optical navigation sensors to detect rotation and/or acceleration?

          A Yes

        • Q Is there interest in fiber-optic or free-space-optical links for internal communications within a Cubesat?

          A Yes

        • Q Are Free-Space-Optical (FSO) communication links (Lasercom)of interest for deep space Cubesat applications? 

          A Yes

      • H20.01

        H20.01Human-Robotic Systems - Manipulation Subsystem and Human-System Interaction

        Lead Center: JSC

        Participating Center(s): ARC, JPL, KSC

        The objective of this topic is to create human-robotic technologies (hardware and software) to improve the exploration of space.  Robots can perform tasks to assist and off-load work from astronauts. Robots may perform this work before, in support of, or after humans.  Ground controllers and… Read more>>

        The objective of this topic is to create human-robotic technologies (hardware and software) to improve the exploration of space. 

        Robots can perform tasks to assist and off-load work from astronauts. Robots may perform this work before, in support of, or after humans. 

        Ground controllers and astronauts will remotely operate robots using a range of control modes (tele-operation to supervised autonomy), over multiple spatial ranges (shared-space, line-of-sight, in orbit, and interplanetary), and with a range of time-delay and communications bandwidth. 

        Manipulation Subsystem - Proposals are sought that address subsystems that improve handling and maintenance of payloads and assets. Proposals that would directly benefit future ISS robotics (EVA dexterous mobile manipulation and IVA free-flying robot) are highly encouraged. Key technologies of interest include but are not limited to: tactile sensors, human-safe actuation, active structures, dexterous grasping, modular “plug and play” mechanisms for deployment and setup, small/lightweight excavation/drilling devices to enable subsurface access, and novel manipulation methods; as well as, sample handling by both humans and tele-operated robots for storage and in-situ utilization/evaluation. 

        Human-System Interaction - Proposals are sought that address subsystems that enable crew and ground controllers to better operate, monitor and supervise robots. Proposals that would directly benefit future ISS robotics (EVA dexterous mobile manipulation and IVA free-flying robot) are highly encouraged. Key technologies of interest include but are not limited to: robot user interfaces, automated performance monitoring, tactical planning software, ground data system tools, command planning and sequencing, real-time visualization/notification, and software for situational awareness. 

        Offerors are encouraged to consider all Technology Readiness Level efforts TRL 1-8 when considering proposals for the Phase I and Phase II Deliverables. 

        Phase I Deliverables may include - Feasibility studies, or they may support an entirely new and innovative potential solution to the Human, Robotics discipline. Demonstrations, taking adapted or targeted innovative solutions from concept through demonstrations in relevant environments and/or use case. 

        Phase II Deliverables may include but are not limited to - Prototype or Engineering Release products that have evolved from initial concept phases into designs of enough maturity to demonstrate confidence that the product remains viable and feasible for the intended use. The ability to mature concepts along the TRL lifecycle is highly desired and should be emphasized by the offeror. 

        Reference NASA Office of Chief Technologist Technology Roadmap OCT TA (4.3, 4.4 and 4.7)

        (http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/home/roadmaps/index.html)

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      • H20.02

        H20.02International Space Station (ISS) Demonstration and Development of Improved Exploration Technologies

        Lead Center: JSC

        Participating Center(s): GRC, JPL, KSC, MSFC

        NASA is investing in technologies and techniques geared towards advancing the state of the art of spacecraft systems through the utilization of the ISS as a technology test bed. Desired demonstrations designed to utilize the ISS as a test bed should focus on increasing the Technology Readiness Level… Read more>>

        NASA is investing in technologies and techniques geared towards advancing the state of the art of spacecraft systems through the utilization of the ISS as a technology test bed. Desired demonstrations designed to utilize the ISS as a test bed should focus on increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in the following fields: 

        • Power Generation and Energy Storage (e.g., regenerative fuel cells).
        • Robotics Tele-robotics and Autonomous (RTA) Systems.
        • Communication and Navigation (e.g., autonomous rendezvous and docking advancements).
        • Human Health, Life Support and Habitation Systems (e.g., closed loop aspects of environmental control and life support systems).
        • Environmental Control Systems.
        • Radiation Protection and Mitigation.
        • Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems.
        • Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing.
        • Thermal Management Systems. 

        Successful proposals in these fields are expected to advance the state of the art of spacecraft systems by: 

        • Increasing capability/operating time including overall operational availability.
        • Reducing logistics and maintenance efforts.
        • Reducing operational efforts, minimizing crew interaction with both systems and the ground.
        • Reducing known spacecraft/spaceflight technical risks and needs.
        • Providing information on the long term space environment needed in the development of future spacecraft technologies through model development, simulations or ground testing verified by on-orbit operational data. 

        For all above technologies, research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility and prototype hardware development during Phase I and show a path toward Phase II hardware and software demonstration and delivering an engineering development unit or software package for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract that could be turned into a proof-of-concept system which can be demonstrated in flight. 

        Phase I Deliverables - Research to identify and evaluate candidate technologies applications to demonstrate the technical feasibility and show a path towards a hardware/software demonstration. Bench or lab-level demonstrations are desirable. The technology concept at the end of Phase I should be at a TRL of 3-6. 

        Phase II Deliverables - Emphasis should be placed on developing and demonstrating hardware and/or software prototype that can be demonstrated on orbit (TRL 8), or in some cases under simulated flight conditions. The proposal shall outline a path showing how the technology could be developed into space-worthy systems. The contract should deliver an engineering development unit for functional and environmental testing at the completion of the Phase II contract. The technology at the end of Phase II should be at a TRL of 6-7. 

        Potential NASA Customers include: 

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      • S20.01

        S20.01Array Technologies for Microwave Remote Sensing

        Lead Center: JPL

        Participating Center(s): GSFC

        Two of the key challenges for microwave remote sensing (active and passive) of the Earth’s environment are:  Obtaining measurements of sufficiently high resolution such that in-pixel averaging affects do not introduce errors or otherwise obscure the phenomena being measured. Providing wide-area… Read more>>

        Two of the key challenges for microwave remote sensing (active and passive) of the Earth’s environment are: 

        • Obtaining measurements of sufficiently high resolution such that in-pixel averaging affects do not introduce errors or otherwise obscure the phenomena being measured.
        • Providing wide-area coverage such large scale systems can be studied synoptically and revisit times are sufficiently small to study phenomena with relatively rapid changes. 

        Unfortunately, both are generally at odds with each other. For traditional fixed-beam antenna systems, improvement of resolution necessarily leads to a reduction in coverage. In order to achieve desired coverage and resolution array antenna and sensor technologies can be employed. This may take different forms, depending upon the application. For radar systems, active, electronically-steered phased arrays can provide beam agility that can be used to cover wide swaths with high resolution and can also be used to dynamically target phenomena of interest, maximizing the value of sampling time and on-orbit assets. For passive remote sensors, highly-thinned correlating radiometer arrays can provide high spatial resolutions over a wide areas and focal-plane arrays can be used to bring camera-like properties usually associated with visible-light and IR measurements to sub-millimeter wavelengths. 

        The range of techniques described above will enhance and enable a variety of important Earth science measurements including: Surface deformations (volcanos, fault motion, subsidence), ice sheet thickness and dynamics, atmospheric phenomena such as precipitation, clouds and atmospheric water vapor. 

        The specific technologies solicited are: 

        • Ku/Ka-band electronically-scanned linear arrays - The impacts of clouds and precipitation represent some of the greatest uncertainties in current climate models. The complex interactions in cloud and precipitation systems dictate that they be studied as a whole, whereas previous mission have only been able to study clouds and precipitation separately. To study the complete system at the appropriate spatial scales with adequate resolution requires simultaneous scanning array technology at a range of microwave and millimeter-wave wavelengths.
          • Frequencies (simultaneous): 13.4, 35.6, 94 GHz
          • Array element spacing (typ.): 0.65 wavelengths
          • Transmit power per element (Ku/Ka): 25/5/1 W
          • Transmit efficiency: as high as possible consistent with state-of-the-art
          • Front-end losses as low as possible
          • Manufacturing scalable to 2-3 m long arrays.
        • Low Frequency RF Tomography Technology for Global Biomass and Ice Sheet Investigations - Global biomass and ice sheet investigations require a simple space borne low frequency (100-500 MHz) multi-channel altimeter that can measure 3-D tomography images of the Earth above ground biomass and ice sheet thickness. Doppler beam sharpening (SAR processing) will be used to obtain high spatial resolution along the track and multi-channel altimeters along the cross track will be used for obtaining high resolution in the cross track direction. 

        Phase I Studies Requirements: 

        • Design and feasibility study of low frequency array antenna mounted along the wings of NASAs P3 like aircraft. Design must satisfy both electromagnetic and aerodynamic performances. Frequency of operation: 300 MHz, Bandwidth 50 MHz, Linear/Dual polarized.
        • Design of RF front end and base band processing units for each altimeter channel that are phase locked with each other.
        • Feasibility study of using multi-channel altimeter for 3-D tomography imaging of biomass and ice sheets through simulated data. 

        Phase II Studies Requirements: 

        • Hardware realization of design completed in Phase I studies.
        • Integration of antenna and other electronics with the selected aircraft (need not be NASAs P3).
        • Field campaign to advance technology to TRL 6.
        • P-, L-band Array Antennas:
          • Innovative designs for deployable lightweight antenna arrays for airborne and space borne SAR applications are required. The array designs should meet flatness requirements, minimize stowed volumes and provide robust deployment mechanisms. The array RF performance should support < 20% bandwidth, dual-polarization, high polarization isolation (> 30 dB) phased array radar applications. The use of composite materials that can reduce the antenna weight and maintain surface flatness is desirable.
        • Low Power Digital Correlator Systems for Synthetic Aperture Arrays:
          • Currently this is the key required element for the array on PATH. Several technology programs are under way, but a working, high TRL system is not yet available. 

        Phase I - Design and feasibility study of crosscorrelators with 2-bit resolution operating at 1 GHz clock speed. This includes the digitization and digital crosscorrelation functionality for correlation of 3x128 I-Q receiver outputs from three arms of the instrument. 

        Power consumption is a major driver for the system, most likely only to be achieved by using ASIC chips. The correlator design will include housing and thermal design to demonstrate feasibility for operation in vacuum. 

        Phase II - Implementation and testing of the correlator system. This includes desing, manufacture and functional and thermal testing of the correlator system. Testing of the system in a interferometer system, such as JPL GeoSTAR testbed will demonstrate the performance in a real instrument.

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      • S20.02

        S20.02Novel Spectroscopy Technology and Instrumentation

        Lead Center: GSFC

        Participating Center(s): JPL

        In astrophysics, science instruments are “photon starved”. Every photon has to count. Efficient use of light and maximizing signal-to-noise is critical and there is always room for improvement. In many high-resolution spectroscopy systems as much as 50% of the light is lost in the spectrometer… Read more>>

        In astrophysics, science instruments are “photon starved”. Every photon has to count. Efficient use of light and maximizing signal-to-noise is critical and there is always room for improvement. In many high-resolution spectroscopy systems as much as 50% of the light is lost in the spectrometer optics before it gets to the detectors. It is far more cost-efficient to improve detection systems in terms of throughput, efficiency, resolution, and noise than to compensate by making the payload larger. Spectroscopy is applicable in the UV, visible, IR. In terms of instrumentation, answers to higher photon efficiency can be answered through entire novel instrument (system designs) to single components (filters, grisms, gratings, etc.) 

        Transit Spectroscopy, multi-object spectrographs, slit and slit-less spectrographs and associated component and subsystem technologies such as grisms, filters, etalons, etc. enable higher performance and more efficient use of the light collected. High-resolution spectroscopy for galaxy evolution, exoplanet spectroscopy for deciphering the chemical composition of exoplanetary atmospheres. High resolution spectroscopy in UV, Visible, and IR.

        Specific areas of research include: 

        • Image slicers. Imager slicers are stacks of optics that `slice' a field into separate regions and remap them into a pseudo-slit (or slits) that are then fed into a traditional spectrograph. This design can be used to produce an efficient imaging spectrograph that has a high fill factor. Micromirror and lenslet-based integral field spectrographs have a very low fill factor by comparison (less efficient use of pixels by a factor of 4).
        • Micromirror arrays. Micromirror arrays work similarly to lenslet arrays in that they compress the light from a single spatial location into a focused spot. UV wavelengths however require micromirror arrays because refractive optics will not work. In addition, micromirror arrays can operate over broad bandpasses without producing chromatic aberrations.
        • Improved dichroic filters. Dichroic filters reflect a certain bandpass and transmit another wavelength. Improved dichroic filters would enable more efficient use of separate science instruments or a single multi-band imaging instrument.
        • Lenslet-coupled fiber optics for space flight. Fiber-fed lenslet arrays could also be used to produce a pseudo-slit in a similar way to the image slicers. The fiber-coupling losses and problems with packing the fibers closely due to the cladding have precluded their use.
        • Improved Fabry Perot etalons. Fabry Perot etalons are some of the highest resolution spectrometers that are used for instrumentation but they suffer from high loss and large size that make them difficult to implement for space. Improvements in size and efficiency are sought for Fabry Perot etalons.
        • Improved gratings.
        • On chip hyperspectral imaging systems. Hyperspectral imaging is an area of continued interest in particular to Earth Science for applications such as agriculture and land use. These systems tend to be complex and difficult to implement. Approaches to integrate the hyperspectral filtering with the detector are sought.
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      • S20.03

        S20.03Radiation Hardened Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Platforms

        Lead Center: GSFC

        Participating Center(s): JPL, MSFC

        Ambitious science goals along with budgetary constraints are driving the need to increase the science return from smaller mission classes. This has led to new interest in cubesats and smallsats as viable science platforms. To enable capable science with these smaller missions, there is a critical… Read more>>

        Ambitious science goals along with budgetary constraints are driving the need to increase the science return from smaller mission classes. This has led to new interest in cubesats and smallsats as viable science platforms. To enable capable science with these smaller missions, there is a critical need to miniaturize instruments, as well as spacecraft subsystems. To this end, this subtopic solicits the development of a radiation hardened structured-ASIC platform to implement flexible instrument processing nodes. This technology would enable integration of all digital functions of an instrument onto a single device, and would also enable similar integration of spacecraft bus digital functions for a cubesat or a smallsat. 

        As flexible instrument processing nodes would reduce board-level assemblies into individual integrated circuits, the overall size/mass/power savings provided to a mission would be dramatic. A sampling of candidate mission applications for this technology includes: 

        • Miniaturized planetary instruments such as magnetometers and imagers.
        • Highly capable heliophysics cubesats along with miniaturized instruments to measure field and particles.
        • Earth observing smallsats and miniaturized instruments.
        • Low power channel readout electronics for astrophysics mission concepts require data acquisition and processing for hundreds or even thousands of individual channels. 

        If broadly applied, the flexible instrument processing nodes may enable currently roadmapped science observations to be implemented in smaller mission classes than are currently planned. 

        To effectively support this broad array of applications, it is imperative that flexible instrument processing nodes be implemented such that customization for specific instruments and missions is both rapid and economical. Historically, the high cost and long development schedule of spaceflight ASICs has largely precluded them from use for mission specific applications. However, the emergence of radiation hardened structured-ASICs has the potential to change this paradigm, and as such, this is the specified platform for the flexible instrument processing node. 

        This processing node will require an aggressive adoption of System-On-a-Chip (SOC) technology, which will provide substantially more resources than are presently available. Target specifications for the platform are; embedded 32-bit processor, 50,000 logic cells, 4Mbit of embedded RAM, 500kbit embedded ROM, and 400 user I/O. While dependent on the user design, maximum clock rates of at least 200MHz and maximum power dissipation of less than 500mW are desirable. As previously stated, it is desired that the node be implemented as a high capacity radiation hardened structured-ASIC platform that can enable highly integrated, instrument specific device implementations, while offering up to a 10x reduction in development cost and schedule as compared to full custom ASICs. Environmental specifications are; radiation hard to at least 1 Mrad TID, latch up Immune to an LET of at least 80, and a device SEE rate of not greater than 0.01 event/day in Adams 90% worst case GEO environment. For descriptions of radiation effects in electronics, the proposer may visit (http://radhome.gsfc.nasa.gov/radhome/background.htm). 

        Proposals should clearly describe: 

        • The top-level device architecture.
        • Individual circuit elements.
        • The routing scheme.
        • Methodologies for radiation hardening.
        • Overall device capacity.
        • Expected performance and power dissipation.
        • Fabrication process and mask programming steps.
        • Software tool flow for user designs.

        Successful proposal concepts should significantly advance the state-of-the-art. If a Phase II proposal is awarded, the combined Phase I and Phase II developments should produce prototype devices that can be evaluated by NASA. 

        It should be noted that NASA can sponsor fabrication via the Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) for this effort.

        Read less>>
      • Z20.01

        Z20.01Deep Space Cubesat Technology

        Lead Center: ARC

        Although many small satellites have been developed and flown in low Earth orbit, significant technology challenges exist for their operation in the deep space environment. Small spacecraft, on the cubesat scale, could potentially perform science and exploration missions of great interest to NASA at… Read more>>

        Although many small satellites have been developed and flown in low Earth orbit, significant technology challenges exist for their operation in the deep space environment. Small spacecraft, on the cubesat scale, could potentially perform science and exploration missions of great interest to NASA at a very low cost. Small spacecraft in deep space might also provide support services for other spacecraft and operations such as communications relays or space weather sensors. 

        NASA expects that there will be opportunities to fly several 6U cubesat spacecraft as secondary payloads on launch vehicles that could deploy these payloads on Earth escape trajectories that would take them past the Moon. One specific possibility for such an opportunity for small secondary spacecraft deployments is the first test flight of the Space Launch System (EM-1). EM-1 or similar missions would provide an excellent opportunity for testing innovative spacecraft technologies in the deep space environment. 

        Proposals are sought for integrated spacecraft bus technologies such as guidance, navigation, control, power, propulsion, communications, thermal control, and radiation protection to enable a technology flight demonstration mission in deep space. The integrated design should enable a flight demonstration of one or more of these technologies on a cubesat (6U or smaller) in the 2017 timeframe. The flight demonstration should include mission objectives that are relevant to a deep space mission such as remote sensing or in situ science data collection activities. The development of an appropriate propulsion system to enable maneuvers such as lunar orbit insertion is also of interest. In order to minimize development cost and schedule, the design of this deep space cubesat technology demonstrator should employ mature components where possible along with the necessary new technology to allow for this very small spacecraft to survive and operate effectively in the deep space environment and communicate with Earth from the distance of the Moon and beyond. 

        Phase I projects should focus on the definition and initial development of the needed technologies for a deep space cubesat technology demonstrator. In Phase II, the technologies should be further developed and demonstrated in relevant laboratory environments such as thermal-vacuum chambers. Projects showing sufficient merit will be considered for subsequent Phase II-E or II-X and Phase III funding to support development and qualification of a flight unit for a deep space technology demonstration mission.

        Read less>>
      • A20.01

        A20.01Air Traffic Management Research and Development

        Lead Center: ARC

        Participating Center(s): LaRC

        The Airspace Systems Program (ASP) seeks innovative and feasible concepts and technologies to enable significant increases in the capacity and efficiency of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) while maintaining or improving safety and environmental acceptability. There are two… Read more>>

        The Airspace Systems Program (ASP) seeks innovative and feasible concepts and technologies to enable significant increases in the capacity and efficiency of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) while maintaining or improving safety and environmental acceptability. There are two projects within ASP (Concepts and Technology Development, CTD and Systems Analysis, Integration and Evaluation, SAIE). The two projects address the following Technical Challenges: 

        • Develop tactical automation technologies for complex operational choke points including surface, arrival/departure, and dense terminal operations.
        • Establish the basis for air/ground functional allocation for separation assurance including safe, graceful degradation of performance in response to off-nominal conditions.
        • Develop strategic automation technologies that integrate probabilistic weather information and flow management capabilities.
        • Conduct seamless integration of automation applications in a resilient, end-to-end Trajectory-Based Operations system.
        • For the highest levels of NextGen performance and beyond, develop concepts, technologies, and system-wide evaluation and validation approaches.

         In support of these technical challenges, ASP seeks proposals in the following areas: 

        • Address integrated arrival, departure, and surface traffic planning for reduced fuel consumption, noise, and emissions during congested flows through:
          • Balanced runway usage and runway configuration management.
          • Precision departure release scheduling.
          • Reduced fuel/noise/emissions continuous descent arrivals with precision scheduling.
          • Maintaining safety in ground operations through the development of concepts and algorithms for both aircraft- and ground-based surface conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) and integration of the two approaches.
          • Developing pilot display requirements and technologies for 4D taxi clearance compliance, and taxi clearance conformance monitoring algorithms and procedures.
          • Dynamic aircraft spacing/separation considering wake vortices. Environmental impacts will be considered as concepts are investigated.
        • Develop a tool for air traffic management cost assessment addressing:
          • Aircraft line of flight impact to the airline and the NAS.
          • Quantify user costs on equipage and training along with benefits delivered by the related new concepts and capabilities.
          • Economic impact of policy decisions for new procedures on given concepts and technologies.
        • Use of innovative data storage, data mining and big data analytics techniques to store, visualize and/or analyze large amounts of archived air traffic management data (radar data, weather data, traffic management initiatives, performance logs, etc.) for use by researchers.
        • Develop Airline Operations Center simulation capability to enable conducting studies to assess integrated traffic/flow management and airline operations, collaborative decision making, and advanced automated concepts to support airline operations.
        • Develop decision support capability requirements to enable Single Pilot Operations (SPO) that will substitute the crew resource management (CRM) or its parts that exists in current operations. 
        • Develop a functional description of airspace architectures and concepts that would enable all markets including but not limited to on-demand and scheduled mobility taking advantage of increased automation in the cockpit and on the ground through interconnected networks.
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