NIA Key Activities

NIA Key Activities

2019

Week Ending Dec. 14, 2019

Ten Finalist Teams Selected for 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge

The 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Steering Committee met on Dec. 12, 2019, to deliberate the merits of 21 university-submitted project plans for prototype hardware that could extract water from simulated Lunar and Martian subsurface ice and assess subsurface density profiles of the overburden material in the analog testbed. The Steering Committee ultimately selected the following 10 teams to proceed to the next phase of the competition:

  • California Polytechnic State University ***NEW TEAM***
    S​ub-lunar ​Tap-​Y​ielding e​X​plorer (STYX)
    Advisor: Peter Schuster
  • Colorado School of Mines 
    Drilling Rig for the Exploration and Acquisition of Martian Resources (Team DREAMR)
    Advisor: Angel Abbud-Madrid
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    HYDRATION II
    Advisor: Jeffrey Hoffman
  • Northeastern University 
    Northeastern University Probing Regolith and Ice-Extracting System for Mars and Moon
    Advisor: Taskin Padir 
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
    Extraterrestrial Robotic Ice Collector
    Advisor: Eric Williams
  • Texas A&M University ***NEW TEAM***
    Drilling and extraction automated system (Dreams)
    Advisor: (Eduardo Gildin)
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    This is Now a Drill (TINAD)
    Advisor: Subhadeep Chakraborty
  • University of Southern California ***NEW TEAM***
    Trojan H2O Extraction System & Evaluation of Underground Surfaces (THESEUS)
    Advisor: David Barnhart
  • University of Virginia ***NEW TEAM***
    Laser-based Extraction of Subterranean Lunar/Martian Ice (LESLI)
    Advisor: Mool Gupta
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Aqua Recirculating Integrated Upheaval System (AQUARIUS)
    Advisor: Kevin Shinpuagh

NASA LaRC posted a feature story on the www.nasa.govwebsite on Dec. 13, announcing the finalists: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/langley/the-sky-is-no-longer-the-limit-for-10-university-teams-selected-to-compete-in-nasa.

In June 2020, the successful finalist teams will conduct a technology demonstration at NASA’s Langley Research Center. There, they will compete to extract the most water from simulated off-world subsurface ice while using system telemetry to distinguish between overburden layers and create a digital core of the various layers with their drilling concept. The winner of the challenge will be determined based on an evaluation of a 10-15-page technical paper (including path-to-flight), technical poster presentation, and the technology demonstration at LaRC.

The Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Steering Committee consists of Benjamin Galke, Sharon Jefferies, Christopher Jones, Kevin Kempton, Robert Moses (NASA LaRC), Keith Nicewarner (SpaceX), Stephen Hoffman (Aerospace Corporation/JSC), Gerald Sanders (NASA JSC), Dean Bergman and Kris Zacny (Honeybee Robotics).

RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Competition website: http://specialedition.rascal.nianet.org

Week Ending Nov. 16, 2019

NASA eClips™ Announces 2019-2020 Teacher Advisory Board Members

After receiving numerous applications from educators across the country, NASA eClips has chosen 14 outstanding members to serve on the 2019-2020 Teacher Advisory Board. These selected individuals are tasked with providing their feedback and student input on a range of NASA eClips educational resources, including professionally-produced NASA eClips videos, student-produced Spotlite videos, and Spotlite Interactive Lesson Plans.

Elementary School Teacher Members (Grades 1-5):

  • Karen Brace; Booker Elementary School (Hampton, VA)
  • Kristina Davis; Dare Elementary School (York County, VA)
  • Denise Henderlite; George Washington Carver Intermediate School (Chesapeake, VA)
  • Katherine Mangum; St. Catherine’s School (Richmond, VA)
  • Sandra Taylor; Poquoson Elementary School (Poquoson, VA)

Middle School Teacher Members (Grades 6-8):

  • Melanie Burch; Indian River Middle School (Chesapeake, VA)
  • Dianna McDowell; Old Donation School (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • Leah Speakes; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School (Springfield, MO)

High School Teacher Members (Grades 9-12):

  • Julie Back; Phoebus High School (Hampton, VA)
  • Lenore Teevan; School of Innovation (Springfield, OH)
  • Cassandra Weathersbee; Patriot High School (Nokesville, VA)

Rounding out the Teacher Advisory Board are STEM leaders Judy Deichman (Office of Curriculum and Instruction for the Virginia Department of Education), Amber DeWinter (District STEM Coordinator in Cache, OK), and Denise Duke (Technology Coach in Columbia, SC). The valuable input provided by the Teacher Advisory Board is a critical component used to inform and improve NASA eClips educational resources.

To learn more about NASA eClips, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

Langley Professor Project Presented at IAC 2019

Work performed under the Langley Professor program was presented at the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). A student team under the advisement of Professor Dimitri Mavris and Dr. Bradford Robertson presented A Network Flow-based Formulation to Optimize Campaign Alternatives for a Reference Lunar Surface Base(IAC-19-D1.4B1,x52183). This published work demonstrated how to model space campaigns utilizing complex multi-stage spacecraft, such as a reference human landing system.

Bozeman Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Michael D. Bozeman Jr., a Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory graduate student, working at NASA LaRC, defended his Ph.D. dissertation, “A Reduced-Order Modeling Methodology for the Multidisciplinary Design and Analysis of Boundary Layer Ingestion Configurations.” His committee included: from the Georgia Tech School of Aerospace Engineering Prof. Dimitri Mavris (advisor), Prof. Marilyn Smith, and Dr. Jimmy Tai; and from NASA Langley Dr. Melissa Carter and Dr. Irian Ordaz. The abstract of his thesis is below.

In response to the increasingly stringent requirements for subsonic transport aircraft, NASA has established aggressive goals for the noise, emissions, and fuel burn of the next generations of aircraft. This has led to the investigation of a variety of unconventional configurations and new technologies. Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI) propulsion has been identified as a promising technology to reduce fuel burn. Preliminary studies show that BLI propulsion can offer a 3-12% reduction in fuel burn, depending on the configuration. Traditionally, the design and analysis of the airframe and propulsion system has been performed in a decoupled manner. For BLI configurations, the propulsion system is tightly integrated into the airframe resulting in strong interactions between the airframe aerodynamics and propulsion system performance. As a result, the design and analysis of BLI configurations require coupled multidisciplinary analysis (MDA) consisting of an aerodynamic analysis in an iterative loop with a propulsion system analysis. This is a very expensive analysis considering the requirement for high-fidelity models.

Additionally, the design of highly-coupled configurations cannot rely solely on intuition to make design decisions. Advanced methods including Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) and design space exploration are needed to allow for the design decisions to be made based directly on a system-level objective (e.g., fuel burn) and to allow for design studies to provide insight into the multidisciplinary trades associated with BLI configurations. However, MDAO and design space exploration using coupled, high-fidelity analysis models, are not practical. In this work, reduced-order modeling (ROM) is proposed as a potential solution to reduce the computational cost associated with the coupled MDA of BLI configurations and to enable these advanced design methods. An interpolation-based POD ROM is developed based on the CFD analysis to allow for predictions of the aerodynamics over a range of propulsor operating conditions for a simplified tail-cone thruster (TCT) configuration.

The resulting ROM is then coupled to a propulsion model to perform ROM-based, coupled MDA. Finally, the ROM-based coupled MDA approach is employed for coupled MDAO to assess the performance benefit offered relative to equivalent CFD- and adjoint-based approaches. The results show that the ROM-based coupled MDA approach offers an improvement in performance relative to the current state of the art. Relative to the equivalent CFD-based approach, the ROM-based, coupled MDA method demonstrated significant computational savings for even a single optimization. However, the ROM-based approach requires multiple optimizations to offer a computational benefit over the adjoint-based approach. This result highlights the benefit of the proposed approach for optimization studies and design space exploration.

Week Ending Nov. 1, 2019

Question and Answer Interface Session Conducted for 2020 RASC-AL Challenge

On Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, NIA and NASA co-hosted a webinar-based Q&A Session for teams interested in participating in the 2020 RASC-AL Competition. Teams who submitted a Notice of Intent by the deadline of Oct. 4 were invited to participate in the Q&A and were encouraged to submit questions in advance. One hundred forty-three questions were pre-submitted and compiled into a visual chart deck for the webinar by the RASC-AL program team. During the Q&A session, RASC-AL sponsors, Patrick Troutman and Christopher Jones, provided verbal and written answers to the questions and were supported by NIA’s RASC-AL team: Shelley Spears, Stacy Dees and Genevieve Ebarle (RASC-AL Program Director, Manager and Coordinator, respectively).

This year’s RASC-AL competition asks undergraduate and graduate student teams to develop new concepts that leverage innovations to improve human ability to operate in space and on distant planetary bodies within five themes: South Pole Multi-Purpose Rover, International Space Station (ISS) as a Mars Mission Analog, Short Surface Stay Mars Mission, Commercial Cislunar Space Development, and Autonomous Utilization and Maintenance for Science Payloads on the Gateway and/or Mars-class Transportation.

A complete transcript and audio recording of the Q&A session will be posted on the RASC-AL website FAQs page, rascal.nianet.org/faqs, by Wednesday, Nov. 6.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Attends CMH017 Meeting

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), traveled to Wichita, Kansas, to attend the CMH-17 (Composite Materials Handbook) meeting Oct. 21-24, 2019. The Composite Materials Handbook creates, publishes and maintains proven, reliable engineering information and standards, subjected to thorough technical review, to support the development and use of composite materials and structures. Therefore, experts from the field periodically meet regularly to discuss critical technical issues for composite structural applications. Stakeholders in this activity are the certification authorities (FAA, EASA), industry, academia and government research facilities. It is envisioned that in the future CMH-17 will be the authoritative, worldwide focal point for technical information on composite materials and structures.

It is planned that lessons learned during NASA’s Advanced Composites Program (ACP) will be published in revision H of CMH-17. Dr. Krueger participated in technical meetings of the Testing, and Sandwich Working Groups as well as the Damage Tolerance Task Group. He chaired a meeting of the Disbonding and Delamination Task Group (DDTG), which determines an overall strategy for the handbook to address disbonding and delamination of composites and examines methodologies needed to assure through-thickness integrity of bonds and laminations in polymer matrix composites. The meeting focused on new items, which are envisioned for inclusion in the upcoming revision H of the handbook.

Currently, it is expected that revision H will be published in the 2021-2022 timeframe. Existing items in Volume 1 need to be revised, including the chapters on fracture toughness testing under static and fatigue loading. New items include the addition of fracture toughness data to Volume 2, the addition of a chapter on cohesive zone modeling for disbonding/delamination analysis and a new chapter on disbonding/delamination arrest methods, such as stitching, Z-pinning and rivets.

Dr. Krueger also organized a four-hour focused working meeting of the Sandwich Disbond Growth Teamafter the CMH-17 main meetings. The Sandwich Disbond Growth Teamwas established as a group of experts within the CMH-17 Disbond and Delamination Task Groupin 2011 to identify, describe and address the phenomenon of sandwich face sheet/core disbonding. This failure mode is of particular interest to the FAA from their perspective of Continued Operational Safety (COS) since several in-service occurrences have been observed which can pose a threat to the structural integrity of an aircraft or spacecraft component.

Leif Carlsson (Florida Atlantic University) and George Kardomateas (Georgia Tech) presented their work which had been performed under a cooperative agreement between the NIA and the FAA. The remainder of the meeting focused on the predominantly mode I Single Cantilever Beam (SCB) test and efforts toward ASTM standardization. Next steps toward an additional SCB-based test procedure for fatigue testing were discussed. The development of new test methods for mixed-mode I/II and predominantly mode II was also discussed.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at NASA Langley CFD Working Group Meeting

Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Boundary Layer Stability and Laminar-Turbulent Transition Analysis with Thermochemical Nonequilibrium Applied to Martian Atmospheric Entry,” co-authoredby Chau-Lyan Chang and Fei Li (NASA Langley) at the NASA Langley CFD Working Group Meeting. The working group meeting took place at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Oct. 30, 2019.

Week Ending Oct. 26, 2019

Question and Answer Session Held for 2020 BIG Idea Competition

 On Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, a Q&A session was held via WebEx for teams interested in participating in the Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge, an engineering design competition sponsored by LaRC’s Game Changing Development (GCD) Program and NASA’s Office of Stem Engagement (Space Grant Program). For 2020, the challenge seeks robust proposals from universities affiliated with their state’s Space Grant Consortium (or partnered with an affiliated school) for sample lunar payloads, which can demonstrate technology systems needed for exploration and science in the Permanently Shadowed Regions in and near the Moon’s polar regions.

Carol Galica, from NASA’s Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative, kicked the session off with an overview of NASA’s near-term plans for lunar exploration.  Over 120 questions were collected from those teams in advance of the call. Judges Kevin Kempton (LaRC), Ben Bussey (NASA HQ), Jennifer Edmunson (Jacobs Space Exploration Group), Christopher Jones (NASA LaRC), Bernard Kutter (ULA), Philip Metzger (University of Central Florida), Gerald Sanders (NASA JSC), and Kris Zacny (Honeybee Robotics) provided answers to the technical questions, while Shelley Spears and Stacy Dees, (RASC-AL Program Director and Manager, respectively) responded to programmatic questions. NIA’s Victoria O’Leary and Genevieve Ebarle supported logistics for the Q&A session.

A complete transcript is posted on the FAQs page of the BIG Idea Challenge website, http://bigidea.nianet.org/faqs.

Question and Answer Session Held for 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge

 On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, a Q&A Session was held via WebEx for teams interested in participating in the 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge. Over 40 questions were collected in advance of the discussion. The Challenge Judges responded to technical questions in writing, which were then read aloud by NIA’s Victoria O’Leary (Program Coordinator) and the answers were presented by Dr. Christopher Jones (LaRC). The session was moderated by Stacy Dees, the RASC-AL Program Manager.  NIA’s Shelley Spears (RASC-AL Program Director), Genevieve Ebarle (Program Coordinators) supported logistics for the Q&A session.

A transcript of the Q&A session will be posted on the challenge website’s FAQ page.

NASA eClips™ Releases a New Video, Real World: The Carbon Cycle – Essential for Life on Earth

On Oct. 22, 2019, the NASA eClips team added a new video, Real World: The Carbon Cycle – Essential for Life on Earth, to the suite of NASA eClips resources. Real World videos are short, relevant, and educational video segments not only created to inspire and engage students in grades 6-8 but also to help them to connect mathematics to 21st-century careers and innovations. Research scientists, Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo Agueh and Dr. Paul Montesano, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) served as the on-camera Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The video illustrates the importance of carbon and how it moves through slow- and fast-moving cycles in the environment to sustain life on Earth. Audiences discover how NASA measures carbon through both fieldwork and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) instruments on ICESat-2 and GEDI satellites. 

NASA eClips Video, Real World: The Carbon Cycle – Essential for Life on Earth,Link:https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/video/realworld/real-world-the-carbon-cycle-essential-for-life-on-earth

 To learn more about NASA eClips, visit https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/.

NIA Research Scientist Presents at World Congress on Formal Methods

Dr. Mariano Moscato, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Provably Correct Floating-Point Implementation of a Point-in-Polygon Algorithm,” co-authored by Laura Titolo (NIA), Marco Feliu (NIA), and Cesar Munoz (NASA Langley) at the 23rdWorld Congress on Formal Methods (FM 2019). FM 2019 was held in Porto, Portugal Oct. 7-11, 2019.

Abstract
“The problem of determining whether or not a point lies inside a given polygon occurs in many applications. In air traffic management concepts, a correct solution to the point-in-polygon problem is critical to geofencing systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and in weather avoidance applications. Many mathematical methods can be used to solve the point-in-polygon problem. Unfortunately, a straightforward floating-point implementation of these methods can lead to incorrect results due to round-off errors. In particular, these errors may cause the control flow of the program to diverge with respect to the ideal real-number algorithm. This divergence potentially results in an incorrect point-in-polygon determination even when the point is far from the edges of the polygon.

This paper presents a provably correct implementation of a point-in-polygon method that is based on the computation of the winding number. This implementation is mechanically generated from a source-to-source transformation of the ideal real-number specification of the algorithm. The correctness of this implementation is formally verified within the Frama-C analyzer, where the proof obligations are discharged using the Prototype Verification System (PVS).”

NIA Research Scientist Gives Opening Keynote at ACM SIGPLAN Workshop

Dr. Ivan Perez, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), gave the invited keynote at the 6th Workshop on Reactive and Event-based Languages & Systems, as part of the ACM SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH 2019). In his opening talk, Dr. Perez discussed the relation between reactive programming, stream programming and functional reactive Programming, and justified how simpler abstractions can have more expressive power than the current representations. The ACM SIGPLAN Workshop took place in Athens, Greece, Oct. 20-25, 2019.

NIA Associate Principal Engineer Presents at 70thIAC

Menachem Rafaelof, Associate Principal Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Implementation of Machine Learning to Gauge Human Response to Noise to Eliminate its Adverse Effects Onboard Spacecraft,” co-authored by Andrew Schroder (NASA Langley) at the70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). This paper was selected for presentation within the Space Life Science Symposium under the “Human Physiology in Space” technical session.  About 75 researchers from around the world attended this presentation. The 70thIAC took place in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22-25, 2019. 

Abstract
Crew compartments onboard spacecraft are very confined spaces designed to support the presence and functions of its inhabitants around-the-clock. As such, these compartments include extensive machinery for life support, climate control, and vehicle operations.  This makes crew compartments very noisy spaces posing adverse physiological and psychological effects to its inhabitants.  The relationship between noise and human response to it is extremely complex, as noise may include numerous features, each evoking a different degree or type of response from different observers.  Still, precisely relating human response to noise and its causes is extremely valuable for the design of systems that limit the adverse effects of noise.

Recent research by the authors has demonstrated the feasibility of using machine learning algorithms to predict human response to complex sound originated from various machines.  Learning algorithms are ideal for modeling the complex behavior of subjective parameters and identifying new hidden trends in perception and response. To that end, four learning algorithms – linear regression (LR), support vector machines (SVM), decision trees (DTs), and bagged DTs/random forests (BDTRF) – were used to construct models capable of predicting annoyance due to complex sound. Construction of these models relied on annoyance responses of 38 subjects to 103 sounds described by five predictors (loudness, roughness, sharpness, total tone prominence, and fluctuation strength).

Comparison of these models in terms of prediction accuracy, model interpretability, simplicity, and versatility indicates that BDTRF is the best algorithm for this task.  The BDTRF learning algorithm is ideal for analysis and prediction of the annoyance of noise in close spaces such as habitable volume within a crewed spacecraft, module, or habitat, or other types of crewed enclosures used in a space environment. Here sample noise from such environments may be presented to a group of subjects and their response may be used to identify and rank predictors dominating annoyance or other responses of interest. This ranking is directly related to the physical design of sources (e.g., motors, fans, pumps, blowers) and habitable volumes, and may be used during design to precisely eliminate critical sound features responsible for the targeted response.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at 70thIAC

 Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Boundary Layer Stability and Laminar-Turbulent Transition Analysis with Thermochemical Nonequilibrium Applied to Martian Atmospheric Entry,” co-authored by Chau-Lyan Chang and Fei Li (NASA Langley) at the70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). The 70thIAC took place in Washington, D.C. Oct. 22-25, 2019.

Week Ending Oct. 19, 2019

NIA and ODU Co-Sponsor Argument-Driven Inquiry Workshop

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) co-sponsored the Argument-Driven Inquiry workshop presented by Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Center for Educational Partnerships on Friday, October 4, 2019, at NIA. Representatives from ODU’s Center for Educational Partnerships included Dr. Joanna Garner, Executive Director, and Melanie Loney, Program Manager. Collaborating with NIA STEM Education Specialists, they introduced 14 teachers, STEM leaders, and NASA STEM education content creators from the Hampton Roads region to the evidence-based instructional model called Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI).  ADI is being used to teach science and engineering concepts and critical STEM literacy skills in K-12 classrooms.  Workshop participants learned how in-school and out-of-school STEM experiences can be used to facilitate the formation of a robust STEM identity of students. This is achieved by implementing the nine stages of ADI for engineering to solve the challenge of designing a free-standing device that will convert potential energy to kinetic energy through the process of launching a mini marshmallow the farthest distance.

To learn more about NASA eClips, visit https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov.

Dr. Lynnae Quick Chosen as Subject Matter Expert for NASA eClips™ Video, Real World: Planetary Volcanoes

On Oct. 9, 2019, Joan Harper-Neely, a STEM education specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), along with Caleb Stern and Seth Robinson, NIA Media Communication Group Producers, traveled to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland, to film Dr. Lynnae Quick for a new NASA eClips video, “Against the Hyperwall, NASA’s Earth-observing video wall.” Dr. Quick not only provided insights into volcanoes on other planets and moons in our solar system for the new NASA eClips video, “Real World: Planetary Volcanoes,” but also shared “the spark” that led her to become an Ocean Worlds Planetary Scientist at GSFC. The personal accounts about her journey to become a planetary scientist will be used in the new video segment, Ask SME: Close-up with a NASA Subject Matter Expert

To learn more about NASA eClips, visit https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov.

2020 RASC-AL Challenge Receives Record-Breaking Amount of NOI Submissions

Sixty-eight eligible teams submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to participate in the 2020 RASC-AL Challenge. Comprised of NASA representatives and industry experts, the 2020 RASC-AL Steering Committee prompts undergraduate and graduate teams to develop new concepts that leverage innovations to improve humans’ abilities to operate in space and on distant planetary bodies. Ranging from expanding how humans utilize current and future assets in cis-lunar space to designing systems and architectures for exploring the moon and Mars, teams will design solutions in response to one of the following five themes:

  1. South Pole Multi-Purpose Rover
  2. International Space Station (ISS) as a Mars Mission Analog
  3. Short Surface Stay Mars Mission
  4. Commercial Cislunar Space Development
  5. Autonomous Utilization and Maintenance for Science Payloads on the Gateway and/or Mars-class Transportation

Sixty-eight eligible NOI submissions were received from the following 39 lead institutions:

  • Arizona State University (2)
  • Clarkson University (with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • College of William & Mary
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado School of Mines (with University of New South Wales and Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Drexel University (with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
  • Duquesne University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (5)
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2)
  • Metro Community College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Morehead State University (with Delft University of Technology)
  • North Carolina State University
  • Pennsylvania State University (4)
  • Princeton University
  • Princeton University (with Delft University of Technology)
  • State University of New York Polytechnic Institute
  • Texas A&M University (2)
  • University of Alabama (6)
  • University of Central Florida (2)
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Houston (2)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (with University of Birmingham)
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland (6)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas Austin (5)
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (3)
  • Western Michigan University

Full competition details, information on judges, and a full detailed challenge timeline can also be found on the RASC-AL Challenge website, http://rascal.nianet.org.

NIA Senior Research Engineer Publishes Paper in Journal of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Dr. Scott Zavada, Senior Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), published a paper in the Journal of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (published by the American Chemical Society). The paper, “Thermally Induced Healing of Electrically Insulating Ethylene−Octene Copolymers,” was co-authored by Godfrey Sauti, Keith L. Gordon, Joseph G. Smith, and Emilie J. Siochi of NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Zavada served as first author on the paper with Emilie Siochi as a co-corresponding author.

Dr. Zavada was invited to submit this paper by the journal Editor-in-Chief, professor Phillip E. Savage. This invitation was extended after a presentation at the 2018 ACS Fall National Meeting in Boston and was named as a “best presentation” in the General Papers/New Concepts in Polymeric MaterialsSymposium.

The paper was accepted for publication on Oct. 2, 2019.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at NATO STO Meeting

Dr. Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Mechanisms for transition over blunt cones at hypersonic speeds” at the NATO STO AVT-ET-190: Predicting Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition Prediction on Complex Geometries meeting. Co-authors include Meelan M. Choudhari, and Fei Li of NASA Langley Research Center. The NATO STO meeting took place Oct. 10-11, 2019 in Trondheim, Norway.

Week Ending Oct. 5, 2019

NASA eClips Team Hosts Webinar for Teachers Participating in Spotlite Production Study Group

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, the National Institute of Aerospace’s (NIA) NASA eClips Team hosted a webinar for teachers who will be participating in the Spotlite Production Study Group during the fall of 2019. Dr. Sharon Bowers (Senior Education Specialist), Joan Harper-Neely (STEM Education Specialist), and Betsy McAllister (NIA Educator in Residence) introduced teachers to the NASA Spotlite Design Challenge they will implement with their students between October and December of 2019. External project evaluator, Dr. Bradford Davey (Senior Researcher with Technology for Learning Consortium, Inc.), reviewed study protocols and expectations. The 12 Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers selected for this study will guide their students in the creation of 90-120 second videos for younger audiences that confront and correct misconceptions surrounding light energy and the motion of the Moon. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the effectiveness of the design challenge in increasing student producers’ science literacy and communication skills.

To learn more about NASA eClips, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

NASA eClips Team Hosts Webinar for 2019-2020 Teacher Advisory Board

 On Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, the National Institute of Aerospace’s (NIA) NASA eClipsTeam hosted a webinar for teachers who were selected to serve on the 2019-2020 Teacher Advisory Board. Dr. Sharon Bowers (Senior Education Specialist), Joan Harper-Neely (STEM Education Specialist), and Betsy McAllister (NIA Educator in Residence) introduced teachers to the NASA eClips suite of educational resources and walked participants through the review process for NASA’s Real World: Carbon Cyclevideo. Over the course of the academic year, the 15 teachers chosen to serve on the Advisory Board will be tasked with providing feedback on newly produced NASA eClips resources. In addition, the teachers will also secure student feedback on resources that are age-appropriate to their students.

To learn more about NASA eClips, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

30 University Teams submit Notices of Intent for the 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge

Oct. 4, 2019 was the deadline for teams to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to participate in the 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge, a university-level design competition and technology demonstration that invites multi-disciplinary teams of students to design and build prototype hardware that can extract water and assess subsurface density profiles from a simulated off-Earth testbed environment.

30 NOI submissions were received from the following 26 schools:

  • Alabama State University

  • California Polytechnic Institute San Luis Obispo

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Colorado School of Mines (2)

  • Fayetteville State University

  • Florida Atlantic University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Northeastern University

  • Ohio State University

  • Old Dominion University

  • Rowan University

  • Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Texas A&M University

  • University of Alabama

  • University of Tennessee – Knoxville

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of California, Irvine

  • University of Delaware

  • University of Las Vegas Nevada

  • University of Missouri

  • University of Southern California (2)

  • University of Utah (2)

  • University of Virginia

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • University of Wyoming

  • Virginia Tech (2)

Project Plan Proposals are due on Nov. 24, 2019, and up to 10 teams will be selected as finalists in Dec. 2019. The final teams will each receive $10,000 to build and test their system and demonstrate its capabilities in a multi-day competition held at NASA LaRC in June 2020.

Full competition details, information on judges, and a full detailed timeline can also be found on the BIG Idea Challenge Website (http://specialedition.rascal.nianet.org).

Week Ending Sept. 26, 2019

A Record-breaking 57 University Teams submit Notices of Intent for the 2020 BIG Idea Challenge

Sept. 27, 2019, was the deadline for teams to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to participate in the Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The BIG Idea Challenge is an initiative supporting NASA’s Game Changing Development Program’s (GCD) efforts to engage college students in rapidly maturing innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future NASA missions.

For 2020, this GCD-sponsored engineering design competition seeks innovative ideas for a wide variety of concepts, systems, and technology demonstrations that will address near-term technology capability requirements to support NASA’s exploration objectives for the permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) of the Moon.

A record-breaking 57 NOI submissions were received from the following 37 schools:

  • Arizona State University
  • Auburn University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Drexel University
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott Campus)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Gannon University
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Iowa State Universities
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Northeastern University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Rowan University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arlington
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Carolina – Pembroke
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • University of Wyoming
  • Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia University

Proposals are due on Jan. 16, 2020, and 5-10 teams will be selected as finalists by mid-February 2020. The final teams will receive funding awards ranging from $50,000 to $180,000 to design, build, and test their proposed concepts.

Find full competition details, information on judges, and a detailed timeline on the BIG Idea Challenge Website, http://bigidea.nianet.org.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Gives Presentation at US-India Earth Science Working Group Meeting

Dr. Jean-Paul Vernier, Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), gave a presentation on the Balloon measurement campaign of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (BATAL) project with his Indian counterpart, Dr. M.V. Ratnam, from the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory/ISRO. ISRO discussed possible aircraft deployments in India as a part of the BATAL project. The US-India Earth Science Working group meeting took place remotely on Sept. 23, with the participation of the Indian Space Organization (ISRO), The United States Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and multiple NASA centers.

Week Ending Sept. 14, 2019

NIA Associate Research Fellow Gives Invited Talk at New Mexico State University

NIA Associate Research Fellow, Dr. Hyun Jung Kim, gave an invited talk at the New Mexico State University on Sept. 12 as part of the physical department colloquium. The presentation was entitled “Optical cleanroom fabrication techniques for space flight applications (co-authors: Thomas Jones-D304, Scott Bartram-D304, and David MacDonnell-E3).” It highlighted work done under Langley’s mid-wave IR (MWIR) tunable filter and photon sieve projects aimed at developing active tunable filter and telescope lens for LIDAR that leverage for Science missions.

Dr. Kim received facility tours of the physics, chemistry, and material departments and had discussions with faculties who have extensive experience in applied optics, applied physics, geophysics, atmospheric physics, nuclear physics, and computational physics. Attendees expressed significant interest in potential applications of ongoing MWIR research. Dr. Kim also participated in a meeting with graduate and undergraduate students. The meeting included discussions of the internships and fellowships at NASA through Internships, Fellowships & Scholarships (NIFS) program.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at IUTAM

Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Sensitivity of Three-Dimensional Boundary Layer Stability and Transition to Thermochemical Modelling” at the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) Symposium on Laminar-Turbulent Transition. Co-authors include Chau-Lyan Chang and Fei Li (NASA LaRC). The IUTAM Symposium was held in London, UK, Sept. 2-6, 2019.

Week Ending Sept. 7, 2019

NIA Associate Research Fellow Completes NASA/NOAA FIREX-AQ Field Campaign

Dr. Carolyn Jordan, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), recently wrapped up a trip with the NASA/NOAA FIREX-AQ field campaign to study wildfire smoke. Dr. Jordan deployed with NASA’s Mobile Aerosol Characterization (MACH-2) ground-based laboratory where they measured aerosol optical, microphysical and chemical properties, along with a few key gas-phase tracers. Dr. Jordan and Bruce Anderson (PI), from the NASA Langley Aerosol Research Group (LARGE), were joined by collaborating scientists from Christopher Newport University, Brown University, and the University of New Hampshire.

Sampling was coordinated with other ground-based mobile labs from NASA Goddard’s Aeronet team and the Aerodyne Mobile Lab (from Billerica, Massachusetts), along with airborne laboratories flown by NASA (the DC-8 and ER-2) and NOAA (two Twin Otters).  The field campaign ran for six weeks and sampled smoke from a diverse set of fires in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and Oregon.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at IUTAM

Dr. Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Subcritical laminar-turbulent transition on blunt cones at hypersonic speeds” at the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) Symposium on Laminar-Turbulent Transition. Co-authors include Meelan M. Choudhari.

NIA Member University Laboratory Announces Grand Challenge Projects

The Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) at Georgia Tech has kicked off its Grand Challenge projects for 2019-2020. Grand Challenges are open-ended, relevant, realistic research problems that require practical implementation of advanced methods beyond traditional senior design problems. Incoming graduate students at ASDL work in teams on these challenge problems over two semesters. The teams present the results of the projects during the ASDL External Advisory Board (EAB) meeting, which is held in the spring and includes members of the EAB and project sponsors.

There are 27 Grand Challenges planned for 2019-2020, of which NASA LaRC is supporting two:

  1. Vehicle and Operations Optimization for Thin-Haul Regional Air Mobility Applications

The project’s objective for 2019-2020 is to study if the convergence of new technologies, such as energy storage, propulsion and autonomy, enables economically viable and environmentally sustainable thin-haul regional air mobility operations.

The multiyear objectives of this research are to:

  • Develop a capability to investigate trades (economics, emissions, performance, throughput, travel-time, etc.) between various modes of transportation
  • Help design the future U.S. transportation system.

Dr. Michael Patterson at ASAB (E403) is the primary technical point of contact.

  1. Persistent In-Space Platform Design

The project’s objective for 2019-2020 is to study and explore physical and operational concepts for an in-space persistent platform that reduces the burden on technology demonstrators, science instruments and other payloads.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Explore the design space of an upgradable persistent platform
  • Size a platform such that it will close on thermal control, power, Orbital maintenance and pointing
  • Develop an evolution plan to expand platform via in-space assembly
Week Ending Aug. 31, 2019

NIA Research Scientist Awarded Grant From DARPA

Dr. Ivan Perez, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), has been awarded a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as co-Principal Investigator. The proposal has been led by Dr. William Edmonson, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina A&E State University (NCAT) and former NIA Langley Professor, and also includes Dr. Holly Handley, Associate Professor of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering at Old Dominion University (ODU), as co-Principal Investigator.

The project, titled “Verifiable Modeling and Simulations Based on Computational Category Theory,” seeks to bridge the gap between control systems, model-based design, category theory, and strongly-typed functional reactive programming. The funding totals $193,000 and the project will go from July 2019 to July 2020.

2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Launched

On Aug. 28, 2019, the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) officially announced the 2020 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkages (RASC-AL) Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge. This is a university-level design competition and technology demonstration that invites multidisciplinary teams of students to design and build prototype hardware that can extract water and assess subsurface density profiles from a simulated off-Earth testbed environment. The prototypes will simultaneously use system telemetry to distinguish between overburden layers to create a “digital core.”

Up to 10 finalist teams will receive a $10,000 development stipend to build and test their system and demonstrate its capabilities in a multiday competition to be held in June 2020 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Teams will be required to identify the significant differences between operations on the moon and Mars versus Earth environments, and describe essential modifications needed for each in “paths-to-flight” descriptions for their prototype. Interested teams are asked to submit a project plan detailing their proposed concept’s design and operations by Nov. 24, 2019.The 2020 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge is sponsored by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, the Science Mission Directorate, Space Technology Mission Directorate, and the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at Langley, with support from the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate’s Advanced Explorations Systems and Langley’s Center Operations and Office of the Director.

NASA feature story: https://go.nasa.gov/2kshER8

RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge website: http://specialedition.rascal.nianet.org

NIA Research Engineer Publishes Article in AIAA Journal

Dr. Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), published the article entitled, “Nonmodal Growth of Traveling Waves on Blunt Cones at Hypersonic Speeds,” in the monthly AIAA Journal. Co-authors include Meelan M. Choudhari (NASA LaRC), Fei Li (NASA LaRC), Joseph S. Jewell (Purdue University), and Roger L. Kimmel (USAFRL).

https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.J058290

Week Ending Aug. 17, 2019

NIA Research Scientist Presents at IEEE

Dr. Ivan Perez, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented the paper “Fault-Tolerant Swarms,” co-authored with Dr. Alwyn Goodloe (NASA Langley Research Center) and Professor Dr. William Edmonson (North Carolina A&T State University), at the IEEE-sponsored 7th International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology (SMC-IT). The conference was held at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) campus in Pasadena, California, on July 30-Aug. 1, 2019.

NIA Associate Principal Engineer Presents at ISSS

Dr. Jin Ho Kang, Associate Principal Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace presented two papers, entitled “Viscoelastic Characterization of Polymers for Deployable Composite Booms (authors: Kang, Hinkley, Gordon, Thibeault, Bryant, Fernandez, Wilkie, Peterson, Brandenburg, Hill, Arcot, Diaz Moralez and McGruder)” and “Durability Characterization of Mechanical Interfaces in Solar Sail Membrane Structures (Authors: Kang, Gordon, Bryant, Stohlman, Wilkie, Stark, Barfield, Sindle, Finckenor and Craven),” at the 5th International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS) held in Aachen, Germany, July 30 – Aug. 2, 2019.

He also co-authored a paper, titled “An Overview of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) Low-Earth Orbit Technology Demonstration Project (authors: Wilkie, Fernandez, Horner, Brown, Banicevic, Denkins, Stohlman, Rose, Warren, Schneider, Dean, Kang and Chamberlain).” During the conference, the Langley solar sail team (Drs. Wilkie, Fernandez, Stohlman and Kang) discussed the ongoing and future collaborative projects with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) solar sail team.

Week Ending Aug. 10, 2019

2020 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Competition Announced

On Aug. 6, 2019, NIA and NASA officially announced the 2020 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkages (RASC-AL) Competition. This university-level design competition provides undergraduate and graduate teams the opportunity to develop new concepts that leverage innovations for NASA’s Artemis program and future human missions to Mars. Competition themes range from expanding on how we use current and future assets in cislunar space to designing systems and architectures for exploring the moon and Mars.

The themes are:

  • Theme 1: South Pole Multi-Purpose Rover
  • Theme 2: International Space Station (ISS) as a Mars Mission Analog
  • Theme 3: Short Surface Stay Mars Mission
  • Theme 4: Commercial Cislunar Space Development
  • Theme 5: Autonomous Utilization and Maintenance for Science Payloads on the Gateway and/or Mars-class Transportation

Up to 15 teams will be invited to submit a technical paper and receive a $6,000 stipend to present their projects in person at a design review during the June 2020 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Teams competing in Theme 5 may receive up to $5,000 in additional funding to build a proof-of-concept prototype or VR simulation. The top two teams will also receive a travel stipend to present their projects at a major aerospace conference.

Interested teams are asked to submit a 7-9-page proposal by March 5, 2020.

The 2019 RASC-AL Competition is sponsored by NASA’s Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate’s Advanced Explorations System.

NASA feature story: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/wanted-university-students-with-new-concepts-for-moon-and-mars

RASC-AL website: http://rascal.nianet.org

NIA Research Scientist Mentors NASA WEAR Student Contest Participants

Julie Hanson, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), mentored NASA WEAR (Wearable Equipment for Averting Radiation) challenge invited teams of educators and students to design wearable radiation countermeasures for use in deep space exploration. Middle and high school student teams from all over the U.S. visited LaRC to present their wearable radiation protection concepts for the NASA WEAR challenge. Winning teams visited NASA’s Langely Research Center from Aug. 5 – Aug. 9, 2019, to present their final design concepts and participate in tours and engagement activities across the center.

Contributors/ Mentors: 
Julie Hanson, NIA
Martha Clowdsley, NASA LaRC (D-309)
Sheila Thibeault, NASA LaRC (D-307)
Crystal Chamberlain, NASA LaRC (D-325)
Juliana Simon, NASA LaRC Intern (D-307)
Catharine Fay, NASA LaRC (D-307)

Week Ending Aug. 3, 2019

The National Institute of Aerospace Hosts Hampton City School Teacher Training

 On June 17 and 18, 2019, 26 third through twelfth grade Hampton City School (HCS) science teachers had a unique opportunity to receive training at the National Institute of Aerospace from Clean Energy Bright Futures (CE).  CE is a national clean energy, career connected education program from Bonneville Environmental Foundation of Portland, Oregon. CE works with schools, educators, and industry to build a clean energy future where communities and the environment are thriving and resilient.

The training, Renewable Energy Inquiry and Engineering, resulted from the collaboration between NIA, CE, Betsy McAllister (HCS Educator in Residence at NIA), and the HCS Science Department.  Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist with NIA, participated in the training.  McAllister said, “NIA has been so generous in their work with HCS.  Offering their beautiful space for this professional development is just one example of how this organization gives back to the community.”

In addition to learning about energy and energy transformations, hands-on circuitry, solar and wind energy, and battery science, teachers learned about the NASA eClips suite of educational resources.

Alpha Delta Kappa International Convention and Educational Symposium

Alpha Delta Kappa (an international honorary organization of women educators dedicated to educational excellence, altruism and world understanding) held its 31stInternational Convention July 16-20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 1,300 educators.

Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist, from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), shared educational resources at the exhibit booth and during a workshop session. At the booth, teachers participated in NASA eClips’ Real World: Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge and learned how different forces affect motion as they used the engineering design process.

Conference attendees were asked to share memories of the Apollo’s astronauts first step on the moon to celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary. Teachers in the workshop session learned how to use the NASA Spotlite Design Challenge with students to create short, 2-minute videos to correct science misconceptions and develop science communication skills. 

NIA Research Engineer Publishes Physical Review Fluids Journal Paper

Dr. Prahladh Iyer, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), recently published a paper on wall-modeled large eddy simulation with NASA collaborator Mujeeb R. Malik in the Physical Review Fluids journal. The paper, “Analysis of the equilibrium wall model for high-speed turbulent flows,” was published July 25, 2019. 

Abstract:
We perform a priori and a posteriori analyses of the equilibrium wall model for high-speed wall-bounded turbulent flows. The time-averaged flow from various direct numerical simulation (DNS) databases is used as input to the wall model and the accuracy of the predictions in terms of wall shear stress and wall temperature (or heat flux for isothermal wall boundary conditions) are assessed. Two different mixing-length-based eddy-viscosity models and various damping functions are tested in this study. Both mixing-length models involve two adjustable parameters: (i) the von Kármán constant κ, which varies in the literature from 0.37 to 0.44, and (ii) a viscous damping constant A+ (for the van Driest damping function). Also, for compressible flows, multiple scalings can be used for the viscous wall-normal spacing in the damping function.

The sensitivity of the results to these model parameters is reported, and it is found that the predictions of skin friction and wall temperature (or heat flux) are sensitive to the constants used, damping function scaling, and the wall-model exchange location. Wall-modeled large-eddy simulation (WMLES) is performed for (i) supersonic channel flow with a cold wall and (ii) an axisymmetric supersonic boundary layer for the adiabatic wall condition, to verify the a priori trends observed with respect to the damping functions.

A posteriori WMLES results are consistent with the trends observed in the a priori analysis of DNS data, thus indicating the usefulness of the a priori analysis. We introduce a damping function scaling, which works well over a range of Mach numbers and thermal wall conditions.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.074604

Week Ending July 27, 2019

NIA BATAL Campaign Conducts Extensive Aerosol Measurements in India

With the last balloon flight scheduled for Aug. 1, the 2019 BATAL (Balloon measurement campaigns of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer) campaign is nearing completion of data collection in India. BATAL 2019 has been a successful deployment with extensive measurements to study the composition and interplay between aerosols, clouds and trace gases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during the Summer Asian Monsoon. With nine balloon flights–including payloads measuring aerosol, ice and trace gases from a few kilograms to 50 kilograms–the 2019 BATAL project is the most extensive balloon fieldwork in Asia. Data collected during the campaign will be used to validate satellite observations from CALIPSO and SAGE III/ISS.

NIA Senior Scientist Jean-Paul Vernier is supporting the research in India with Johnny Mau and Amit Pandit (NASA Langley Research Center). NIA Research Fellow Hongyu Liu will support the BATAL campaign by providing aerosol forecast using the GEOS-5 model.

BATAL is a collaborative effort between NASA Langley, the National Institute of Aerospace, the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, the Balloon Facility of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Physical Research Laboratory.

NIA Research Fellow Co-organizes and Attends CMH-17/FAA/EASA Sandwich Disbond Workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), co-organized and attended a joint CMH-17-EASA-FAAWorkshop on Sandwich Disbonding held at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen, July 9-12, 2019. He gave a presentation CMH-17 Disbond Growth Team: Coordinated efforts to Address Sandwich Face Sheet/Core Disbondingand led the following discussion. He also presented High Fidelity Modeling of Face Sheet/Core Disbondingon behalf of Nelson Carvalho who could not attend the workshop. Profs. Leif Carlsson (Florida Atlantic University) and George Kardomateas (Georgia Tech) also presented results from the FAA funded project Study of Damage Modes in Lightweight Sandwich Structures Using Analysis and Testing.

During the workshop, an international group of 35 experts discussed face sheet/core disbonding in honeycomb sandwich constructions, which poses a threat to the structural integrity of a sandwich component but can be controlled through design, including damage tolerance principles, and maintenance procedures. This damage mode is of particular interest to the certification authorities such as the FAA and EASA since it was evident in several in-service occurrences, such as a rudder structural failure. Additionally, other control surface challenges, including lost strength and fluid ingression, have had relationships with disbonding. Past studies funded by the FAA and EASA have focused on face sheet/core disbonding which can lead to damage propagation caused by internal pressure changes in the core due to ground-air-ground cycles.

Sandwich structures are also common in rotorcraft and general aviation that do not fly at high altitudes.  Further, sandwich monocoque structures have failed in a way that demonstrated the need to pay particular attention to disbond damage modes in single load path primary structure applications.

Future composite structure applications–for example, composite sandwich construction of the fuselage of business jets that experience higher altitudes than transport aircraft and new urban mobility vertical takeoff & landing aircraft products–are also driving a need to understand the phenomenon of disbond growth under generalized load conditions including advanced maneuvers and gust conditions.

To identify, describe and address the phenomenon, the Sandwich Disbond Growth Team was established as a group of experts within the CMH-17 Disbond and Delamination Task Group in 2011 following a similar workshop held at the National Institute of Aerospace. The Composite Materials Handbook (CMH-17)creates, publishes and maintains proven, reliable engineering information and standards, subjected to thorough technical review, to support the development and use of composite materials and structures. Currently, the group is working to identify sandwich structural design details where sandwich disbonds initiate and other real structure scenarios, which may promote growth.  The goals of such studies are to evaluate potential sandwich disbonding and establish design guidelines that eliminate the growth potential or, at least, minimize the effect on structural integrity. The ultimate goal is to develop and provide tools to minimize sandwich disbonding and help mitigate any safety-related concerns.

Stakeholders in this activity are the certification authorities, original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, universities as well as government research facilities and associated contractors.

Week Ending July 20, 2019

NIA Research Engineer Beta-Tests LASTRAC 3.0

Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), has beta-released LASTRAC 3.0 to a limited number of users. This code is being added to/developed under Dr. Kline’s NASA project, “Transition Physics and Modeling for Hypersonic Vehicles”, which in this version provides boundary layer stability and laminar-to-turbulent transition analysis with new capabilities for thermochemical and chemical nonequilibrium flows.

NIA Member University Laboratory Presents at AIAA AVIATION Forum

Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL), member university at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented two papers at the 2019 AIAA AVIATION Forum. The ASDL team presented the following papers based on projects in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center. The 2019 AIAA AVIATION Forum was held in Dallas, TX, June 17-21, 2019.
 
Somers, L.A., Justin, C.Y., and Mavris, D.N., “Wind and Obstacles Impact on Airpark Placement for STOL-based Sub-Urban Air Mobility,” AIAA Aviation 2019 Forum, (AIAA 2019-3121). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2019-3121
 
Hiller, B.R., Frink, N.T., Silva, W.A., and Mavris, D.N., “Aeroelastic Indicial Response Reduced-Order Modeling for Flexible Flight Vehicles,” AIAA Aviation 2019 Forum, (AIAA 2019-3388). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2019-3388

NIA Samuel P. Langley Professor Co-Edits Book

Prof. Dimitri Mavris, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Samuel P. Langley Professor at Georgia Tech, has co-edited the book Complex Systems Engineering: Theory and Practice, which was recently published by AIAA. This book represents state-of-the-art thought leadership on system complexity for aerospace and aviation. The costs and consequences of current knowledge and practice gaps are substantial. These problems are caused by several factors: the lack of human capacity to comprehend complexity without machine/autonomation interfaces, the rapid pace of changes in the sector, and the increasing complexity and complicatedness of systems of all types and sizes (occurring by design and by default).

As large organizations like NASA LaRC work to advance their missions in the face of increasing complexity and challenges, this book provides critical strategies and paradigms. The breadth of topics covered by this book was selected to provide an enriched view of all types of systems—technical, machine, and human systems.

For more information: https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/book/10.2514/4.105654

Week Ending July 13, 2019

NIA Research Engineer Publishes Results and Presents at AIAA Aviation 2019

Dr. Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), published results of three papers at the 2019 AIAA Aviation forum. “Nonmodal growth of traveling waves on blunt cones at hypersonics speeds” (M. Choudhari, F. Li, J. Jewell, and R. Kimmel), “Nonlinear Goertler vortices and their secondary instability in a hypersonic boundary layer” (F. Li, and M. Choudhari), and “Laminar-turbulent transition upstream of the entropy-layer swallowing location in hypersonic boundary layers” (M. Choudhari, F. Li) were all accepted for publication. “Laminar-turbulent transition upstream of the entropy-layer swallowing location in hypersonic boundary layers” was presented during the forum.

AIAA Aviation 2019 took place June 17-21, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

Week Ending June 29, 2019

2019 RASC-AL Competition – Winning Teams Announced

NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition was held in Cocoa Beach, Florida from June 18th – 21st where the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez’s project, titled “Lunar Exploration and Access to Polar Regions (LEAPR)” was named as the 1st place overall winner, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s “Project Luna” placed 2nd overall. The two winning teams will be awarded an additional travel stipend to attend and present a condensed version of their RASC-AL concepts at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum on August 19, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The 2019 RASC-AL competition challenged 14 finalist teams from 13 universities to develop new concepts that leverage innovations that improve our ability to access and explore destinations in cis-lunar space via the Gateway. This year, 97 students, 12 faculty and 20 NASA/Industry representatives physically attended the 2019 RASC-AL Forum, while 202 students and faculty from the 14 final teams participated throughout the year. The steering committee includes individuals from NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, AST & Science, Blue Origin, Boeing, the Cislunar Space Development Company, SpaceWorks, and SpaceX.

RASC-AL is sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters and the Space Mission Analysis Branch at NASA’s Langley Research Center and administered by the National Institute of Aerospace.

NASA Feature Story for the 2019 RASC-AL Winning Team: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/students-blaze-new-trails-in-nasa-space-exploration-design-competition/

RASC-AL Website: http://rascal.nianet.org/

2019 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge

NASA’s 2019 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting (MMIP) Challenge was held in the hangar at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia from June 4th – 6th, 2019, where university teams tested prototypes that could extract water and assess subsurface density profiles from a simulated off-world testbed environment during the competition.

To best mimic martian subsurfaces in this ISRU challenge, the test stations, 4-foot tall commercial fishing coolers, were filled with 20”-thick blocks of ice, 2”-thick Texas Crème Limestone, and 8”-thick Aircrete Slabs with pitcher’s mound clay alternating in between layers. Over the course of 2 days, teams competed to extract as much water from their systems as possible, operating remotely throughout the competition. They were also required to submit 15-page technical papers and display posters on their system’s path-to-flight (i.e., how their systems would be modified for use on the moon and/or Mars).

In 2019, teams collected 380% more water than the previous year (4,311 mL in 2018 compared with 20,707 mL in 2019), showing significant improvement in the design capabilities of the teams. First Place Overall was awarded to West Virginia University for their prototype, Development of the Third Generation Mountaineer Ice Drilling Automated System (MIDAS III). Second Place Overall was awarded to first-comers Stevens Institute of Technology for their prototype, Drill-based Extraction of Ice-water and Martian Overburden System (DEIMOS).

NASA Feature Story Announcing 2019 MMIP Challenge Winners: West Virginia University Takes Top Prize in NASA Test of Concepts to Extract Water on the Moon and Mars

The challenge, which had streaming live coverage by NASA 360 Productions, was picked up by over 130 outlets and reached a potential audience of over 85.8 million individuals. The Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge also earned a “Shout Out” in NASA Director Jim Bridenstine’s June 10th weekly note to the NASA community. The RASC-AL Special Edition was featured in the newest Global Exploration Roadmap as an effective means of both analog mission testing and engagement for the Agency.

The FY19 Challenge was sponsored by STMD at HQ, SMD at HQ, Office of the Chief Technologist, and HEOMD/SACD at LaRC, and received support from HEOMD. Several industry companies also offered in-kind, monetary, or onsite support for the challenge, including Aercon AAC, Buechel Stone Corp., Honeybee Robotics, Pancopia, and Protolabs.

Competing teams:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Houston
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • West Virginia University

The 2019 Steering Committee for this competition included Benjamin Galke, Sharon Jeffries, Christopher Jones, Kevin Kempton, and Robert Moses from NASA LaRC; Gerald Sanders from NASA JSC; Stephen Hoffman from Aerospace Corporation; Kris Zacny and Dean Bergman from Honeybee Robotics; and Keith Nicewarner from SpaceX. Representing the National Institute of Aerospace were Shelley Spears as Program Director, Stacy Dees as Program Manager, Victoria O’Leary as Program Coordinator, and Genevieve Ebarle as Program Support.

NASA eClips at Center for Excellence in Education Teacher Enrichment Program
Old Dominion University

On Monday, June 23rd, the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE) staff participated in the Center for Excellence in Education’s Teacher Enrichment Program “Engaging Students in STEM: Hands-On Learning and Real-World Applications” at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The goal of the event was to provide teachers with information about various STEM careers, skills, and cutting-edge research, as well as introducing a variety of engaging, low-cost activities and labs. Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist, and Betsy McAllister, Hampton City School Educator in Residence at NIA, engaged 80 middle and high school teachers in the NASA eClips™ Educator Guide, NASA’s Real World: Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge 1 and 2 (https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/teachertoolbox/download/68). Teachers learned about Newton’s Laws of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principle through the completion of two challenges: making a helium balloon neutrally buoyant and successfully navigating it through a short “obstacle course.”

To learn more about NASA eClips, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

NASA Science Directorate Event for GLOBE Club and Girls’ STEM Club

On Friday, June 7, 2019, Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), presented at NASA’s Science Directorate event, Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Club. The event included the Girls’ STEM Club from Northern Shores Elementary in Suffolk, Virginia, and was held at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Over 30 students and their teachers visiting the NASA eClips™ table created crater maps of the Moon using paint bubbles to learn about the physical features of Earth’s moon. Students and educators were encouraged to view the NASA eClips videos; Our World: Moon Phases, Our World: The Moon’s Impact on Earth, Launchpad: Apollo 11  Challenges of Landing on the Moon and Launchpad: Apollo 11  History in the Making to prepare for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions.

NASA eClips™ Visits Bryan Elementary Science Fair and STEM Expo

On May 9th, 2019, Betsy McAllister, Hampton City School Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), judged the 2019 Bryan Elementary Science Fair and engaged approximately 83 family participants in NASA eClips activities at the Bryan STEM Expo held on May 9th, 2019. As a part of the STEM Expo, students and their families learned about Earth’s Moon through the new NASA eClips videos Our World: Moon Phases and Our World: The Moon’s Impact on Earth. Students created Moon prints as a part of a Crater Maps lesson. McAllister shared the NASA eClips postcards that highlight the suite of free educational resources available to students and families.

Christopher Newport University STEM Community Day

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, STEM Education Specialists from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), along with high school volunteers from Hampton City Schools and NASA eClips™ Teacher Advisory Board members, exhibited at the Christopher Newport University STEM Community Day in Newport News, Virginia. Over 150 parents and children visiting the NIA-CISE table participated in creating crater maps of the Moon using paint bubbles to learn about the physical features of Earth’s moon. Families were encouraged to view the NASA eClips videos Our World: Moon Phases, Our World: The Moon’s Impact on Earth, Launchpad: Apollo 11  Challenges of Landing on the Moon and Launchpad: Apollo 11  History in the Making to prepare for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions.

NIA Research Fellow attends NAFEMS World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the NAFEMS World Congress held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada June 17-20. NAFEMS – located in the United Kingdom – is the only worldwide independent association dedicated to engineering modeling, analysis & simulation. Currently, there are more than 1,400 NAFEMS member organizations worldwide ranging from major global corporations through small-scale engineering consultants. Both, NIA and NASA Langley are proud members of NAFEMS. At the congress, a total of 340 papers were presented on a variety of topics such as computational fluid dynamics, multidisciplinary analysis, additive manufacturing, simulation data management, optimization, digital twin, and composites. The conference was attended by about 625 participants from 386 companies and 36 different countries. Dr. Krueger currently chairs the NAFEMS Composites Working Group and chaired one of three special sessions on composites during the conference. He also presented a paper A Benchmark Example for Delamination Growth Predictions Based on the Single Leg Bending Specimen under Fatigue Loading co-authored with Lyle Deobald and Haozhong Gu of The Boeing Company. This work had been accomplished as part of NASA’s Advanced Composites Project (ACP).

Abstract
Analysis benchmarking is used to evaluate new algorithms for automated VCCT-based delamination growth analysis. First, existing benchmark cases based on the Single Leg Bending (SLB) specimen for crack propagation prediction under quasi-static loading are summarized. Second, the development of new SLB-based benchmark cases to assess the static and fatigue growth prediction capabilities under mixed-mode I/II conditions is discussed in detail. Additionally, a scheme is proposed to interpolate between known fatigue delamination growth rates to obtain values for mixed-mode ratios for which data has not been defined in the input. Further, a comparison is presented, in which the benchmark cases are used to assess new analysis tools in ABAQUS/Standard FD03. These recently implemented tools yield results that are in good agreement with the benchmark examples. The ability to assess the implementation of new methods in one finite element code illustrates the value of establishing benchmark solutions.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Attends ACAM Workshop

Amit Pandit and Jean-Paul Vernier attended the Atmospheric Composition and Asian Monsoon (ACAM) workshop, which took place at the National University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur between 26-28 June 2019. Amit Pandit also served as an instructor for the training school organized before the workshop between 24-26 June. He gave a poster presentation about ice measurements in the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) made during the Balloon measurement campaigns of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (BATAL). Jean-Paul Vernier delivered a talk on satellite and balloon measurements of the ATAL. Overall, the conference was attended by scientists and students throughout Asia, Europe, and the US and represented a unique opportunity to foster collaboration.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Visits Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Amit Pandit, Johnny Mau, and Jean-Paul Vernier arrived at the balloon facility of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, India for a 1-month deployment to study the optical, physical and chemical properties of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer through balloon-borne measurements. With 12 flights, including payloads ranging from a few hundred grams to 10 kg, the BATAL campaign represents a unique opportunity to characterize the ATAL as well as ice clouds in the UTLS to study the impact of pollution on the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere during the Summer Asian Monsoon. Data collected during the campaign will be used to validate satellite observations from CALIPSO and SAGE III/ISS. Hongyu Liu will support the BATAL campaign by providing aerosol forecast using the GEOS-5 model.

Week Ending June 22, 2019

NIA Senior Research Scientist Coordinates Response to Volcano Eruption in Kuril Islands

The Raikoke volcano, located in the Kuril Islands, erupted on June 21st sending ash and SO2 up into the stratosphere. Through the NASA Disaster program, John Murray (NASA Langley) and Jean-Paul Vernier, Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), coordinated a response to provide the most up-to-date information about the position of the plume to support aviation safety assessments.

Jean-Paul, who co-leads the WMO-SPARC-SSiRC VolRes international group, initiated discussion on the VolRes wiki page to start assessing the potential long-term impact of this eruption on climate.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at AIAA Aviation 2019

Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented the paper titled, “Multiple Boundary Layer Instability Modes with Nonequilibrium and Wall Temperature Effects Using LASTRAC” at AIAA Aviation 2019. Co-authors include Chau-Lyan Chang and Fei Li (NASA Langley). AIAA Aviation 2019 was held June 17th– 21stin Dallas, Texas.

Week Ending June 8, 2019

NASA eClips™ Releases New Videos About Earth’s Moon

As NASA celebrates the anniversary of the Apollo missions to Earth’s Moon, NASA eClips releases two new videos about the Moon. The on-camera subject matter expert, Dr. Barbara Cohen, Planetary Scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explains the cause of the lunar phases as seen from Earth. The videos highlight NASA missions to help us discover more about our nearest neighbor and learn more about how the Moon impacts Earth through tides and moonlight.

NASA eClips™ Our World are short, relevant educational video segments produced for the Grades 3-5 audience. These videos explain science, engineering, and natural and designed world concepts.

Our World: Moon Phases: https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/video/ourworld/our-world-moon-phases

Our World: The Moon’s Impact on Earth: https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/video/ourworld/our-world-the-moons-impact-on-earth

NASA eClips™ Releases New Videos About Asteroids

NASA eClips released two new educational video segments about asteroids for the middle school classroom. Dr. Danny Glavin, Astrobiologist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, served as the featured subject matter expert. These videos teach about asteroids and comets and the role they play in our Solar System. Audiences learn how the NASA mission, OSIRIS-REx gathered a sample of the asteroid Bennu to study to learn more about the formation of the Solar System.

NASA eClips Real World video segments inspire and engage students, helping them connect mathematics to 21stcentury careers and innovations.

Real World: Small Bodies Orbiting the Sun: https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/video/realworld/real-world-small-bodies-orbiting-the-sun                                       

Real World: Close Encounters with An Asteroid: https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/video/realworld/real-world-close-encounters-with-an-asteroid

NIA Senior Principal Engineer Assists in Completion of Research Aircraft Structural Modification for Future Airborne Science

Leslie Kagey, Senior Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), was involved in significant engineering support to NASA in the final quality and airworthiness oversight of modifications to three Gulfstream III aircraft. The aircraft were obtained from the Air Force to provide for future NASA airborne science activity related to atmospheric air quality investigations. The aircraft have the ability to fly as high as 45,000 feet and have a range of over 3500 nautical miles, which will provide a significant enhancement to science mission profile capabilities.  In order to accomplish these goals, it was decided by NASA to modify one of the aircraft with nadir ports for future use of cameras, lidars, and other instrumentation. The other two aircraft were obtained as parts aircraft.

The operational aircraft was modified by Kagey with two nadir ports which required major changes to the structure of the fuselage and the control systems of the aircraft. The first scheduled mission for the aircraft is planned for flight in the latter part of this year.

Week Ending June 1, 2019

NASA eClips™ Visits Bryan Elementary Science Fair and STEM Expo

 On May 9th, 2019, Betsy McAllister, Hampton City School Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), judged the 2019 Bryan Elementary Science Fair and engaged approximately 83 family participants in NASA eClips activities at the Bryan STEM Expo held on May 9th, 2019.

As a part of the STEM Expo, students and their families learned about Earth’s Moon through the new NASA eClips videos Our World: Moon Phases and Our World:  The Moon’s Impact on Earth.  Students created Moon prints as a part of a Crater Maps lesson. McAllister shared the NASA eClips postcards that highlight the suite of free educational resources available to students and families. 

Week Ending May 25, 2019

NIA Researchers Attend 9th International GEOS-Chem Meeting

Dr. Bo Zhang, Research Scientist, and Dr. Hongyu Liu, Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the 9th International GEOS-Chem Meeting, which was held at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) during May 6-9, 2019. http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/geos/meetings/2019/index.html 

Dr. Zhang gave a talk entitled “Model analysis of interannual variability of Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL): Transport pathways, sources, and composition.” Dr. Liu presented a poster entitled “Variability and sources of tropospheric aerosols over the North Atlantic during NAAMES.” The research activities were conducted in close collaboration with Dr. Jean-Paul Vernier, NIA, NASA LaRC Science Directorate and other institutions, and funded by the NASA Atmospheric Composition and Modeling Program (ACMAP) and the NASA NAAMES mission. As a member of the GEOS-Chem Steering Committee, Dr. Liu also co-chaired the Transport Working Group breakout session.

NIA Researchers Contribute to NASA ACTIVATE Science Team Meeting

National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Researcher Fellow, Dr. Hongyu Liu, attended the first Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) Science Team Meeting, which took place at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) on May 1-3, 2019.  NIA Research Scientist, Dr. Bo Zhang, participated remotely.  ACTIVATE (https://activate.larc.nasa.gov/) is a five-year NASA Earth-Venture Suborbital-3 mission led by Principal Investigator Dr. Armin Sorooshian at the University of Arizona and managed by the LaRC Science Directorate.

Co-investigator institutions/organizations include NASA LaRC, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS), National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), Brookhaven National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab, and the University of Miami.   Dr. Liu and Dr. Zhang discussed NIA’s planned contributions to the mission with the science team, and gave a talk entitled “Modeling Tropospheric Aerosols over the western North Atlantic in Support of ACTIVATE: Forecasting, Air Trajectories, Source Attributions, and Impact of Cloud Scavenging.”  The first ACTIVATE field deployment will take place in February-March 2020.

Week Ending May 18, 2019

NIA Senior Research Engineer Presents at Vertical Flight Society 75th Annual Forum

Dr. Li Wang, Senior Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented a paper titled “High-Fidelity Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Low-Noise Rotorcraft” at the Vertical Flight Society 75th Annual Forum in Philadelphia, PA, May 13-16, 2019.

The presented research is a collaboration with Dr. Boris Diskin, NIA Research Fellow, and researchers from the Computational AeroSciences Branch and the AeroAcoustics Branch at NASA Langley. The paper described a unique adjoint-based computational tool for high-fidelity multidisciplinary analysis and optimization (MDAO) coupling three state-of-the-art discipline solvers: NASA’s computational fluid dynamics code, FUN3D, a rotorcraft comprehensive analysis code, DYMORE, and NASA’s acoustic analysis and prediction model, ANOPP2.

This MDAO tool enables gradient-based, constrained optimization of rotorcraft configurations at affordable computational cost. The optimization demonstration targeting acoustic noise reduction achieved an improved design of helicopter blades providing lower noise and satisfying all required constraints. This research is supported by NASA’s Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project; Susan A. Gorton is the RVLT project manager.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Organizing Co-Simulation Workshop

Dr. Paolo Masci, Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), is organizing the 3rdworkshop on Formal Co-Simulation of Cyber-Physical Systems (CoSim-CPS-19). Co-simulation is an advanced simulation technique that allows developers to generate a global simulation of a complex system by orchestrating and composing the concurrent simulation of individual components or aspects of the system. The workshop will be a satellite event of the International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM). The workshop will take place 16-20 September 2019, in Oslo, Norway.

For more information on the workshop dates & topics, visit: https://sites.google.com/view/cosimcps19

Week Ending May 11, 2019

NIA Senior Research Scientist Presents New UAM and UA Vehicle Concept

There are many plans to use flying vehicles for various tasks in urban environments. One major concern about these plans is the anticipated impact of noise by these vehicles on the public. These concerns motivate the need for better assessment of noise and its impact on the public, preferably under controlled reproduction conditions.

Menachem Rafaelof, a Senior Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), recently presented a new concept for high fidelity synthesis and reproduction of noise by UAM and UA vehicles to members of the Structural and Aeroacoustics branches at NASA Langley. High fidelity synthesis of sound is essential to accurately gauge its impact on observers, a critical task in the process to improve the design and operation of these vehicles. Acoustic Transfer Function (ATF) relates sound pressure at a point in space to a set of overall input control efforts, under time-invariant conditions, representing excursions from vehicle’s trim state. Rafaelof’s presentation focused on progress to demonstrate the function of ATF.

NIA Research Scientist Participates in 11th NASA Formal Methods Symposium

Laura Titolo, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented the work titled, “A Mixed Real and Floating-Point Solver,” and chaired a session on “Engineering Trustworthy SAT Solvers” at the 11th NASA Formal Methods Symposium, which was held in Houston, Texas on May 6-9, 2019.

Week Ending May 4, 2019

NASA eClips™ at the Henrico STEAM Symposium

April 15, 2019, Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and Katherine Mangum, NASA eClips Teacher Advisory Board member, attended the 1stAnnual Henrico County STEAM Symposium held at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Over 600 people attended the event. Families of middle school students in Henrico County Virginia came out to this STEAM night to learn about STEM careers and engage in NASA eClips hands-on activities.

New NASA eClips™ Carbon Cycle Video Filmed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

April 17, 2019, Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) joined Caleb Stern and Seth Robinson, producers from the Media Communications Group at NIA to film subject matter experts for the new Real World: Carbon Cycle video.

Filming took place at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo, a research scientist from NASA’s GSFC and Dr. Paul Montesano, a research scientist from Science Systems Applications Incorporated, shared their expert knowledge about how NASA studies carbon and its relationship to Earth.

NASA eClips™ at Cooper Elementary STEM Career Day

Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and Betsy McAllister, Educator in Residence for Hampton City Schools, attended the Cooper Elementary STEM Career Day in Hampton, Virginia on April 19, 2019.

One hundred twenty-five students made lunar crater maps using black soap bubbles to create the features of Earth’s moon. Students compared their map to the interactive maps on www.moon.nasa.govwebsite. The NASA eClips’ Distance to the Moon Guide Lite activity was used to demonstrate the mathematical relationship between Earth and the Moon.

NASA eClips™ Partners with NASA GLOBE for Cloud Training

Marilé Colón Robles, NASA GLOBE Clouds project scientist, and Betsy McAllister, Hampton City Schools Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), teamed up to provide professional development to 12 Hampton City School teachers and 2 York County School Division teachers on how to submit cloud observations to NASA as part of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) citizen science program.

Participants became official GLOBE teachers and received hands-on training on how to use the GLOBE site and the new GLOBE Observer app to collect cloud observations.  After an introductory training on February 26, teachers were required to conduct a minimum of 2 cloud observations with their students.   On April 9th, the teachers came together again to share their successes.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Gives Talk at Hampton University

Atmospheric aerosols play a fundamental role in climate but remain one of the largest sources of uncertainties for future climate projections. Jean-Paul Vernier, a Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), gave a seminar at Hampton University on May 1st, to discuss the impact of the Summer Asian Monsoon on stratospheric aerosols. He showed that the monsoon provides a vehicle for the transport of pollution into the stratosphere.

The nature, origin and impacts of this pollution have been investigated through a series of balloon campaign in Asia since 2014 as well as research activities with satellite and modeling works conducted at NASA Langley Research Center and NIA.

Week Ending April 27, 2019

2019 BIG Idea Challenge Forum – Winning Teams Announced

The 4th annual Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Forum was hosted at NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC) from April 23-24, 2019. Five collegiate teams with students from twelve universities were selected to present their innovative ideas for a Marsboreal Greenhouse Design that integrated with the Mars Ice Home.

Dartmouth College was awarded the first-place prize for their design, “DEMETER (Deployable Enclosed Martian Environment for Technology, Eating, and Recreation),” while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team received second place for their concept titled, “Biosphere Engineered Architecture for Viable Extraterrestrial Residence (BEAVER).”

Participants from the finalist teams were offered NASA summer internships at LaRC to continue developing their concepts under the mentorship of NASA LaRC’s Kevin Kempton, PI for the Mars Ice Home study.

The other Finalist teams included:

• University of California, Davis – Title: Martian Agricultural and Plant Sciences (MAPS)

• University of Colorado Boulder with Harvard University, Cornell University, and the University of Hawaii, Manoao – Title: SIRONA – Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature & Agriculture

• University of Michigan with Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin, Platteville – Title: GAIA – Greenhouse Attachment for the Ice home Architecture

The following BIG Idea Challenge Judges evaluated presentations:

• Kevin Kempton (Chair), NASA LaRC

• Molly Anderson, NASA HQ/Johnson Space Center

• Dr. Dan Barta, NASA Johnson Space Center

• Christina Ciardullo, SEArch+

• Dr. Robert “Bob” Moses, NASA LaRC

• Dr. Ray Wheeler, NASA Kennedy Space Center • Melodie Yashar, SEArch

The BIG Idea Challenge is sponsored by NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and managed by Shelley Spears and Stacy Dees of the National Institute of Aerospace.

NASA Feature Story: NASA’s 2019 BIG Idea Challenge Winner Designs Best Planetary Greenhouse 

BIG Idea Website: http://bigidea.nianet.org

Week Ending April 20, 2019

NASA eClips™ at the Hampton STEM Symposium

On April 13, 2019, Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the Time Out 4 You STEM Symposium held at the Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia. Families from Virginia attended workshop sessions to learn about STEM careers and engage in hands-on activities. During the NASA eClips session, 40 participants learned about Earth’s moon by completing the NASA eClips Guide Lites activities Distance to the Moon and Crater Maps. The group visited the site www.moon.nasa.gov to use the moon interactive application to identify the geography and features of the moon, as well as the human and robotic landing sites. NASA eClips cards were passed out to 100 attendees to access videos about the Apollo missions and Earth’s moon.

Researchers Receive UAS System Training and Certification

NASA Langley Research Center’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations Office (D101) sent two members of its team to Boulder, Colorado from March 25 thru the 29th to receive flight training on the recently procured Blackswift Technologies model S2 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Both crew members, Dr. Mark Motter (D101, UAS Office) and Jacob Revesz (D101, UAS Office, National Institute of Aerospace), received their certifications to operate the UAS system. The training was led by the CEO of Blackswift Technologies, Dr. Jack Elston, who served as the safety pilot.

The focus of the training was the safe operation of the S2 UAS during all phases and modes of operation. A simulator provided a realistic environment to gain familiarity with using the tablet-based ground station to execute an automated launch, transition from launch to nominal flight plans, modifying the flight plan, and landing with a fully automated recovery. Flight training in the field followed the simulator training.

Week Ending April 13, 2019

2019 RASC-AL Competition Finalist Teams Selected

On April 11, 2019, the 2019 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition Steering Committee met to deliberate the merits of twenty university-submitted mid-project review submissions, and to down-select finalists for the challenge. Fourteen teams were ultimately selected to advance to the final stage of the competition and will present their concepts at the 2019 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida June 18-20, 2019.

Competition submissions are judged by a Steering Committee comprised of members from NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, Boeing, the Cislunar Space Development Company, Maryland Aerospace, SpaceWorks Enterprises, and SpaceX. More information on upcoming deadlines for the competition can be found at: http://rascal.nianet.org/dates-and-deadlines/.

The 14 finalist teams hail from:

  • Drexel University with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Korea Aerospace Institute of Science and Technology, and the Royal
  • Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Duquesne University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2 Teams)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2 Teams)
  • Northeastern University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
  • Virginia Tech (3 Teams)

RASC-AL Website:  http://rascal.nianet.org

NIA Senior Research Scientist Gives Presentation at EGU

Particles in the stratosphere play a crucial part in the earth climate system by regulating the amount of solar radiation reaching the ground. After 10 years, researchers have discovered that the Asian Monsoon provides a gateway for pollution to reach the stratosphere.

Jean-Paul Vernier, Sr. Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), gave a talk titled, “The Transport of Asian Pollution into the Stratosphere”, at the European Geophysical Union (EGU) in Vienna, Austria, about the transport of polluted aerosols into the stratosphere from the perspective of satellite observations, in situ measurements and modelling results.

EGU took place on April 7-12, 2019.

NIA Research Engineer Presents Results and Gives Seminar at NASA LaRC

Dr. Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented results of “Transition upstream of the entropy-layer swallowing location”, at the NATO STO ET-190 working group meeting on Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition. Co-authors of the work include Meelan Choudhari, and Fei Li (NASA LaRC). The meeting was held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, April 11-12, 2019.

Dr. Paredes also gave a seminar on “Hydrodynamic Stability Theory 101: Application to High-Speed Flows”, for the CFD Working Group in NASA Langley’s Aerothermodynamics Branch on March 28, 2019.

NIA Research Engineer Presents at NATO STO ET-190

Dr. Heather Kline, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “Thermochemical Nonequilibrium Implemented in the LAngley Stability and TRansition Analysis Code (LASTRAC)”, at the NATO STO ET-190 working group meeting on Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition.

Co-authors of the work include Chau-Lyan Chang (NASA LaRC). The meeting was held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on April 11-12, 2019

Week Ending April 6, 2019

NIA-CISE Exhibition at Virginia Homeschoolers Conference

On March 22 and 23, 2019, STEM Education Specialists from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE) attended the Virginia Homeschoolers Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. Participants were introduced to the NASA Spotlite Design Challenge and encouraged to participate. Resources from our SciAct collective partners, Infiniscope and PLANETS, were shared with the attendees.

NASA eClips at the ITEEA Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) attended the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) 81stannual conference in Kansas City, Missouri on March 27-30, 2019.

Educators and administrators attended workshop sessions to learn best practices in STEM education and how to incorporate videos into curriculum using the NASA eClips™ website. Middle and high school career and technical education teachers were introduced to the NASA Spotlite design challenge and invited to apply to be a part of the 2019-2020 focus group. NASA Spotlites are short educational videos created by students to debunk a science misconception.

The focus group will provide data to support the statement that students who complete the NASA Spotlite design challenge increase their science literacy and communication skills.

NIA Senior Research Scientist Takes Part in SSiRC Steering Committee

Stratospheric aerosols play a key role in the earth climate. Injected and produced after major volcanic eruptions, they can cool down surface temperature for several years and modify monsoonal precipitation.

Jean-Paul Vernier, Sr. Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), took part on the Stratospheric Sulfur and its Role in Climate (SSiRC) steering committee in Julich, Germany, April 3-7, 2019. He presented the current progress of the VolRes initiative, an activity he leads with C. Timmreck from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, to be better prepared for the next major volcanic eruption.

Week Ending March 30, 2019

NIA Sr. Research Scientist Organizes 5thWorkshop on Formal Integrated Development Environment

Dr. Paolo Masci, Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), is among twenty-seven co-chairs, steering and program committee members who are organizing Formal-IDE (F-IDE) 2019, a workshop on the development of formal mathematical verification tools. The workshop is a satellite event of the Formal Methods Symposium (FM19). Abstract and paper submission deadlines are June 18 and June 25, respectively. The F-IDE workshop will be held October 7-11, 2019 in Porto, Portugal.

For more information, visit: https://fideworkshop2019.inesctec.pt

Week Ending March 16, 2019

NASA eClips™ Visits Tucker-Capps STEM Night

Betsy McAllister, Hampton City School Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), engaged approximately 52 family participants in NASA eClips activities at the Tucker-Capps Elementary School STEM Night held on March 18, 2019.  Students and their families learned about the Moon and created Moon prints as a part of the Crater Maps (https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/teachertoolbox/download/50) lesson.  McAllister also shared the NASA eClipsTMpostcards that highlight the suite of free educational resources available to students and families, including the soon-to-be-released Moon videos.

NIA Associate Fellow Attends CMH-17 and ASTM Committee Meeting

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), travelled to Salt Lake City, UT to attend the joint CMH-17 (Composite Materials Handbook) ASTM Committee D30 meetings (March 11-15, 2019). The Composite Materials Handbook creates, publishes and maintains proven, reliable engineering information and standards, subjected to thorough technical review, to support the development and use of composite materials and structures. Therefore, experts from the field periodically meet to discuss critical technical issues for composite structural applications. Stakeholders in this activity are the certification authorities (FAA, EASA), industry, academia and government research facilities.

It is envisioned that in the future CMH-17 will be the authoritative worldwide focal point for technical information on composite materials and structures. It is planned that lessons learned during NASA’s Advanced Composites Program (ACP) will be published in revision H of CMH-17. 

Dr. Krueger participated in technical meetings of the Safety Management, Testing, and Sandwich Working Groups as well as the Damage Tolerance Task Group. He chaired a meeting of the Disbonding and Delamination Task Group (DDTG), which determines an overall strategy for the handbook to address disbonding and delamination of composites and examines methodologies needed to assure through-thickness integrity of bonds and laminations in polymer matrix composites.

The meeting focused on new items, which are envisioned for inclusion in the upcoming revision H of the handbook. Currently, it is expected that revision H will be published in the 2021/2022 timeframe. New items include the addition of fracture toughness data to Volume 2, the addition of a chapter on cohesive zone modeling for disbonding/delamination analysis and a new chapter on disbonding/delamination arrest methods such as stitching, Z-pinning and rivets.

Dr. Krueger also organized a four-hour focused working meeting of the Sandwich Disbond Growth Teamin parallel to the CMH-17 main meetings. The Sandwich Disbond Growth Teamwas established as a group of experts within the CMH-17 Disbond and Delamination Task Groupin 2011 to identify, describe and address the phenomenon of sandwich face sheet/core disbonding. This failure mode is of particular interest to the FAA from their perspective of Continued Operational Safety (COS) since several in-service occurrences have been observed which can pose a threat to the structural integrity of an aircraft or spacecraft component.

The focus of the meeting was to review the status of the current research performed in the US and Europe. Further, standardizing the Single Cantilever Beam (SCB) test as an ASTM standard was discussed and a path towards an additional ASTM test procedure for fatigue testing was developed. Additionally, new draft sections, which have been submitted for inclusion in the upcoming revision A of CMH-17 Vol. 6 were discussed.

Dr. Krueger also attended the bi-annual meeting of ASTM committee D30 on Composite Materials. This ASTM committee develops standard test methods, practices, terminology, and guides pertaining to composite materials. Stakeholders for the work include certification authorities, industry, academia, and government research facilities.  Dr. Kruegercurrently serves as the chair of the committee and led the meetings of the executive and main committees.

Week Ending March 9, 2019

NASA eClips™ Engages Students and Parents at STEM Expo

On March 9, 2019, staff from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE) engaged many of the 1,200 students and parents in attendance at Portsmouth Public School’s STEM Expo. Participants learned how the properties of light can be used to learn about clear plastic materials and how NASA uses nondestructive methods to test materials.

The NIA-CISE staff also highlighted NASA Spotlites which are short (90-120 second) student-produced videos designed to debunk nationally recognized science misconceptions.

Week Ending Feb. 23, 2019

NASA eClipsTM Participates in Armstrong Elementary Night of Science

On Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, Hampton City School Educator in Residence at the National Institute for Aerospace (NIA), Betsy McAllister, engaged 70 students and families in the NASA eClipsTM Lesson Crater Mapsat the Night of Science at Armstrong Elementary School for the Arts in Hampton, VA.  Crater Mapswas shared with participants to build the excitement for the upcoming release of two newly produced NASA eClipsTM  videos: Our World: Moon Phasesand Our World:  Moon’s Impact on Earth.  Helping McAllister were three Science Honor Society students from Hampton High School: Skylar Kleckley, Jeremy Taylor, and Charles Vassar.

NIA-CISE Team to Present at the 23rdVirginia Children’s Engineering Convention

Feb. 7 and 8, 2019, over 800 elementary teachers and administrators met in Roanoke, VA for the 23rdVirginia Children’s Engineering Convention (VCEC). Joan Harper-Neely, STEM Education Specialist from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), Betsy McAllister, Educator in Residence for NIA-CISE, led over forty 4ththough 6thgrade teachers and STEM coaches in the NASA Spotlite engineering design challenge.

Link to the local news story – https://www.virginiafirst.com/news/local-news/over-850-educators-attend-23rd-virginia-children-s-engineering-convention/1765691234

NIA STEM Specialist Presents at Space Exploration Educators Conference

Senior STEM Specialist, Dr. Sharon Bowers, from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), presented a workshop session to 20 educators attending the Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) February 8that Space Center Houston.  The session, Digital Age Teaching & Learning: Challenge-based Learning, modeled the design process involved when students produce NASA Spotlite videos that confront science misconceptions.  More than 600 educators attended the 2019 conference.                                                

To learn more about NASA eClips and the NASA Spotlites project, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov 

NIA Research Engineer Presents to NASA Langley Turbulence Working Group

On Feb. 20, 2019, Pedro Paredes, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented slides on hydrodynamic stability theory for the Turbulence Working Group of the Computational Aerosciences Branch at NASA Langley. The presentation consisted of two parts, “Hydrodynamic Stability Theory: Part I – Linear Stability Analysis”, and “Hydrodynamic Stability Theory: Part II – Application to High-Speed Boundary-Layer Transition.”

Week Ending Feb. 9, 2019

Five Finalist Teams Selected for 2019 BIG Idea “Marsboreal Greenhouse Design” Competition

On Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, five collegiate teams were selected as finalists in the 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Competition, a university-level design competition managed by NIA for NASA’s Game-Changing Development Program Office. During the down-select meeting, a panel of NASA and industry judges discussed 23 proposals for innovations in the design and operation of a Mars Greenhouse which could integrate with NASA’s Mars Ice Home infrastructure.

The judges for the 2019 BIG Idea Challenge are:

  • Molly Anderson (NASA HQ/JSC)
  • Dan Barta (NASA JSC)
  • Christina Ciardullo (SEArch+)
  • Kevin Kempton (NASA LaRC)
  • Robert “Bob” Moses (NASA LaRC)
  • Ray Wheeler (NASA KSC)
  • Melodie Yashar (SEArch+) Shelley Spears, Stacy Dees, and Victoria O’Leary of NIA supported the down-select meeting by managing the review and evaluation process and notifying candidates of their selection status.

The following 5 teams were selected as finalists:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):“Biosphere Engineered Architecture for Viable Extraterrestrial Residence (BEAVER)”
  • Dartmouth College: “DEMETER (Deployable Enclosed Martian Environment for Technology, Eating, and Recreation)”
  • University of Colorado Boulder with Harvard University, Cornell University, and the University of Hawaii Manoa: “Feeding the Martians: Designing a Marsboreal Bioregenerative Food Garden”
  • University of Michigan with Penn State, Purdue University, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin (Platteville): “GAIA – Greenhouse Attachment for the Ice home Architecture”
  • University of California, Davis: “Martian Agricultural and Plant Sciences (MAPS)”

NASA posted a feature story on the website to announce the 5 finalists: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/big-idea-challenge-2019-finalists-to-develop-planetary-greenhouse-concepts

The five finalists will continue developing their concepts over the next few months, presenting their final concepts to a panel of NASA judges during the 2019 BIG Idea Forum, scheduled for April 23 – 24, 2019 at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

BIG Idea Website: http://bigidea.nianet.org

Semi-Finalists Selected for the 2019 RASC-AL Competition

The 2019 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Steering Committee met to deliberate the merits of 36 university-submitted proposals and completed their first down-select process on Monday, February 4, 2019.  During this meeting, the following 20 semi-finalists were selected to proceed to the next phase of the competition:

  • Brigham Young University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Columbia University
  • Drexel University with RMIT, KAIST, HKUST
  • Duquesne University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2 teams)
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2 teams)
  • Northeastern University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland (2 teams)
  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • Virginia Tech (3 teams)

Submissions were judged by a Steering Committee comprised of members from NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, Boeing, Maryland Aerospace Inc., SpaceWorks Enterprises Inc., Cislunar Space Development Company, and SpaceX. The down-select meeting was supported by NIA’s RASC-AL Program Team: Shelley Spears, Stacy Dees, and Victoria O’Leary.

The second down-select gate for the RASC-AL Competition will occur in mid-March 2019. Teams who make it through this gate will be invited to submit a 15-page technical paper and travel to the 2019 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida in June, where they will present their concepts to the Steering Committee in a 40-minute oral presentation and a poster session. Teams were officially announced on Tuesday, February 5.

RASC-AL Website: http://rascal.nianet.org

Samuel P. Langley Professor, NIA Researchers and NASA Langley Researchers Collaborate on RVLT Project Milestone

In Jan. 2019, NIA Senior Research Engineer, Li Wang, NIA Research Fellow, Boris Diskin and a University of Maryland group led by NIA Samuel P. Langley Professor, Olivier A. Bauchau, in collaboration with NASA LaRC researchers from FUN3D and ANOPP2 development groups completed a milestone (RVLT.23.01.L313– Aero, Acoustic, Structural Adjoint Developed) of the NASA Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) Project (Program Manager Susan A. Gorton).

The milestone required implementation and verification of the discretely-consistent adjoint-based sensitivity analysis for high-fidelity multidisciplinary rotorcraft simulations coupling three disciplines, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), rotorcraft comprehensive analysis (CA), and acoustic prediction models. Adjoint-based sensitivity analysis is an enabling technology that allows efficient computations of sensitivity of a few objective functions to many design parameters. In this demonstration, an adjoint-capable CFD code, (FUN3D) has been coupled with a nonlinear, flexible, multibody-dynamics CA solver (DYMORE), and an acoustic prediction and noise propagation code (ANOPP2) that also provide sensitivity analysis capabilities.

Systematic verification of the adjoint-based high-fidelity multidisciplinary FUN3D/DYMORE/ANOPP2 sensitivity analysis has been conducted using an isolated 4-blade HART-II rotor. The accuracy of the sensitivity analysis has been verified by comparing with the sensitivities computed by the complex-step method. The complex-step method can provide exact sensitivities for an individual design parameter. The ANOPP2 objective function used for the verification studies is the summation of acoustic pressures at a single observer location, which is set about 35 radii away from the rotation center. Design parameters include shape parametrization and kinematics trim parameters consisting of collective and cyclic pitch control angles.

The agreement between the adjoint-based sensitivities and the complex-step sensitivities is good: 12-13 digits agree for shape design variables, and 10-11 digits agree for kinematics trim design variables. Successful verification of the multidisciplinary adjoint-based sensitivity analysis for a rotorcraft system that couples high-fidelity aerodynamics, rotorcraft comprehensive analysis, and acoustics models meets the requirements for the Level 3 Milestone RVLT.23.01.L313 and represents an important step toward a low-noise rotorcraft design based on high-fidelity multidisciplinary simulations

Week Ending Feb. 2, 2019

NASA eClips™ Partners with Hampton City School Teachers

In the fall of 2018, the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) engaged Hampton City School (HCS) teachers on the NASA eClips™ project. Seven HCS teachers serve on the NASA eClips™ 2018-2019 Advisory Group where they provide feedback, and input from their students, on NASA eClips™ educational resources.  These teachers reviewed resources including the recently-released NASA Real World: Earth’s Energy Balance – Energy In and Energy Out and NASA Real World: Earth’s Energy Balance – Small Changes, Big Impact videos.

Additionally, five Hampton City School teachers serve on the NASA eClips™ Science Educator Experts team.  This team works with student teams from across the country participating in the Spotlite Design Challenge. 

Link to HCS article for Advisory Group Teachers:  http://www.hampton.k12.va.us/news/2019January/NASAeclips.htLink to HCS article for Science Educator Expert Group:

http://www.hampton.k12.va.us/news/2019January/nasaeclips5.html

NIA Senior Research Engineer Publishes NASA Technical Memorandum and Journal Article

Menachem Rafaelof, Sr. Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), published two NASA technical memorandums and a Journal of the Acoustical Society of America article. All three publications were completed in Dec.  2018.

  1. NASA TM-2018-220120: “Characterization of Low Frequency Auditory Filters,” Rafaelof Menachem, Christian W. Andrew, Shepherd P. Kevin, Rizzi A. Stephen and Stephenson H. James, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, December 2018.
  2. NASA TM-2018-220121: “Implementation of Revised Auditory Filters for IHEARDIT,” Rafaelof Menachem, Christian W. Andrew, Shepherd P. Kevin, Smith D. Charles, Stephenson H. James and Rizzi A. Stephen, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, December 2018.
  3. Rafaelof Menachem and Schroeder Andrew, “Investigation of Machine Learning Algorithms to Model Perception of Sound,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 143, 1741 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5035683
Week Ending Jan. 26, 2019

Fifth Cohort of HU-CARE Science Communication Interns Start the New Semester with NIA Education and Outreach

On Jan. 16, 2018, three seniors from Hampton University’s (HU) Scripps Howard School of Journalism begin their National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and Hampton University’s Center for Atmospheric Research and Education (HU-CARE) science communication internship as part of the NASA MIRO/CARE award.  Maya McCombs, Destiny McFadden and Kyla Wright, returned from the fall semester to continue their work supporting Dr. William Moore’s HU/CARE Wednesday seminar series by writing articles, recording presentations, and editing and producing seminar videos.

In addition, they provide social media, website and outreach support for the NASA eClips™ program. As a culminating project, they will produce and create a recruitment video for HU’s Atmospheric and Planetary Science graduate program. 

NIA Research Engineer Submits Conference Papers and Chairs AIAA SciTech 2019 Sessions

Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended and chaired two sessions at the AIAA SciTech Forum 2019. Gonzalez’s chaired sessions include “Stability and Transition of High-Speed Flow II and III”. Conference papers submitted at SciTech Forum 2019 included, “Nonmodal Growth of Traveling Waves on Blunt Cones at Hypersonic Speeds,” (P. Paredes, M. Choudhari, F. Li, J. Jewell, R, Kimmel) and “Effect of 3D Roughness Patch on Instability Amplification in a Supersonic Boundary Layer,” (M. Choudhari, F. Li, P. Paredes, L. Duan). AIAA SciTech Forum 2019 was held Jan. 7-11, 2019 in San Diego, CA.

NIA Research Engineer Publishes AIAA Journal

Pedro Paredes Gonzalez, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), published “Numerical Investigation of Roughness Effects on Transition on Spherical Capsules,” co-authored by S. Hein (DLR), A. Theiss (DLR), A. Di Gionvanni (Technical University of Munich), C.Stemmer (Technical University of Munich), T. Schilden (RWTH Aachen University), W. Schroder, (RWTH Aachen University) M. Choudhari (NASA LaRC), L. Fei (NASA LaRC), E. Reshotko (Case Western Reserve University).

NIA Research Scientist Presents Paper at AIAA SciTech 2019

Ivan Perez, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented the paper entitled “Formal Verification of System States for Spacecraft Automatic Maneuvering,” co-authored by K. L. Hobbs (Air Force Research Laboratory), A. Fifarek (LinQuest Corporation), E.M. Feron (Georgia Institute of Technology). AIAA SciTech Forum 2019 was held Jan. 7-11, 2019 in San Diego, CA.

Abstract:
As the complexity and number of space operations in Earth orbit continue to grow, there are increased opportunities to incorporate automatic or autonomous maneuvering as part of a space traffic management framework. Understanding the context of the automatic maneuver, including the conditions under which an automatic maneuver is acceptable, is important to the design of the overall automatic maneuver system.

This work proposes and conducts formal verification of high-level system requirements to govern automatic maneuvering of satellites in the presence of safety interlocks or failures. Three examples of automatic maneuver contexts are considered: conjunction avoidance, especially in the presence of orbital debris; rendezvous and proximity operations, especially for service satellites and active debris removal; and station keeping, especially in large satellite constellations providing space-based services like the Internet.

The primary contribution of this paper is the development and analysis of formal requirements for high-level system states governing when an automatic maneuver is acceptable. The requirements serve as a baseline framework for future automatic spacecraft maneuver research.

2018

Week Ending Jan. 12, 2018

NIA Educators Present NASA OPSPARC Webinar With ITEEA

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, educators from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrated STEM Education (NIA-CISE), Dr. Sharon Bowers, Joan Harper-Neely, and Betsy McCallister, presented a webinar with the International Technology Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) to teach the 37 K-16 educators in attendance how to run the NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (NASA OPSPARC) in their classroom.  The NIA educators also promoted other NASA and NIA activities. 

The NASA OPSPARC Challenge asks students to reinvent NASA technology to create a spinoff to help people on Earth.

NIA Research Engineer Presents Paper at 2018 SciTech Special Session

Dr. Nelson V. De Carvalho, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented a paper on “Combining Progressive Nodal Release with the Virtual Crack Closure Technique to Model Fatigue Delamination Growth Without Re-meshing” at the 2018 AIAA SciTech conference. The paper was presented in a special session in honor of Dr. Raju from NASA Langley Research Center. 

NIA-HIPAC Researchers Present at AIAA SciTech 2018

Several researchers from the National Institute of Aerospace’s (NIA) Center for High-Performance Aerospace Computing (HiPAC) took an active part in the AIAA SciTech-2018 meeting.  NIA Senior Research Scientist, Ali Uzun, presented an invited presentation “Wall-Resolved Large Eddy Simulations of Transonic Shock-Induced Flow Separation” at NASA’s Revolutionary Computational Aerosciences Special Session on Numerical Methods and Turbulence Modeling/Simulations. NIA Research Scholar, David C. Del Rey Fernández, contributed to another presentation at the same session. NIA Senior Research Engineer, Balaji Venkatachari, presented a paper “Tetrahedral-Mesh Simulations of Shock-Turbulence Interaction”. NIA Research Fellow, Boris Diskin, was an organizer and chair of the special sessions “RANS Solutions for Benchmark Configurations” at SciTech-2018. Boris Diskin, Hiroaki Nishikawa, and NIA Senior Research Engineer, Yi Liu, collaborated with NASA researchers on two papers presented at these sessions.  This collaboration presented customized grid generation and coarsening codes and reference solutions for 3D benchmark aerodynamic flows. The codes and reference solutions are posted on NASA’s Turbulence Modeling Resource website for the benefits of a broader computational aerodynamics community. Other contributors used these resources to demonstrate the benefits of advanced solver technologies such as finite-element discretizations, high-order discretizations, and mesh adaptation methods.  

Below is the list of papers and an oral presentation presented at these special sessions: 

  1. NIA: Hiroaki Nishikawa and Boris Diskin,“Customized Grid Generation Codes for Benchmark Three-Dimensional Flows,” AIAA-2018-1101
  2. NIA, NASA: Boris Diskin, William K. Anderson, Mohagna J. Pandya, Christopher L. Rumsey, James Thomas, Yi Liu, and Hiroaki Nishikawa, “Grid Convergence for Three- Dimensional Benchmark Turbulent Flows,AIAA-2018-1102
  3. NASA, Imperial College, Sandia, Boeing, INRIAMichael A. Park, Nicolas Barral, Daniel Ibanez, Dmitry S. Kamenetskiy, Joshua A. Krakos, Todd R. Michal, and Adrien Loseille, “Unstructured Grid Adaptation and Solver Technology for Turbulent Flows,AIAA-2018-1103
  4. University of Michigan: Krzysztof Fidkowski, “Three-Dimensional Benchmark RANS Computations Using Discontinuous Finite Elements on Solution-Adapted Meshes,AIAA-2018-1104
  5. ONERA: Matthieu Soismier, Antoine Dumont, Clement Caillaux, Julien Mayeur, Bertrand Michel, and Bruno Maugars, “RANS simulations on OM6 with the ONERA elsAflow solver, AIAA-2018-1566
  6. University of Toronto: Thomas Reist and David W. Zingg, “Application of Diablo to Three-Dimensional Benchmark Problems for Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Solvers,AIAA-2018-1567
  7. CREATE-AV KestrelJon T. Erwin, Ryan S. Glasby, and Douglas L. Stefanski, “Evaluation of RANS Solutions for 3D Benchmark Configurations with HPCMP CREATE™-AV Kestrel,AIAA-2018-1568
  8. University of Wyoming: Behzad Reza Ahrabi, Michael J. Brazell, and Dimitri J. Mavriplis,”An Investigation of Continuous and Discontinuous Finite-Element Discretizations on Benchmark 3D Turbulent Flows, AIAA-2018-1569
  9. NASA: William K. Anderson, “Stabilized Finite-Element Solutions for the Special Session on Solver Technology for Turbulent Flows,Oral Presentation
  10. MITMarshall C. Galbraith, Steven R. Allmaras, and David L. Darmofal, “SANS RANS solutions for 3D benchmark configurations,AIAA-2018-1570

NIA Associate Research Fellow Awarded AIAA Best CFD Paper

Hiro Nishikawa was awarded the AIAA Best Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) Conference Paper at SciTech 2018. His paper titled “Uses of Zero and Negative Volume Elements for Node-Centered Edge-Based Discretization” from AIAA Aviation 2017 in Denver, CO has been selected as the 2017 AIAA Best Computational Fluids Dynamics Conference Paper. This paper demonstrates not only that a node-centered finite-volume solver works with zero/negative-volume elements, but also that computational grids with zero/negative volumes can be useful for bringing advantages over conventional grids. This year is the first year that AIAA has offered a best-paper award for the CFD conference, and Nishikawa is the first winner. 

NIA Senior Research Engineer Completes Implementation of Inviscid Scheme into NASA’s FUN3D Code

Yi Liu, Senior Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), has completed the implementation of a low-dissipation Roe flux and a third-order inviscid scheme into NASA’s FUN3D code. This work has been funded by the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program Transformative Tools and Technologies project under Contract No. NNL09AA00A  with Hiro Nishikawa as co-PI. These new capabilities will be available for use by general users with the next software release. The third-order low-dissipation inviscid scheme enables time-dependent vortical flow simulations with much higher resolution than the default method. These improvements have been achieved at a surprisingly small additional cost. The low-dissipation flux is a very simple modification to the existing flux and requires almost no additional computing time. The third-order scheme is a very economical edge-based scheme and requires only 15% additional computing time to achieve higher-order for inviscid dominated flows. 

NIA Research Fellow and Research Scientist Presents Research at Fall AGU

Dr. Hongyu Liu, Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), and Dr. Bo Zhang, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented their research on the sources and variability of aerosols and aerosol-cloud interactions in the Arctic at the 2017 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, which was held in New Orleans, LA, during Dec. 11-15, 2017. Funded by the 2017 NIA Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program, the study is part of their effort to support and contribute to the development of a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital-3 (EVS-3) proposal lead by the NASA LaRC Science Directorate. Dr. Liu and his LaRC colleagues organized two seminars on the proposal topical areas given by external collaborators in the Science Directorate during Oct. – Nov. 2017. Dr. Bo Zhang also gave a talk, entitled “Assessing cloud radiative effects on tropospheric photolysis rates and key oxidants during aircraft campaigns using satellite cloud observations and a global chemical transport model” at the AGU meeting.

Week Ending Jan. 5, 2018

Final Five Teams Selected for 2018 BIG Idea Competition

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, 5 collegiate teams were selected as finalists in the 2018 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Competition, a university-level design competition managed by the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) for NASA’s Game-Changing Development Program Office. During the down-select meeting, a panel of NASA judges discussed 16 proposals for innovations in the design, installation, and sustainable operation of a large solar power system on the surface of Mars.

The following five teams were selected as finalists:

  • Norwich University
    • Title: Norwich Inflatable Mars Solar Array (NIMSA)
  • Princeton University
    • Title: Horus
  • Texas A&M University
    • Title: Utilization of Solar Cell Umbrellas to Provide Long-Term Photovoltaic Solar Power on Mars
  • The University of Colorado, Boulder
    • Title: MAFSA: Mars Autonomous and Foldable Solar Array
  • The University of Virginia
    • Title: Photovoltaic Balloon for Autonomous Energy Generation on Mars

The five finalists will continue developing their concepts over the next few months, presenting their final concepts to the panel of NASA judges during the 2018 BIG Idea Forum, scheduled for March 6-7, 2018 at NASA GRC.

For more information on the BIG Idea Competition, visit: http://bigidea.nianet.org

NIA Research Scientist Presents Paper at VMCAI 2018

Laura Titolo, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented “An Abstract Interpretation Framework for the Round-Off Error Analysis of Floating-Point Programs” at the 19th International Conference on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation (VMCAI 2018). The authors of the paper include Marco A. Feliu (NIA), Mariano Moscato (NIA) and Cesar Muñoz (NASA LaRC). The paper was also published in the proceedings of the conference in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. VMCAI was held in Los Angeles, California, Jan. 7-9, 2018.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Presents Talk at 2017 Fall AGU Meeting

Dr. Carolyn Jordan, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), presented the talk entitled, “New in situ Aerosol Spectral Optical Measurements over 300-700 nm, Extinction and Total Absorption, Paired with Absorption from Water- and Methanol-coluble Aerosol Extracts” at the 2017 American Geophysical Union. This year’s AGU meeting was held in New Orleans, Lousiana, Dec. 11-15, 2017.

2017 and Earlier

NIA Senior Research Engineer and Associate Research Fellow Win American Society for Composites Best Paper Award

National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Sr. Research Engineer, Dr. Nelson De Carvalho, and Associate Research Fellow, Dr. Ronald Krueger, presented the paper entitled “Modeling Fatigue Damage Onset and Progression in Composites Using an Element-Based Virtual Crack Closure Technique Combined with the Floating Node Method” at the 31st ASC Annual Technical Conference in September 2016. Their paper was selected to receive the Best Paper Award on July 24, 2017. Dr. De Carvalho and Dr. Krueger will receive their award at the 32nd Annual Technical Conference Awards Banquet October 24, 2017.

Student Production Team Produce NASA Spotlite Videos

July 17 through 19, 2017, educators and staff from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE), facilitated learning as local high school students used the engineering design process to produce Spotlite videos to debunk science misconceptions. Student production teams spent 3 days researching, storyboarding, writing scripts, filming and receiving feedback from the NASA 360 team, Elizabeth Joyner from SMD at NASA Langley MyNASAData; Alexis Tharpe, Jessica Schrage, and Betsy McAllister from Hampton City Schools, and Suzanne Zarmeski from NIA. Once the Spotlite videos are approved by NASA headquarters, they will become part of an interactive lesson plan and made available on the NASA eClips™ website.

Arlington Tech Digital Media Students Develop NASA Spotlites

Digital media students from Arlington Career and Technical Center participated in a culminating event at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to recognize their efforts in the production of NASA Spotlite videos, as part of the NASA eClips 4D program. Sharon Bowers, National Institute of Aerospace, collaborated with, Tom O’Day, digital media teacher at Arlington Tech, and Arlington Public School STEM Specialist Pam Nagurkato to support the Arlington Tech student teams as they developed Spotlite videos to address and dispel science misconceptions. The student teams traveled to NASA GSFC June 13, 2017, to present their work to the NASA GSFC SVS producers for authentic assessment and review. The students also participated in the hour-long Big Screen StoryLab and joined the SVS producers for lunch to discuss science communication as a STEM career opportunity. Their trip to NASA GSFC was documented in this short video, https://vimeo.com/221585729.

For more information about NASA eClips, visit:  https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/

NIA Research Scientist and Research Fellow Co-Author Research Article in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Dr. Hyun-Deok Choi, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), and Dr. Hongyu Liu, NIA Research Fellow, recently published the manuscript, “Global O3–CO correlations in a chemistry and transport model during July–August: evaluation with TES satellite observations and sensitivity to input meteorological data and emissions,” in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics on July 11, 2017.

Co-authored by Jim Crawford (NASA LaRC), David Considine (NASA LaRC), Dale Allen (University of Maryland), Bryan Duncan (NASA Goddard), Larry Horowitz (NOAA), Jose Rodriguez (NASA Goddard),  Susan Strahan (NASA Goddard/USRA), Lin Zhang (Harvard University), Xiong Liu (Harvard University), Megan Damon (NASA Goddard/SSAI), and Stephen Steenrod (NASA Goddard/USRA), the article highlights the capability of the NASA Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) chemistry and transport model to reproduce global mid-tropospheric (618 hPa) ozone–carbon monoxide (O3–CO) correlations determined by the measurements from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard NASA’s Aura satellite during boreal summer (July–August).  The study concludes that O3–CO correlations may be used effectively to constrain the sources of regional tropospheric O3 in global 3-D models, especially for those regions where convective transport of pollution plays an important role.

NIA Supports NASA RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge

NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace System Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge competition was held in the Hangar at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA from June 13th – 15th, 2017, where West Virginia University (team MIDAS) earned 1st place overall. This flagship Centennial event offers a unique way for LaRC to recognize RASC-AL’s important place in its history while also linking the competition to its future.

The 2017 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge competition challenged teams to demonstrate revolutionary approaches for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) capabilities on Mars, designing and building hardware that could extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice. The competition included 8 different university teams from around the country, and was supported by NIA representatives, Shelley Spears, Stacy Dees, Victoria O’Leary, and Ania Cotton, and 10 NASA/Industry judges.

The overarching RASC-AL program is sponsored by NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate through Langley’s Space Missions Analysis Branch, although the Mars Ice Challenge also received significant funding from NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate, and Langley Research Center.

One hundred and nine students and faculty participated in this year-long challenge, while 40 of them physically attended the onsite competition at LaRC. The competition received coverage from the Daily Press, WVEC-TV Channel 13, and over 250,000 views on NASA 360’s Facebook Live posts. 

NIA Representatives Attend NASA RASC-AL Forum

NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace System Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Forum was held in Cocoa Beach, FL from May 30th – June 3rd, 2016, where Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University claimed 1st place overall and the University of Maryland received the distinction of 2nd place overall.   These two teams were awarded a travel stipend to present their concept at the 2017 AIAA Space Conference in Orlando, FL.

The 2017 RASC-AL competition challenged teams to demonstrate revolutionary approaches to help develop the capabilities and infrastructure required to live and work at destinations beyond low-Earth orbit. This year, 94 students, 14 faculty and 13 NASA/Industry representatives physically attended the 2017 RASC-AL Forum, along with NIA representatives Shelly Spears, Stacy Dees, Victoria O’Leary, and Ania Cotton. Fourteen university teams from around the country created innovative designs, budgets, and project schedules based on one of four themes:

  1. Lightweight Exercise Suite
  2. Logistics Delivery System
  3. Commercially Enabled LEO/Mars Habitable Module
  4. Airlock Design

NIA Research Fellow attends NAFEMS World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden 

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the NAFEMS World Congress held in Stockholm, Sweden, June 11-14. NAFEMS – located in the United Kingdom – is an international and independent not-for-profit body with the sole aim of promoting the effective use of engineering simulation methods such as finite element analysis, multi-body system dynamics and computational fluid dynamics. In 84 sessions and keynote lectures, 339 papers were presented on a variety of topics such as computational fluid dynamics, multidisciplinary analysis, additive manufacturing, simulation data management, optimization and composites. The conference was attended by more than participants from 34 countries. Dr. Krueger currently chairs the NAFEMS Composites Working Group and chaired one of four special sessions on composites during the conference. He also presented a paper Searching for Run-Time Efficient Approaches to Delamination Growth Predictions in Composites co-authored with Nelson de Carvalho (NIA) and Mike Sasdelli of Dassault Systèmes Government Solutions, USA.

NIA Research Fellow presents technical overview at Swerea SICOMP in Gothenburg, Sweden 

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), travelled to Gothenburg, Sweden, June 16 to visit Swerea SICOMP and present a technical overview on Delamination onset and growth analysis using linear elastic fracture mechanics. Swerea is the Swedish Research Institute for Industrial Renewal and Sustainable Growth. SICOMP is one Swerea’s research institutes leading in the field of polymer fiber composites. Researchers at SICOMP work on applied composite research, development, and training in an

international collaborative environment. In 2015 NASA entered into a collaborative agreement with Swerea SICOMP to develop a software tool for simulating damage in composites which is more efficient and user-friendly than currently available alternatives. The agreement expired in March 2017 and is being extended for another two years. Researchers at Swerea SICOMP indicated that they would also be interested in an Memorandum of Understanding with NIA to foster future collaboration.

NIA Research Fellow Presents Sandwich Research at Denmark Technical University (DTU) in Copenhagen, Denmark 

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, June 20 to visit Denmark Technical University (DTU) and present a technical overview on Face Sheet/Core Disbonding in Sandwich Composite Components: A Road Map to Standardization co-authored with James Ratcliffe (NASA LaRC) and Zhi M. Chen (FAA, Tech Center, Atlantic City). Sandwich face sheet/core disbonding is a failure mode which is of particular interest to the FAA from their perspective of Continued Operational Safety (COS) since several in-service occurrences have been observed which can pose a threat to the structural integrity of an aircraft or spacecraft component.

To address this problem, test and analysis methods need to be developed. Recently, DTU was one of seven research laboratories in the US and Europe that participated in an international round robin activity to evaluate an ASTM Draft Standard for Interfacial Fracture Toughness of Peel Loaded Sandwich Constructions. NASA Langley also supported this standard development initiative through direct authorship of the draft standard and test protocol and participation in the round robin testing. NIA continues to support this activity through an FAA grant Study of Damage 

Modes in Lightweight Sandwich Structures Using Analysis and Testing in collaboration with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Georgia Tech (GT). FAU has been a close partner with DTU on this topic for an extended period of time.

NIA Research Staff Members Chair Sessions and Present at AIAA Aviation 2017

Researchers of the National Institute of Aerospace’s (NIA) center for High-Performance Aerospace Computations (HiPAC) took an active part in the AIAA Aviation-2017 conference, held June 5-9, 2017 in Denver, CO. Five HiPAC researchers attended the conference and co-authored seven papers that address various aspects of development and application of computational fluid dynamics and adjoint-based optimization methods. NIA Associate Research Fellow, Hiroaki Nishikawa, chaired the CFD-08 session on “High-Order Methods for Advection-Diffusion Equations.”NIA Research Fellow, Boris Diskin, chaired the Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee Discussion Group on “Solver Technology for Turbulent Flows”. This discussion group includes leading international CFD experts and focuses on developing and dissemination of resources for evaluation and verification of emerging solver technologies such as high-order, mesh adaptation, and convergence acceleration methods. HiPAC researchers are actively contributing to the activities of this group. The group is organizing a special session “RANS solutions for 3D benchmark configurations” at the SciTech-2018 conference.

Xiaodong Liu, Jialin Lou, Lingquan Li, Hong Luo, Hiroaki Nishikawa, and Yuxin Ren, “A Compact High Order Finite Volume Method Based on Variational Reconstruction for Compressible Flows on Arbitrary Grids,” AIAA-2017-3097

Irian Ordaz, Sriram K. Rallabhandi, Eric J. Nielsen, and Boris Diskin, “Mitigation of Engine Inlet Distortion through Adjoint-Based Design,” AIAA-2017-3410.

Yi Liu and Hiroaki Nishikawa, “Third-Order Edge-Based Hyperbolic Navier-Stokes Scheme for Three-Dimensional Viscous Flows,” AIAA-2017-3443.

Jialin Lou, Lingquan Li, Xiaodong Liu, Hong Luo, Hiroaki Nishikawa, “Reconstructed Discontinuous Galerkin Methods Based on First-Order Hyperbolic System for Advection-Diffusion Equations,” AIAA-2017-3445.

Prahladh S. Iyer, George I. Park, Mujeeb R. Malik, “Wall–Modeled Large Eddy Simulation of Transonic Flow over an Axisymmetric Bump with Shock-Induced Separation,” AIAA-2017-3953.

Sin-Chung Chang, Chau-Lyan Chang, and Balaji S. Venkatachari, “Cause and Cure – Deterioration in Accuracy of CFD Simulations with Use of High-Aspect-Ratio Triangular/Tetrahedral Grids,” AIAA-2017-4293

Hiroaki Nishikawa, “Uses of Zero and Negative Volume Elements for Node-Centered Edge-Based Discretization,” AIAA-2017-4295.

NIA Research Scientist and Research Fellow Attend GEOS-Chem Science Meeting

Research Scientist, Dr. Bo Zhang, and Research Fellow, Dr. Hongyu Liu, at the National Institute of Aerospace attended the 8th International GEOS-Chem Science meeting held at Harvard University May 1-4, 2017. Dr. Zhang gave a talk entitled “Constraints from Airborne Pb-210 Observations on Aerosol Scavenging and Lifetime in GEOS-Chem”, co-authored by Dr. Liu and Drs. Jim Crawford, Duncan Fairlie, Gao Chen from the NASA Langley Science Directorate.

Dr. Liu presented a poster entitled “Using Satellite Observations of Cloud Vertical Distribution to Improve Global Model Estimates of Cloud Radiative Effect on Key Tropospheric Oxidants”. The research was supported by grants from the NASA ACCDAM and ACMAP programs, respectively.  As co-chair of the Transport Working Group of the GEOS-Chem Steering Committee, Dr. Liu led a breakout discussion, along with Dr. Andrea Molod (NASA GSFC), which defined the model development priority over the next two years.

NASA eClips™ Teaches “Solar Images” at Hampton Roads Mini Maker Faire

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the National Institute of Aerospace’s NASA eClips™ team exhibited at the Hampton Roads Mini Maker Faire, a flagship event for the NASA Langley Centennial. The booth promoted three activities as part of a newly developed “NASA eClips™ Guidelite” lesson on solar images, the Sun’s corona, and the 2017 total solar eclipse.

Over 3,000 people attended the Hampton Roads Mini Maker Faire, while roughly 500 parents and children participated in creating solar images and UV-detecting bracelets, and in demonstrating the use of a lollipop coronagraph. Sixteen high school students volunteered in shifts at the booth to help facilitate the activity.

To learn more about NASA eClips, please visit http://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

2017 NASA OPSPARC Winners Announced

On Friday, May 5th, 2017, student winners of the 2017 NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC) were announced. The challenge called for students in three grades spans (3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) to conceptually repurpose and commercialize NASA developed technologies into “spinoff” inventions to help solve problems in everyday life. All competitors described their spinoff ideas within digital poster boards, called “Glogs.” The high school team further developed their ideas within NIAUniverse, a 3D multi-user virtual world platform managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.

Winning teams span the US from:

  • Fidalgo Elementary School in Anacortes, WA
  • The Hamlin School in San Francisco, CA
  • The Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) manages the competition for the high school students.

For more information about NASA OPSPARC, visit https://nasaopsparc.com/

NIA Research Scholar and Research Scientist Paper Accepted for Presentation

A paper entitled “Automatic Estimation of Verified Floating-Point Round-Off Errors via Static Analysis” with authors from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Mariano Moscato (Research Scientist), Laura Titolo (Research Scholar), Aaron Dutle (NASA Langley), Cesar Muñoz (NASA Langley) has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference of Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security (SAFECOMP 2017) that will be held in Trento (Italy) from the 13th to the 15th of September 2017.

NASA eClips Student Producers Visit Hampton University

On Thursday, April 20, 2017, over 40 high school digital media students from Phoebus High School in Hampton, VA and the Newport News Telecommunications Center in Newport News, VA were recognized for their effort in creating NASA eClips Spotlite and Subject Matter Experts as Educators (SME2) videos to increase science understanding and promote STEM careers. An awards ceremony was held at Hampton University by Shelley Spears and Joan Harper-Neely of the National Institute of Aerospace, after which Ania Cotton and Brittani Bailey, interns from Hampton University, organized tours of the Scripps-Howard School of Journalism and Communications and speakers who highlighted careers and communicated science and STEM in journalism and broadcasting.

NIA Supports Hampton University Center for Atmospheric Research and Education (HU-CARE) Seminar Series

In partnership with the Hampton University Center for Atmospheric Research and Education (HU-CARE) the Media Communications Group at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) provided weekly Livestream coverage of the Atmospheric and Planetary Science Seminar (APS) Series which welcomed speakers from NASA and industry. CARE is a collaborative effort between NASA Langley and Hampton University, along with partnerships with University of Wisconsin and University of Maryland, Baltimore County intended to broaden Hampton University’s program of research opportunities.

For an archive of APS Seminars visit: www.livestream.com/viewnow/HU-CARE

NIA Participates in Family STEM Night

On Thursday, April 27, Communications Manager, Becky Jaramillo, represented the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) at the Poquoson Primary School Family STEM Night.  Approximately 400 people attended the event.  Jaramillo facilitated an interactive activity about light from the NASA eClips™ suite with students and their parents.  She also shared information about NIA programs, NASA education resources, and the upcoming Hampton Roads Mini-Maker Faire.

For more information about NASA eClips, visit:  https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov

NIA Research Engineer Recognized in AIAA HRS Young Professionals Paper Competition

Ross Burns, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), was awarded 3rd place in the AIAA Hampton Roads Section Laurence Bement Young Professionals Paper Competition for his paper titled “Femtosecond Laser Electronic Excitation Tagging Velocimetry in a Transonic, Cryogenic Wind Tunnel”. The competition recognizes outstanding on-the-job technical accomplishments of young members and is judged by an independent reviewing committee. The awards were presented at the Annual Awards Banquet on May 9, 2017.

NIA Associate Research Fellows, Associate Principal Scientist and Senior Research Scientist Selected for NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medals

Associate Research Fellows at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Drs. Sang-Hyon Chu, Yi Lin,  NIA Associate Principal Scientist, Dr. Jae-Woo Kim and NIA Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Godfrey Sauti, were selected to receive the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal. One of the highest forms of recognition the Agency bestows, the medal is given to those who have significantly contributed to the NASA mission through early technology development, exhibited exemplary collaborative effort in technology transfer, and has exceptional utilization of NASA-developed technology resulting in a commercial application. Drs. Chu, Lin, Sauti and Kim will receive their medals at Langley’s Honor Awards Ceremony September 27, 2017.

Final Down-Select for 2017 RASC-AL Competition Announced

On March 30, the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition Steering Committee made the final down-select in the 2017 RASC-AL competition, inviting 14 of the 21 semi-finalists to move to the next phase of the competition.   During the final stage of the competition, teams submit 15-page technical reports which propose innovative solutions to one of 4 themes relevant to current work in the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate and present their concepts to a panel of judges at the 2017 RASC-AL Forum in May.  For more details on the 14 finalists, please visit the RASC-AL Website:  http://rascal.nianet.org/.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Presents Paper at A-Train Symposium

Amber J. Soja, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the A-Train Symposium held in Pasadena, California April 19-21, 2017 and presented “Biomass burning smoke plume injection height: CALIOP-based estimates and comparisons to CMAQ” with colleagues Hyun-Deok Choi, George Pouliot, T. Duncan Fairlie, David M. Winker, Mark Vaughan, Thomas E. Pierce, Charles Trepte, and James Szykman.  The Symposium emphasized science capabilities and advancements realized from 10+ years’ worth of data gathered by the A-Train’s multi-sensor system.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Attends KORUS-Ocean Color Science Team Meeting

Dr. Carolyn Jordan, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the KORUS-Ocean Color (KORUS-OC) Science Team Meeting April 17 – 21, 2017. While there, Dr. Jordan presented a talk titled “New in Situ Aerosol Spectral Optical Measurements: Offering New Avenues to Study Air-Sea Exchange”. The KORUS-OC focuses on the links between satellite and ship-based measurement of ocean color, biology and biogeochemistry, as well as atmospheric composition in coastal waters adjacent to the Republic of Korea.724

National Institute of Aerospace and Hampton City Schools Partner Through NASA Science Grant

The National Institute of Aerospace, NIA, was one of 27 organizations nationwide to receive funding through a K-12 cooperative agreement award from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA eClips 4D Multi-Dimensional Strategies to Promote Understanding of Science: Design, Develop, Disseminate, and Discover, will focus on national student misconceptions in science and use student-produced videos to increase understanding of science content to students, lifelong learners, informal audiences and the general public.

NIA Associate Principal Scientist Publishes Paper in Computational Materials Science

Vesselin Yamakov, Associate Principal Scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), along with Cheol Park (NASA), Jin Ho Kang (NIA), Xiaoming Chen (SUNYB), Changhong Ke (SUNYB), and Catharine Fay (NASA) recently published “Piezoelectric and Elastic Properties of Multiwall Boron-Nitride Nanotubes and Their Fibers: A Molecular Dynamics Study.”

Piezoelectric and elastic properties of multiwall boron-nitride nanotubes are studied using a classical molecular dynamics model with an incorporated strain-dependent dipole potential energy term. The results are applied to predict the piezoelectric and elastic properties of a boron-nitride nanotubes fiber with experimentally obtained diameter and wall number distribution of the nanotubes synthesized by high-temperature pressure methods. Computational Materials Science, vol. 135 (2017) pp. 29-42.

NIA Research Engineer Visits Boeing for ProjectLink!

John Cooper, Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) visited Boeing in St. Charles, Missouri April 11, 2017, along with NASA Co-PI’s, Jesse Quinlan and Paul Rothhaar, to discuss collaboration on Project Link!. Project Link! is a proposal to NASA’s Convergent Aeronautic Solutions (CAS) project studying the feasibility of physically linking aircraft together during flights to take advantage of vehicle benefits such as increasing wingspan thereby improving lift to drag ratio, increasing vertical lift capacity for VTOL aircraft, and increasing reliability.

Project Link! will investigate the mission-level benefits of reconfigurability to perform a wider range of missions than a single, purpose-built aircraft would be capable of. Boeing’s role will be to aid in vehicle design including conceptual design and aerodynamic analysis.

NIA Langley Professor at Virginia Tech to Present Rayleigh Lecture at 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Expo

Dr. Christopher Fuller, Virginia Tech Langley Professor at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), was recently recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Noise Control and Acoustics Division (NCAD) committee to present this year’s Rayleigh Lecture at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Expo (IMECE). The Rayleigh Lecture recognizes individuals who have made pioneering contributions in the fields of noise control and acoustics. Dr. Fuller will give his lecture November 6, 2017, in Tampa, Forida.

NIA Associate Fellow Attends and Presents at NASA-Sponsored Workshop

Amber Soja, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), attended the NASA–sponsored “Opportunities to Apply Remote Sensing in Boreal/Arctic Wildfire Management and Science” workshop, held April 4-6, 2017 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Soja attended in her capacity as an Applied Science Associate Program Manager of Wildland Fire, the LaRC Disasters Coordinator, and as a scientist presenting “Decades of Change in the Former Soviet Union: Current Assessment and New Possibilities.”

The goals of this combined training and workshop were to advance co-developed investigations into new management and scientific uses of remote sensing data; increase the scientific foundation and operational efficiency of northern fire management; improve understanding of climate-induced changes in northern fire regimes and ecosystem components and potential feedbacks to the global climate system; and lead to expanded application and use of remotely sensed data for fire management and fire science in high latitudes.

https://www.frames.gov/partner-sites/afsc/events/previous-events/workshops/2017-rs-workshop/

NASA 360 Team Wins Silver and Bronze at 38th Annual Telly Awards

The NASA 360 team at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), including Scott Bednar, Caleb Stern, Jim Lucas, Tom Shortridge, Becky Jaramillo, and Harla Sherwood were recipients of two Telly Awards in March 2017.  NASA 360 Talks: “The Exploration of Pluto” and NASA 360: “NASA’s Vascular Tissue Challenge – Improving Life in Space and Earth” earned the silver and bronze awards, respectively. 

NIA Releases NASA 360 Talks: “Nano Icy Moon Harvester”

A new concept envisions sending a nano spacecraft to the surface of Europa, harvesting water and returning samples to Earth. NASA 360 joins Michael VanWoerkom, President, ExoTerra Resource, LLC., as he discusses his NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) for a nano icy moon propellant harvester.

This video was developed from a live recording at the 2016 NIAC Symposium in August 2016. To watch the full original talk please visit: http://bit.ly/2jEQLaP

To view NASA 360 Talks: “Nano Icy Moon Harvester,” visit: http://bit.ly/2nLpPV8

NIA Associate Fellow Organizes Sandwich Disbond Growth Team Meeting 

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), organized a meeting of the Sandwich Disbond Growth Team immediately preceding the Composite Materials Handbook (CMH-17) meetings in Salt Lake City, UT, March 20, 2017. The team was established as a group of experts within the CMH-17 Disbond and Delamination Task Group in 2011 to identify, describe and address the phenomenon of sandwich face sheet/core disbonding. During the meeting, the team reviewed the status of current U.S. and European research and developed a path for standardizing the Single Cantilever Beam (SCB) test.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Co-Authors “Wildland Fire Annual Summary”

The 2016 NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences report “Wildland Fire Annual Summary” has been published and is available online.  Co-authors include Lawrence Friedl (NASA), Vince Ambrosia (NASA), and Amber Soja (NIA). This report summarizes the project portfolios and the pertinent Wildland Fire team activities, which endeavor to promote, discover and demonstrate innovative, practical, and beneficial uses of Earth observations to deliver near-term applications to apply Earth science data.

https://appliedsciences.nasa.gov/system/files/docs/Wildland%20Fires_Annual_Summary_2016.pdf

NIA Associate Research Fellow Co-Hosts 2017 NASA Wildland Fire Applications Team Meeting

In her Associate Program Manager role, Amber Soja, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace, co-hosted the 2017 NASA Wildland Fire Applications Team Meeting from Feb 28 through March 2nd in Boulder Colorado. The main objectives of this meeting were to review the status of funded projects, encourage collaborations among projects and the stakeholder communities and to discuss the applied use of NASA data, technology and models in the broader fire community.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Publishes Manuscript in Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association

The manuscript titled “Development of the crop residue and rangeland burning in the 2014 National Emissions Inventory using information from multiple sources” was published by George Pouliot, Venkatesh Rao, Jessica L. McCarty & Amber Soja in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, DOI:10.1080/10962247.2016.1268982.  This manuscript uses NASA’s Earth Observations to enhance fire emissions at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Abstract: Biomass burning has been identified as an important contributor to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. One component of the biomass burning inventory, crop residue burning, has been poorly characterized in the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). In the 2011 NEI, wildland fires, prescribed fires, and crop residue burning collectively were the largest source of PM2.5.

This paper summarizes our 2014 NEI method to estimate crop residue burning emissions and grass/pasture burning emissions using remote sensing data and field information and literature-based, crop-specific emission factors. We focus on both the postharvest and pre-harvest burning that takes place with bluegrass, corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and wheat.

Estimates for 2014 indicate that over the continental United States (CONUS), crop residue burning excluding all areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay occurred over approximately 1.5 million acres of land and produced 19,600 short tons of PM2.5. For areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay, biomass burning emissions occurred over approximately 1.6 million acres of land and produced 30,000 short tons of PM2.5.

This estimate compares with the 2011 NEI and 2008 NEI as follows: 2008: 49,650 short tons and 2011: 141,180 short tons. Note that in the previous two NEIs rangeland burning was not well defined and so the comparison is not exact. The remote sensing data also provided verification of our existing diurnal profile for crop residue burning emissions used in chemical transport modeling. In addition, the entire database used to estimate this sector of emissions is available on EPA’s Clearinghouse for Inventories and Emission Factors (CHIEF, http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/index.html).

Implications: Estimates of crop residue burning and rangeland burning emissions can be improved by using satellite detections. Local information is helpful in distinguishing crop residue and rangeland burning from all other types of fires.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Revises and Submits Paper to Earth Environment Research Letters

The paper, “Long-term radiation budget variability in Northern Eurasia: Potential for assessing current and future fire season variability” revised by Dr. Paul Stackhouse and Dr. Amber Soja was submitted to the Earth Environmental Research Letters on January 20, 2017.  This paper composes a long-term (30-year) surface radiation fluxes by scaling and normalization of two different satellite-based data sets.  The normalization is then assessed using extended measurements from surface solar flux measurements distributed throughout the Russian area of the NEESPI region. Decadal averaged long-term shifts of the radiative fluxes using these data compared favorably to changes in fire-related meteorological indexes using a reanalysis and actual fire occurrences.  Stackhouse and Soja added a case study to this paper to better show the correspondence on the short-time scale as well.   This paper is intended to be included in the NEESPI special issues that are being built out through ERL. Additional co-authors included J. Colleen Mikovitz, Dr. Taiping Zhang, and David Westberg of SSAI/NASA LaRC and Dr. Anatoly Tsvetkov of Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (MGO) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

NIA Research Scientist and Associate Research Fellow Present Papers at 2016 Fall AGU Meeting

NASA scientists presented several papers that demonstrated the transport and deposition of biomass burning to the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) at the 2016 Fall AGU Meeting. Hyun-Deok Choi (NIA) A. Soja (NIA), D. Fairlie (NASA LaRC), D. Winker (NASA LaRC) and C. Trepte (NASA LaRC) with several others presented a paper that highlighted the major pathways from Canadian fires to the GIS using CALIOP data and the LaTM.  Soja, Choi, Fairlie, Winker Trepte and others used a suite of remotely sensed and modeling assets to demonstrate smoke-aerosol transport to the GIS requires a combination of large fires, rapid transport and a deposition event (snow).  Soja and Choi were co-authors on two additional GIS posters.

NIA Associate Research Fellow Presents Hyperwall Talks at 2016 Fall AGU Meetings

Amber Soja, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace, presented two hyperwall talks at the 2016 Fall AGU Meeting, one flash talk “Wildland Fire: Hot and Getting Hotter” and “NASA’s Applied Sciences Program Wildland Fire A Satellite View of Wildfire for Fire Management.”

2017 BIG Idea Challenge Forum – Winning Teams Announced

The 2017 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Forum was hosted at NASA Langley Research Center from February 15 – 16th, 2017. Five collegiate teams with students from six universities were selected to present their innovative ideas for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion (SEP), that transfer payload for low earth orbit (LEO) to a lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO).

Tulane University was awarded the first place prize for their design, “The Sunflower, A Modular and Hexagonally Symmetric SEP Cargo Transport Spacecraft,” while the University of Maryland team placed second for their concept titled, “200 kW / 500 kW Solar-electric Modular Flexible Kinetic Escort (SMo-FlaKE).”  As their prize, participants from both teams were offered NASA summer internships at LaRC to continue developing their concepts.

Their Forum competitors included:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology with the University of Texas at Austin and New York University, “An Elegant and Innovative Design for In-Space Assembly: Optimizing Modularity through an Umbrella Mechanism”
  • University of Colorado, “Odysseus”
  • University of Maryland, “A Reusable Modular Solar Electric Propulsion Space Tug (SEP) to Transfer Payloads from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO

Presentations were evaluated by the following BIG Idea Challenge Judges :

  • Keith Belvin (LaRC)
  • Anthony Calomino (LaRC)
  • Robert Hodson (LaRC)
  • Erik Komendera (LaRC)
  • David McGowan (LaRC)
  • LaNetra Tate (HQ)
  • Mary Wusk (LaRC)

The BIG Idea Challenge is sponsored by NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and managed by Shelley Spears and Stacy Dees of the National Institute of Aerospace.

NASA Feature Story for the 2017 BIG Idea Forum Winning Team: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/game_changing_development/feature/2017_big_idea_challenge

BIG Idea Website: http://bigidea.nianet.org

NIA Associate Principal Engineer Presents Paper at ISSS and Visits JAXA-IKAROS

Dr. Jin Ho Kang, Associate Principal Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace, presented a paper entitled “Simulated Space Environment Effects on a Candidate Solar Sail Material” at the Fourth International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS) held in Kyoto, Japan, January 17-20th. The paper was co-authored with Dr. Robert Bryant, Dr. W. Keats Wilkie (NASA LaRC), Ms. Heather Wadsworth (Virginia Tech), Dr. Paul Craven, Ms. Mary Nehls and Mr. Jason Vaughn (NASA MSFC). After the conference, the Langley Solar Sail Team (Drs. Keats, Bryant, Fernandez and Kang) were invited to visit JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)-IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun) team at JAXA ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) facility to discuss the future potential collaboration.

NIA Associate Research Fellow, NCSU Langley Professor Host Researchers as Part of SIP-SM4I Program

Dr. Ronald Krueger, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace and Dr. Fuh-Gwo Yuan, Samuel P. Langley Professor at North Carolina State University, hosted a group of seven researchers from the University of Tokyo, JAXA (Japan Space Exploration Agency) and Mitsubishi Research Institute. The researchers are participants in a Japanese national project on Innovative Aircraft Polymer Matrix Composites, which focusses on the development of high production rate Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer products for aircraft including the associated quality assurance technology.  This project is part of the SIP-SM4I Program set up by the Japanese Government and includes academia as well as major industry partners.  The visitors gave presentations on their work related to this project:

Shu Minakuchi, Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, “Next-Generation Aircraft Polymer Composites by Japan SIP Project and Advanced Internal-Strain-Based Process Simulation Scheme for Their Development”.

Yuichiro Aoki, JAXA, “Current Status & Future Directions of JAXA’s Composite Research Activity”.

Shoma Niwa, Research Associate at the University of Tokyo, “Evaluating material property development of CFRP during cure based on in-situ measurement of internal strain”.

Shinsaku Hisada, Research Associate at the University of Tokyo, “Process improvement for out-of-autoclave prepreg curing supported by in-situ strain monitoring.”

Tyler Hudson, a Ph.D. Candidate at NIA/North Carolina State University, also presented a talk on “Real-Time Cure Monitoring of Composites Using a Guided Wave-Based System with Piezoelectric Transducers” and “Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors” which directly complemented the research performed at the University of Tokyo.