Volume 07 | August 2019
NAMS Highlights - August 2019
The Latest News from the NASA Academic Mission Services Program
Aeronautics: ATD-3/DRAW Software Development Team Completes HITL #5 Simulation Evaluation Study
The ATD-3/Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) team successfully completed its fifth Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) simulation in the NASA Ames Traffic Control (ATC) simulation laboratory in early August 2019. A major achievement of HITL #5 was the integration of the NASA DRAW technology with the latest version of the FAA Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) tool. This HITL study was the final DRAW HITL and the first to use DRAW as part of the FAA’s TBFM system. The main objectives of the HITL were to assess the performance and usability of the DRAW technology under a specific type of arrival operations (i.e., all corner-post arrivals)in the Fort Worth, TX, airspace.

HITL #5 ran from July 24 to August 1, 2019 and enlisted four recently retired Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZFW ARTCC) Traffic Management Coordinators (TMCs) as participants. DRAW computes conflict-free routes around weather and offers a trial planning capability that presents the weather conflict information and schedule impacts to TMCs in real time. The TMCs were tasked to manage simulated arrival traffic in ZFW airspace under multiple weather-impacted scenarios, with and without the use of DRAW, and give feedback to the DRAW team. Analysis of the HITL data is underway, and the results will be presented in September 2019.

The DRAW software team consists of staff from USRA, Crown, and MSAG. One of the NASA lead researchers expressed tremendous appreciation for the efforts of the software team: “The ATD-3/DRAW software development team did excellent job for our HITL #5 simulation evaluation study. Because of their hard work and painstaking attention to the details, the DRAW team was able to successfully complete the HITL #5 simulation, which was one of the ATD-3 project’s major milestones.DRAW team is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated software development team.”
Pictured above: A Traffic Management Coordinator participant uses the DRAW interface to reroute an arrival flight for weather avoidance. The timelines on the right-hand side show the impact of the advised reroute on the flight’s arrival time.
Earth Science: Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) Experiment 
The USRA/NAMS team at the Airborne Sensor Facility is operating two infrared imaging devices to pin-point the sources of smoke emissions, and to estimate the intensity of the fires. The MASTER instrument is flying on the NASA DC-8 aircraft, while the eMAS (enhanced MODIS Airborne Simulator) instrument flies overhead on the NASA ER-2. Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ), a joint venture led by NOAA and NASA, provides comprehensive observations to investigate wildfires and agricultural fires across the continental United States and the impact on air quality and climate.

“The objective of FIREX-AQ is to provide measurements of trace gas and aerosol emissions for wildfires and prescribed fires in great detail, relate them to fuel and fire conditions at the point of emission, characterize the conditions relating to plume rise, follow plumes downwind to understand chemical transformation and air quality impacts, and assess the efficacy of satellite detections for estimating the emissions from sampled fires.” – NASA

List of agency, university and industry partners:  https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/projects/firex-aq/partners/
Pictured above: Image is from the MASTER (MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator) instrument flying on the DC-8, from Boise, ID. The panel on the left is natural color, and the one on the right is an infrared composite.
Bioscience: USRA Researcher Publishes Research in Trends in Biotechnology Publication
On July 11 th Trends in Biotechnology published the opinion piece “A Makerspace for Life Support Systems” by Jessica E. Snyder, Ph.D. (USRA), David Walsh, Ph.D. (MIT Lincoln Laboratory), Peter A. Carr, Ph.D. (MIT Lincoln Laboratory), and Lynn J. Rothschild, Ph.D. (NASA). The published work outlines how to use synthetic biology and 3-D printing to support human exploration to the moon in the 2020s. To establish a human settlement on the moon or Mars, NASA needs reliable life support systems that efficiently use nonrenewable resources packed from Earth while relying increasingly on resources available locally in space – solar energy and biological resources.

Snyder JE, Walsh D, Carr PA, Rothschild LJ. A Makerspace for Life Support Systems in Space. Trends in Biotechnology. July 11, 2019 DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2019.05.003  
Pictured above:  Snapshot of SUPERball v2 walking up a 15-degree slope
Pictured above: Figure 1. NASA acknowledges several types of life support modules, which have been extended in this opinion to include more systems needed for human missions beyond low Earth Orbit. In-space manufacturing of the hardware or consumables for these systems would enable human missions beyond low Earth orbit with greater autonomy than exclusively relying on resupply from Earth.
Aeronautics: Software Team Selected as the Winner of the 2019 NASA Software of the Year (SoY) Award
The UTM Software Team was selected as Winner for the 2019 NASA Software of the Year (SoY) award for the UAS Traffic Management Services (UTM) software. The Agency-wide annual SoY competition rewards high-quality, innovative, and robust software using efficient software engineering processes that meet NASA's stringent safety and reliability standards. Sponsors of the competition include the NASA Chief Engineer, the NASA Chief Information Officer, and the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. 

The UAS Traffic Management Services (UTM) software is a novel concept with the goal of enabling small UAS to access low-altitude airspace in a safe, efficient, and fair manner. The true innovation of UTM is the overall concept embodied within the system architecture. Traditional Air Traffic Management (ATM) relies on a central body (like the FAA) to manage and control the airspace. UTM allows for distributed management of the airspace wherein private companies collaborate to maintain a safe and accessible environment.  

The UTM Team includes: Joseph Rios (NASA), Irene Skupniewicz Smith (NASA), Priya Venkatesen (KBR/Wyle), David Smith (KBR/Wyle), Vijay Baskaran (KBR/Wyle), Sherry Jurcak (KBR/Wyle), Punam Verma (USRA), Daniel Mulfinger (NASA), Natalie Paremski (KBR/Wyle), Parimal Kopardekar (NASA), Marcus Johnson (NASA), Jeff Homola (NASA), Jaewoo Jung (NASA), Tom Prevot (Uber), Ron Johnson (NASA), Joey Mercer (NASA), Arwa Aweiss (NASA), Leo Wang (KBR/Wyle), and Lauren Claudatos (NASA).
Pictured above : UTM team members, including USRA and Crown staff, in the UTM Flight Test Command Center located at NASA Ames Research Center
Nanotechnology: Jinwoo Han, Ph.D. is Awarded 2019 IEEE Electron Devices Society Vacuum Electronics Young Scientist Award
Jinwoo Han, Ph.D. has fabricated the world’s smallest vacuum tube using conventional silicon integrated circuit manufacturing technology. This allows manufacturing of vacuum devices at a cost structure similar to silicon chips. Vacuum devices are immune to radiation and therefore are ideal for space missions. In addition, since there are no collisions in vacuum, electrons are much faster in vacuum than in silicon; thus, the vacuum devices operate at higher frequencies. His pioneering work has generated worldwide resurgence of vacuum device technology, combining the best of vacuum device physics and modern semiconductor fabrication techniques. Currently, Dr. Han is fabricating nanoscale vacuum tubes in silicon carbide for potential Europa missions.

IEEE has presented this award for the first time for significant contributions in the field of vacuum electronics and Jinwoo is the Inaugural Winner. 
Pictured above: Jinwoo Han, Ph.D. receives award presented at the International Vacuum Electronics Conference in Busan, South Korea
Nanotechnology: Myeonglok Seol , Ph.D. is Awarded Ames Honor Award and Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award, Institution of Engineering and Technology
Myeonglok Seol , Ph.D. was awarded the 2018 Ames Honor Award and the Mike Sergeant Career Achievement Award, Institution of Engineering and Technology United Kingdom. Both awards are for Myenglok’s contributions to the development of triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG). The Mike Sargeant award is presented to an early career researcher who has made great engineering contributions and shows potential for a promising research career. Dr. Seol received this award in a ceremony held in London.

A TENG is an energy-harvesting device that converts the external mechanical energy (such as wind and any other motion/vibration) into electricity by a conjunction of triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction through rubbing two sheets of materials. A potential is created by the triboelectric effect due to the charge transfer between two thin organic/inorganic films that exhibit opposite tribo-polarity. Electrons are driven to flow between two electrodes attached on the backsides of the films in order to balance the potential.  

Dr. Seol is the first in the world to demonstrate an all-printed TENG in an effort to support NASA’s In Space Manufacturing program. NASA currently operates two 3D printers in the space station. Thus, his demonstration paves the way for NASA to print these energy generation devices as needed in ISS in the future. In addition, Myeonglok has also explored the use of TENG for wind energy in Mars by showing that the use of TENG can overcome the weight penalty associated with the conventional electromagnetic motors used with wind turbines on earth, as TENG produces the most power per unit weight of any competing technologies. This opens up the possibility of deploying TENG in Mars, exploiting the fierce wind velocities in spite of the low density of Martian atmosphere. His studies showed that the Martian ambient is very much amenable for deploying TENG for wind power generation.   
Pictured above: Myeonglok Seol, Ph.D. receives Mike Sergeant Career Achievement award in London, England
NAMS Seminar Series
NAMS Seminar Series hosted Marit Meyer, Ph.D. for presentation on ISS Aerosols Research
On August 13 th , Marit Meyer , Ph.D. from NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio presented her research in aerosols (airborne particles) with two space-related emphases during her talk “Aerosols on the International Space Station”at NASA Ames Research Center, as part of the (NAMS) Seminar. This work is done collaboratively with data analysis research for aerosols on ISS conducted by Dr. Meytar Sorek-Hamer, USRA’s Environmental Analytics Lead.
Pictured above: Airborne ISS particles returned from the Aerosol Sampling Experiment 
NAMS Subcontractor Highlights
Nanotechnology: Beomseok Kim , Ph.D. is Awarded the NASA Ames Honor Award Wins Critical Nanotech Patents 
Beomseok Kim , Ph.D. (Bay Systems Consulting) received the NASA Ames Honor Award for winning key patents in the emerging nanotechnology field relating to NanoParticles and NanoTubes. In coordination with NASA Ames Research Center and Xerox PARC, Bay Systems’ inventor Dr. Kim helped develop unique and innovative bio- based Nanoparticles and annealed metal, non-particle decorated Nanotubes. These leading-edge inventions were funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Dr. Kim’s invention enables the first demonstration measurement of methane and the identification of methane leaks using printed materials in a real-world setting. It is a low-power, low-cost, fugitive methane detection system based on arrays of printed modified carbon nanotube sensor elements that operate at ambient temperature and humidity. Each sensor element is customized with functionalization, coatings, or nanoparticles such that differentiate between methane, sulfur dioxide, ethane, and other hydrocarbons. This work was done as part of the Nanotechnology Group led by Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology at Center for Nanotechnology (NASA). 
Pictured above: Beomseok Kim, Ph.D. of Bay Systems receiving NASA Honor Award from NASA Ames Center Director Dr. Eugene Tu
University Engagement and Student Highlights
Student Poster Symposium at NASA Ames Research Center 
On August 8 th , R&D Student Program and I-Squared interns presented their research results at the Ames Poster Session. The students worked with their mentors to highlight their research results and presented at the Symposium. The poster session was attended by Ames Management, PI's, mentors, families and students from across the campus. 
Pictured above: NAMS R&D Program interns presenting research at Ames Poster Symposium 
Quantum Feynman Academy Team Building Activity  
On August 13 th , the Quantum Academy participated in team building activities. The team put their heads together to solve escape room challenges and then got competitive at the bowling alley. This team building activities allowed the interns to become a team that will continue to collaborate and publish results as projects progress.
Pictured above: Quantum Feynman Academy interns at team building event
USRA Staff and Students Attend Ames Centerwide Picnic
On August 8 th , USRA staff and students attended the Centerwide Picnic at NASA Ames Research Center. The picnic allowed staff and students to network with colleagues, learn about onsite clubs and organizations at Ames. 
Pictured above: USRA staff at NASA Ames Centerwide Picnic day  
Interns from the NAMS R&D Student and I² Programs Participate in End of Summer Tours at NASA Ames Research Facilities
During their internship, students are acquainted with NASA Ames facilities and labs across technical disciplines. The tours and activities are facilitated by USRA to give students a full experience and an in-depth view of the technical disciplines at Ames. This month f acility tours included the Supercomputer, Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS), and Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.
Pictured above: Interns visit NASA Ames Research Center facilities
Student Spotlight: Sung Cho
Aeroflightdynamics, UAS Toolbox Development and Validation Using 3DR IRIS+ UAV 
Sung Cho is a returning intern from the Cal Poly Pomona Aerospace Engineering Department. During this summer internship, Sung Cho was heavily involved in the development of the UAS Toolbox under the NAMS Aeroflightdynamics Technical Area in Code Y (US Army Aviation Development Directorate at Ames, ADD-A). The UAS Toolbox, which will eventually be a new addition to the integrated flight control design software suites developed under ADD-A, is a software designed to aid students, academia, and the UAS flight control community in implementing custom control law and other features such as automated frequency sweeps to their Ardupilot flight control system. Currently, implementing custom Ardupilot flight control firmware is a complicated and time-consuming task, with a large amount of programming involved. The UAS Toolbox will streamline the process and provide a guided step-by-step process to implementing custom features into Ardupilot and into their flight control board without the user having to edit any code manually. This software will enable research and prototyping for universities and the UAS community who do not have the necessary resources or time to develop an in-house flight control software implementation methodology. 

Aside from the software development work, Sung Cho has also been involved with assisting the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona in the development of new curriculum on aircraft flight control design and system identification based on advanced methodologies and software tools developed at ADD-A under the NAMS contract. This curriculum development effort, fully funded by USRA, is an on-going collaboration with Cal Poly where a graduate-level flight control course was successfully introduced at Cal Poly Pomona in Fall 2018, and will be followed by integration of the topics into the undergraduate curricula in the current academic year. Jerry, who returns to Cal Poly as a MS student, will continue to assist the faculty in the curriculum development, while continuing to work on the UAS Toolbox development which will serve as part of his master thesis/project.
Student Spotlight: Loic Tissot-Daguette 
Terramechanics, Single Wheel Testbed for Non-Prehensile Terrain Manipulation
Loic Tissot-Daguette, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) student from Switzerland, built a single wheel test rig for testing rover wheel trenching performance as part of his internship project at NASA Ames Research Center this summer. Composed with a 3D mapping camera, the testbed is especially designed for terrain manipulation research. Loic’s project consists of testing novel wheel shapes and designs for efficient trench digging performance. This research could lead to multiple planetary rover applications, including finding signs of life under the soil surface or future terraformation purposes. Loic incorporated this research into his Masters thesis at EPFL.
Pictured above: Fabrication of a single wheel testbed prototype
Welcome New Hires and Interns!
New Hires for August 2019
Ata Akbari Asanjan, Ph.D. Earth Science
Jinn-Hwei Cheng (promotion) – Aeronautics
Milad Memarzadeh, Ph.D. – Data Science (Machine Learning)
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Website:  NAMS News Submission

Submittal Date : News submission form for NASA Academic Mission Services (NAMS) Newsletter. Please submit submission form by the 15th of the month to be featured in the monthly newsletter. 

For more information on requesting interns through the NAMS Student R&D Program , please email  NAMS-studentRD@usra.edu