Volume 03 | April 2019
NAMS Highlights - April 2019
The Latest News from the NASA Academic Mission Services Program
ATD-2 Team Wins the NASA AA Technology and Innovation Group Award
The Airspace Technology Demonstration-2 (ATD-2) Field Demonstration Team led by Richard A. Capps has been selected as the winner of the Technology and Innovation group award for 2018 by Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, Dr. Jaiwon Shin. The Associate Administrator Awards are presented to individuals and groups who contribute to Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate activities and who demonstrate exemplary performance in one of six award categories.The congratulatory letter states: “The group’s work and contributions stood out from all of the outstanding research being performed by NASA employees, and thus is well deserving of this recognition.” 

The ATD-2 team successfully fielded and tested the first-of-its-kind Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) system at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. This air traffic management (ATM) decision support system addresses airspace and airport congestion problems in an integrated fashion, across a broad set of air transportation domains, operators, and air traffic functions. The ATD-2 Team established and operated a fully functioning NASA ATM laboratory at a major U.S. airport, gained the enthusiastic and full cooperation of the external stakeholder community, and performed a technical evaluation of the IADS concept in multiple operational facilities. This evaluation already is demonstrating notable improvements to the predictability and operational efficiency of the U.S. air transportation system in metroplex environments.
Pictured above: ATD-2 team being presented the award at NASA's Ames Research Center
ATM North Texas Research Station team attends iWork 2019 Youth Career Expo

Keenan Roach (USRA Engineer and Group Lead) and Paul Borchers (NASA Task Requester) participated in the iWork2019 Youth Career Exploration fair. Over 1000 students attended to explore different career path options. Many students were surprised to find out that NASA worked in areas other than space. They were engaged in learning about NASA’s aeronautics research and the many contractors NASA employs to complete the work. Students that were headed toward a degree in engineering were very excited to learn about the possible job options available in the greater work overseen by NASA. As background, the USRA team at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) are integral to the successes of the ATD-2 field evaluations. 
Pictured above: North Texas Research Station team attends iWork2019 Youth Career Exploration job fair. Photo credit: Keenan Roach, USRA
Congratulations to Astrobee Team on the Successful NG-11 Launch

The Northrop Grumman's 11th commercial resupply launch took place on April 17, at 4:46 ET at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. The resupply mission hosted two projects that were developed at Ames, Astrobee and BioNutrients, along with one that is managed, Rodent Research-12. The Astrobee team included USRA staff Ruben Garcia who worked on improving the software platform and refining access for guest scientists interested in performing science research on the Astrobee Robotic Platform.This work was done under the Intelligent Systems Division working with the NAMS task requester Dr. Terry Fong, Facility Project Manager Jose Benavides and Astrobee Project Manager Maria Bulat. Astrobee is a free-flying robotic system, built on the legacy and lessons learned of Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite, designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity, help astronauts do their routine chores and give flight controllers in Houston additional eyes and ears on spacecraft. 
Pictured above: Astrobee Team member Ruben Garcia (USRA)
Pictured above: Astrobee ISS mockup in the Granite Laboratory at NASA’s Ames Research
Center  Photo credit: Saba Hussain
USRA Participation in NATO Research Task Group Meetings at DLR in Germany
USRA staff member under the NAMS Aeroflightdynamics Technical Area, Jonathan Soong, attended working meetings for the NATO Research Task Group (RTG) #296 titled “Rotorcraft Flight Simulation Model Fidelity Improvement and Assessment,” as the RTG Coordinator during the week of March 25, 2019. The research group, chaired by the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate Senior Scientist, Dr. Mark Tischler (also a NAMS Task Requester), involves participation of 17 Aerospace government labs, industry, and academia (e.g. Boeing, CAE, Delft University, DLR, Georgia Tech, Leonardo, Pennsylvania State University, Sikorsky, Thales, University of Liverpool, etc.), from 9 NATO countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, UK, USA). This task seeks to identify various methods for updating rotorcraft flight dynamics math models to assess and improve the relative effectiveness of each method. Each organization uses their chosen method on shared aircraft flight-test databases ranging from helicopters with conventional single-rotor and tandem configurations, and a UAV (e.g. Bell 412, UH-60, EC135, CH-47, etc.). The final product will be a technical report co-authored by all of the participants, as well as a lecture series to disseminate the results. 

This NATO group was initiated in March 2018 at the University of Liverpool and will span a total of four years with bi-annual meetings at participant-hosted locations across North America and Europe. This third meeting was held at the DLR (German Aerospace Center) Institute of Flight Systems in Braunschweig, Germany with a group of 26 members from the aforementioned organizations. 

The previous meetings focused on identifying different math model methods and the sharing of the aircraft databases, for each organization to test their current practiced method on. This meeting transitioned to collaborating and comparing the methods based on those recent research results, with an emphasis to start finalizing those results to begin the report writing. The next meeting will be held in October 2019 at Ottawa and hosted by National Research Council Canada.
Pictured above: NATO Group (USRA participant, Jonathan Soong, second from left) standing in front of DLR’s modified research and test helicopter, the EC135 Active Control Technology demonstrator/Flying Helicopter Simulator (ACT/FHS)
New STITCH Software Introduced as Part of the U.S. Army Flight Control Design Software Suite
The U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate – Ames (NASA Code Y), in conjunction with the NAMS Flight Control System Software Development team under the Aeroflightdynamics Technical Area, have developed a new flight control modelling tool named STITCH. As an addition to the existing family of flight control design software, STITCH is a new software capability that allows a user to build an accurate, continuous, full flight-envelope “stitched” simulation model from individual point Linear Time Invariant (LTI) models and trim data. This capability allows a real-time, full-envelope simulation model to be developed entirely from flight-test data or nonlinear, non-real-time data. STITCH is applicable to any flight vehicle configuration, including rotorcraft, fixed-wing, and multi-copter UAS, and allows the user to easily extrapolate for changes in weight, center of gravity, inertia, and altitude. The STITCH-generated Simulink model block is a full flight-envelope quasi-nonlinear simulation of the bare airframe, which can be easily integrated with flight control loops for control design/analysis and full-mission simulation. 

The STITCH 1.0 release was officially announced in March 2019, and, similar to CIFER® and CONDUIT® – the two flagship tools of the flight control design software suite, is now available immediately to both the U.S. and international user communities under the Software Transfer Agreement (STA) distribution mechanism. Prior to the official release, a limited pre-release version was deployed to support two system identification short courses with 45+ attendees taught by the Task Requester with positive feedback. More information of STITCH can be found here: https://nams.usra.edu/flight-control/stitch/
Pictured above:  STITCH Version 1.0 software
Army Science Board Visit 

On Tuesday, April 9th the Army Science Board visited NASA Ames Research Center to engage Ames PI’s regarding NASA’s capabilities related to Artificial Intelligence.

Pictured above: Army Science Board visiting the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Ames Research Center 
University Engagement and Student Highlights
The MITTIC Team, a Minority Serving Institution, Visits NASA Ames and Silicon Valley 
On Wednesday, April 17th, the MITTIC winning team visited NASA Ames and Silicon Valley companies. USRA partnered with the MUREP team to provide students an immersive technology experience during this visit. The MUREP Innovation and Tech Transfer Competition (MITTIC) is a spinoff idea competition for students enrolled at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and is a NASA-funded initiative that supports capacity building at MSIs. Out of 10 final teams competing in the MITTIC Competition, students from El Camino College, in Torrance, CA, were selected for their winning concept, “Portable Wireless Signal Booster.” The NASA Ames Day event provided the students the opportunity to present their business plans and engage with NASA and Silicon Valley companies,  Made In Space  and  Quartolio  to learn about their journey through entrepreneurship and a tour of NASA Ames facilities. 

The team visit included tours of Nissan Research Center, LinkedIn, Google-X, and Singularity. The tour started with an introduction at Nissan Research Center where the team was able to tour the facility and learn about NASA Lidar technology being incorporated into autonomous cars. The team then attended a “Rock your Profile” session at LinkedIn. The day concluded with a Google-Plex tour and a visit to Singularity’s technology incubator. Additionally, other students who competed will receive internships at a NASA center coordinated by NASA’s  SBIR/STTR  program. Partnering with the NASA Technology Transfer Office, this “pilot” competition allowed student groups from across the country to create business plans, explore ways to commercialize NASA IP and have them work with NASA in a way they wouldn’t have been able to before. 
Pictured above: The MITTIC team at NASA's Ames Research Center 
Pictured above: NASA MITTIC team with Nissan Deputy Director, Dr. Liam Pedersen
Pictured above: MITTIC team visiting LinkedIn
Pictured above: MITTIC students working with LinkedIn recruiter at the “Rock your Profile” Session
Pictured above: Google X overview of radial technologies at the Moonshot factory in Mountain View. The tour included the Loon project, Waymo autonomous vehicles, Makani Kites
Pictured above: Students at Singularity Incubator, located at the Ames Research Park
I 2  Program - International Cultural Night Celebration
On March 28th, I 2 Program welcomed Spring interns from countries across the world at the International Culture Night held at Ames. The event was an opportunity for students to learn about each other’s countries and sample food from around the world. As part of the cultural exchange, the students’ presented an overview of their culture, traditions, history, food, language, education, music and
Pictured above: I 2  Program students presenting at International Cultural Night
I 2  Program Students visit NASA Armstrong and JPL
I 2  Program students visit JPL and Armstrong Centers to learn about NASA’s capabilities across various centers. Porsche Parker, USRA Program Coordinator, arranged the NASA immersion efforts with Task Requester, Krisstina Wilmoth.
Pictured above: I 2  Program visits JPL and Armstrong Centers
Subcontractor Highlights
The DWR (Dynamic Weather Reroute Software) is Licensed by Leading Air Traffic Management Provider
After several years of operational trials at the American Airlines Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas, the DWR (Dynamic Weather Reroute) software was licensed by a leading provider of Air Traffic Management solutions in the US. In a nutshell, the DWR software proposes simple route corrections that can save significant flying time (at least 5 minutes) by flying a more efficient route around bad convective weather while considering factors important to air traffic control such as airspace sector congestion, wind corrected flying time, traffic conflicts, restricted airspace, and FAA routing restrictions. DWR alerts users to the existence of high value route correction opportunities, and includes an interactive graphical user interface that enables users to evaluate proposed route corrections, modify them if necessary, and implement route changes using today's normal procedures for amending flight routes. 

Convective weather is the leading cause of delay in the US airspace. Airline dispatchers must file their flight plans at least 45 minutes before takeoff, and sometimes must incorporate large buffers in order to cope with uncertainty in the weather forecast. Since weather changes as flights progress and airline dispatchers, FAA traffic managers and air traffic controllers are busy, especially during bad weather events, opportunities for improved routings are missed and current day automation does not alert users when weather-avoidance routes may be corrected to reduce delay. During the operational trials, the DWR software saved 6.5 minutes per flight on average and on a particular bad weather day in September 2014, American Airlines used the DWR software to save 130 minutes of flying time for 12 flights, including 31 minutes for an MD82 aircraft flying from Dallas to New Orleans, and 26 minutes for a B777 aircraft flying from Dallas to Buenos Aires. 

NASA would like to acknowledge the release team: Todd Farley, Alan Lee, Kapil Sheth, Jinn-Hwei Cheng (USRA), Scott Sahlman (USRA) and Sebastian Gutierrez-Nolasco (Crown); as well as the legal team: Kim Chrestenson, Kimberly Minafra and Rob Padilla for their commitment and professionalism in making the technology transfer happen in a timely manner.
Pictured above:  DWR [Dynamic Weather Reroute] software
Welcome New Hires!
New Hires for April 2019
Ryan Hendricks, Program Manager, Operations
Sajeev Philips, Ph.D., Earth Science
Submit NAMS Updates:

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