Volume 02 | March 2019
NAMS Highlights - March 2019
The Latest News from the NASA Academic Mission Services Program
USRA Celebrates 50th Anniversary
USRA institutes and programs celebrated USRA’s 50th anniversary on March 12 th , 2019. USRA was founded on March 12, 1969 in Washington, D.C. as a private, nonprofit corporation under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. 
CEO, Dr. Jeff Isaacson hosted the celebration virtually across all USRA locations in the United States. Employees gathered at company offices for cake, beverages, and activities. Staff also received a commemorative 50 th  anniversary memento.
In honor of USRA's inception, USRA will host the  Space Exploration: Achievements of the Past 50 Years and Ambitions for the Future Symposium  on April 23, 2019 from 1pm to 5pm at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC. 
Pictured above: NAMS, RIACS and SOFIA management and staff gathered in the Auditorium at NASA Ames Research Center to virtually join USRA Corporate and other USRA programs across the country to celebrate the 50th Anniversary event.
Technical Highlights and University and Industry Engagement through R&D Collaborations
NAMS Scientist Sails to Antarctica to explore life in extreme environment
In early February, Dr. Jessica Snyder sailed 500 miles through Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands as a Guest Scientist with Quixote Expeditions aboard the Ocean Tramp - a 66 ketch rigged sailboat. Pioneers of sailing the Southern Ocean and owners of Quixote Expeditions, Laura and Fede made Jessica’s trip possible through a program they established to support original scientific work and provoke exploration as part of their charter cruises. Jessica, a scientist with Space Science and Astrobiology Division working on the NAMS Synthetic Biology Task, took this opportunity to extend her research on life in the extremes to the South Shetlands. 

The charismatic megafauna - the humpback whales, orca, and fur seals - are one part of Antarctica's wildlife, but there are many microscopic organisms that come to life during the long summer days and comparatively warmer weather. Jessica went to find the smallest inhabitants of the continent. She searched the moss and tidal pools for microorganisms, which provide new insights for biotechnology in space. Jessica aimed to better understand how these highly adaptive organisms oscillate between animation and hibernation to discover mechanisms that would preserve biological resources during the many years of a human mission to Mars or beyond. However, using her training as a mechanical engineer, Jessica noticed the many species she found in the moss each had unique modes of locomotion. She is interested in defining the interconnected - predator and prey as one example - methods of movement for possible application to soft robotics design and systems engineering.

Jessica would like to thank the crew of the Ocean Tramp - Captain David Roberts, Thomas, and Emmanuelle Bily, as well as her fellow passenger for their adventurous spirit and open mind. Applications for next year’s Guest Scientist program will open in the spring for those interested in applying.
Pictured above: Photos from Dr. Jessica Snyder's trip to Antarctica.
Pictured above: Dr. David, Bell, NAMS Site Manager; Matt Fladeland, NASA Airborne Science Lead, Jeff Myers, NAMS Airborne Science Technical Lead, Saba Hussain, Program Manager, Collaborations; John Bellardo, Cal Poly Faculty and PolySat Student Team.
USRA Visits Cal Poly SLO for CubeSat Technology Collaboration  
USRA NAMS and the NASA Airborne Science team visited Cal Poly SLO on March 7, 2019. The team met with faculty and students who are part of the current CubeSat Technology for Airborne Science R&D Collaboration. The student team presented the System Requirements Review (SRR) to the NASA and USRA team.  This collaborative project is creating a novel way to integrate CubeSat payloads into the fleet of aircraft used by the NASA Airborne Science Program.  

The team also met with the Dean of Engineering and the Associate Dean for Innovation Infrastructure at the Cal Poly College of Engineering. The team is working on more systematic connections between Cal Poly SLO and Ames. To support this initiative, USRA’s Jeff Myers and NASA’s Matt Fladeland both gave presentations on the NASA Airborne Science Program to students in the engineering department of Cal Poly. USRA is also working to organize a NASA Ames Night at Cal Poly, where a panel of NASA & USRA scientists and engineers will engage with students to support the workforce pipeline and possible new collaborative projects. 
Aeronautics Project Overview  
On March 15, 2019, the USRA NAMS management participated in an overview of ATD-2 by Cynthia Freeman, USRA Group lead, ATD project. The demo was followed by an overview of Future Flight Central (FFC), the 360-degree airport tower simulator to observe the testing going on in preparation for the Human in The Loop (HITL) simulation that will occur in late May. 
Pictured above : Dr. David Bell, NAMS Site Manager and Cynthia Freedman, USRA  Group Lead, ATD Project.
Pictured above : Dr. Kamalika Das (USRA, Data Science Group Lead at Ames) and Dr. Erin Smith (Goddard) with CSU LA State and UC Irvine Management, Faculty, and Students 
California State University Los Angeles (CSU LA) State University visit to Ames
Faculty and administrators from Cal State LA's NASA Data Intensive Research and Education Center for STEM (DIRECT-STEM) and its partners from UC Irvine and West Big Data Innovation Hub at UC Berkeley, and  Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) program administrators visited NASA Ames Research Center to establish relationship with Education Programs, NASA and USRA PI’s in the area of data science, computer science, environmental analytics, Engineering, and Earth Sciences. The two-day (March 19 – 20, 2019) technical review consisted of MIRO PI and faculty presentations, student match making, tours and presentations of competency areas. This effort was led by Dr. Kamalika Das, USRA Group Lead, Data Science, Dr. Erin Smith, Goddard, Saba Hussain, Program Manager, R&D Collaborations, USRA, and Dr. Hengchun Ye, Associate Dean and PI, Cal State LA.

Pictured above : ATD-2 Software Team with Champions Cup.
Pictured above : Carol Carrol, Ames Deputy Center Director, presents USRA staff: Jeff Myers, Kenny Cheung, and Dr. Davide Venturelli with Ames Contractor Council Excellence Awards.
FY 2019 NAMS Awards:
Catching up on past awards of NAMS personnel, below is a list of awards received so far this fiscal year.

Dr. Myeonglok Seol received the 2018 Mike Sargeant Medal from the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) in November 2018  “in recognition of his research on Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Mars and All-Printed TENG devices for In-Space Manufacturing mission.”

ATD-2 Software Team: Joe Cisek, Cynthia Freedman, Leonard Bagasol, Jaelin McCreary, John Walker, Georg Albrecht, Mark Langer, plus various subs on the team received the ATD-2 Champions Cup  from the Field Support Team in November 2018 for their “Herculean efforts in bringing about the successes of this project.”

Mr. Kenny Cheung (USRA) received an Ames Contractor Council Excellence Award in November 2018 “For exceptional technical leadership creating new curriculum for optimization based flight control design with Cal State University.”

Mr. Jeff Myers (USRA) received an Ames Contractor Council Excellence Award in November 2018 “For exceptional technical leadership developing R&D collaborations for Earth.”

Dr. Davide Venturelli (USRA) receivedan Ames Contractor Council Excellence Award in November 2018 “For exceptional technical leadership in growing the ecosystem for quantum artificial intelligence, growing the engagements to include more than forty organizations with key research outputs in a range of application areas.”

Dr. Liz Blaber received a NASA Ames Honor Award for Contractor Employee in November 2018 “For creating the GeneLab for High Schools summer course through exceptional science leadership.”

Dr. Myeonglok Seol received a NASA Ames Honor Award for Contractor Employee in November 2018 “For developing an innovative power generation technology for space exploration.

Dr. Kamalika Das, Dr. Hamed Valizadegan, Dr. Kostya Kechedzhi, Dr. Alejandro Perdomo Ortiz, Dr. Vijay Janakiraman (USRA) received a NASA Honor Award for Machine Learning and Data Sciences Team  in October 2018 “For groundbreaking machine learning and data mining work within NASA through development of novel algorithms and new methods.”

Michael Abramson, Georg Albrecht, Wayne Bridges, Seungman Lee, Jennifer Lock, Neil Otto, James Phillips, Mohamad Refai, Eric Wahl (USRA) received a NASA Honor Award for UAS Detect and Avoid Team in October 2018.

Scott Gleason, Moshe Hollander (USRA) received a NASA Honor Award for UAS Performance Test Team in October 2018.

Dr. Debbie Dahl received a NASA Honor Award for Autonomous Operating System for UAVs Team in October 2018.

Dr. Vahram Stepanyan received a NASA Honor Award for the Stall Recovery Guidance Team in October 2018  “for significant impact in advancing the state of the art in aircraft safety by developing safety enhancements in the critical areas of stall, approach to stall, and recovery.”

Dr. Michael Krihak received a NASA Honor Award for the Medical Data Architecture Team in October 2018 “For the Human Research Program Exploration Medical Capability Medical Data Architecture team's delivery of an innovative prototype Medical Data Management System.”
Upcoming Event: Innovation Labs Celebrates Earth Day
Join us on April 26th, 2019 at the NASA Ames Conference Center to celebrate Earth Day! Snacks and drinks will be served, and this will be a great opportunity to meet fellow USRA and NASA colleagues.

Event: Innovation Labs Celebrates Earth Day
Date: 1pm – 5pm Friday, April 26, 2019           

Location: NASA Ames Conference Center, Building 3- 500 Severyns Ave, Moffett Field, CA 94035 
RSVP:                 https://goo.gl/forms/M8Vai4dKSRKaetXQ2

1:00 Welcome 

1:10 Lessons Learned from Earth Observations

2:10 Break

2:20 Our Changing Environment and Human Impacts

3:20 Break

3:30 Looking Forward with Industry Perspectives

4:30 Poster Session                                       
Welcome New Hires!
New Hires for March 2019
Filip Wardarski, Quantum Computing 
Kevin Toner, Earth Science
Alik Huseynov, GeneLab
Lloyd Chebaclo, USRA Contracts 
Rima Hopkins, Human Resources Business Partner
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