Researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) are launching a project to find new ways to detect and track unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. The project seeks to research and develop high-performance communications, networking and air traffic management (ATM) systems, including navigation and surveillance for both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The work is supported by a three-year, $1.33 million grant from NASA’s University Leadership Initiative.
NASA has named Thomas Zurbuchen associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Washington headquarters.
The Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) and NASA have signed a formal memorandum of understanding to cooperate on advanced air traffic automation. The five-year agreement calls for both groups to share research into realizing more efficient and timely air traffic.
According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who met with CAE officials on a trip to China in August, China faces a “substantial increase” in air travel in the near future. The joint research will acquire and analyze data from Chinese airports as they deal with increasing traffic. This will help identify potential improved air traffic management practices that would allow air carriers to plan departures better to increase efficiencies.
Adaptive space robotics, 3-D printing and autonomous communication systems are among the topics of 21 innovative research and development proposals selected by NASA to enable future solar system missions. The agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program chose proposals from 41 firms that can negotiate for possible contract awards worth a combined total of about $15.8 million.
NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs and Boeing have initiated a new mentor-protégé agreement tied to the company’s entry into the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Boeing will mentor Bastion Technologies, a small business that has worked with the larger firm on the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which is being built to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. Under the agreement, Boeing will share manufacturing, quality and business development practices with Bastion for 18 months.
NASA has named Todd May director of its Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a partnership with the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) to develop new technology solutions through publicly crowdsourced prize competitions.
Crowdsourcing and incentive prizes across industry have led to the successful creation of advanced technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and improved data analytics. The DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate is expanding its efforts to solicit innovations like these through its partnership with NASA, according to an S&T statement.
BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Florida, has been awarded a $278,500,000 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable contract for the Instrumentation Radar Support Program. Contractor will provide serviceable components and subsystems to include radar, telemetry and optics systems for 28 test ranges across the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA and seven foreign governments. Work will be performed at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and is expected to be complete by December 31, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with one offer received.
NASA, Washington, D.C., has promoted John Honeycutt to manager of the Space Launch System Program and Renee Wynn to chief information officer of the agency.
Researchers are linking together the power of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to create a personal assistant to provide total situational awareness to first responders. The advanced program is wise enough to provide only the information necessary for each user, smart enough to ask questions and versatile enough for virtually anyone to use, including firefighters, warfighters, factory workers and home owners.
If all goes well, the system is set to begin prototype testing within the next 16 months, and an initial capability could be fielded soon.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Georgia, is being awarded a $32,289,173 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period for engineering services for the P-3 Fatigue Life Management Program in support of the Navy; other government agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP); and the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Germany. Work will be performed in Marietta, Georgia, and is expected to be completed in August 2020.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite today reached its orbit position 1 million miles from Earth, little more than 100 days after its winter launch. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite will become the first operational spacecraft in deep space to provide constant weather analysis.
DSCOVR will replace NASA’s aged Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), launched in 1997 and operating a decade past its design life, and is expected to begin operations later this summer.
The good news: There's no such thing as a killer sun flare that could destroy Earth. But annual losses due to power outages throughout the United States caused by solar storms are estimated at more than $100 billion, officials say. Engineers from several government agencies and industry partners have teamed up to explore solutions to better predict, and thus mitigate, adverse impacts solar storms have on power grids.
iGov Technologies Inc., Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $7,400,323 firm-fixed-price task order under a previously awarded NASA contract (NNG07DA27B) for Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) Secret Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) (MCEN-S) Enterprise Service Stacks (ESS). The scope of this effort includes procuring and delivery of a technical solution, (i.e., hardware, software, and infrastructure), support services, user training, and lifecycle sustainment support to replace MCEN SIPR ESS. This task order includes options which, if exercised would bring the cumulative value of this order to $9,341,310.
When NASA’s Pegasus rocket lifts off in June 2017, it will carry scientific equipment and technology that might help researchers better understand space variations that contribute to disruptions in communications equipment, radar and Global Positioning Systems here on Earth.
NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission will study what happens in Earth’s upper atmosphere and the connections to environmental conditions on the planet, says Thomas Immel, ICON mission lead with the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.
“[The ionosphere] shows day-to-day, hour-to-hour variability that we have never understood,” Immel says.
Scientists are gearing up to launch revolutionary technology into deep space that will provide the most advanced solar storm warning system to date. The spacecraft includes new research systems that also will better monitor Earth's atmosphere and land.
Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is scheduled for launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on January 23 and will become the first operational spacecraft in deep space to provide weather analysis.
NASA scientists at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, reproduced the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust.
At Ames, scientists use a specialized facility called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmIC) to recreate and study dust grains similar to those that form in the outer layers of dying stars. The research can help them understand the composition and evolution of the universe and creation of planets, to include Earth-like planets, according to a news statement.
David W. Miller has been named chief technologist of NASA, Washington, D.C.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento, Calif., has been awarded a contract from the Flight Opportunities Program Office at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Test Center to develop propulsion technology for miniature satellites that could possibly lower cost and accelerate mission schedules. Under the first phase of the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop and perform hot-fire tests on its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. If selected for a flight demonstration in a second phase, the MPS-120 would be the first chemical propulsion system ever used on a CubeSat.