layout University Affiliated Research Center - UC Santa Cruz - NASA Ames Research Center

Space Sciences / Sustainability Research / Nano Sciences

  • Developing and inserting advanced biomedical and biological technologies into NASA’s space exploration programs and missions.
  • Investigating biological characteristics and effects of the space environment to advance understanding of fundamental biological processes.
  • Creating cost efficient ways to produce carbon-neutral, sustainable biofuels.
  • Innovative integration of bio-info-nano technologies, including fundamental research, physical modeling and characterization, fabrication processes, and demonstration of prototype devices.
  • Radical new approaches to size reduction and speed improvement through materials manipulation at the atomic scale.
Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)
  • Research and analysis to refine mission needs and requirements which will directly impact and then define the commonality and capability of the Lunar lander mission, a Mars lander mission, and an asteroid lander mission.
Analysis of Attitude Control Systems for Nanosatellites
  • Development of active Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS) technologies for small spacecraft.  Small spacecraft have power and mass margin constraints which limit the range of sensors and actuators that can be used for ADCS operations, and a detailed study of feasible implementations is required. 
  • Conduct research into sensors, actuators, and control software elements that are appropriate for small spacecraft ADCS. 
  • Create an end-to-end ADCS design appropriate for Phase A mission development with a specific nanosatellite science payload.
Ames Coronograph Experiment: Adaptive Optics
  • Demonstrate that the theoretical advantages of a PIAA coronagraph system can be realized. These advantages are chiefly the ability to meet the exoplanet imaging goal of 10-10 contrast within an inner working angle of 2λ/D, and to do it with a technology that could yield a compact instrument that fits within physical, schedule, and cost constraints for a future flight mission.
Advanced Technologies for Human Space Exploration
  • Assess the technology areas for NASA specific applications; including lunar dust mitigation, physiological monitoring, biomedical diagnostics instrumentation and small satellites.
  • Technology evaluation, project management and engineering support for anticipated autonomous, biology research based satellite missions and the identification of advanced biomedical devices.
  • Provide technical expertise for the evaluation of commercially available products and emerging technologies/instrumentation that may impact future NASA flight hardware for monitoring astronaut health and ambulatory care.
  • Investigate and assess medical requirements and technologies to ensure the safety and success of Exploration missions relative to crew health care.
ExMC Lunar Lab Analysis and Technology Watch Support
  • Development of technology, technical assessment and feasibility studies in support of the NASA Human Research Program (HRP).
High-Enthalpy Environments
  • High-Speed Atmospheric Entry Radiation
    • Understanding the design uncertainty related to heat loads experienced by the Thermal Protection Systems in high-enthalpy environment
  • High-Fidelity Material Response Model Development
    • Develop high-fidelity material-response models for ablative materials under high enthalpy environments.
  • Optical Diagnostics for Arcjet Flow Components
    • Develop non-intrusive, optical diagnostic techniques for component- and state-specific measurement of the composition and energy distribution of gases as they are prepared by the test facility, and as they interact with test materials.
Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA)
  • Basic research on the design of OMEGA systems as it relates to the physiology of algae includes studies of the impact of light, nutrients, mixing, flow rates, and overall system design.
  • Research on the light transmissivity of the plastic materials used in the design of OMEGA modules and how these light levels impact the algae living inside or under the OMEGA system.
  • Develop and deploy a small-scale prototype OMEGA system to demonstrate that such a system is feasible and economically viable.
Nano Scienes
  • Support development and extension of the Nanostructure-IDE chemical sensor platform.
  • Develop nanostructure solar cells to gain high power efficiency at reduced cost.
  • Use carbon nanotubes to create a sculpted platform to increase light trapping of solar cells, which minimizes the amount of incident light lost to reflection.
  • Grow carbon nanotubes directly on thin metal substrates amenable to high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing that could reduce costs.
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