Matching Items (13)

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A cubesat centrifuge for long duration milligravity research

Description

We advocate a low-cost strategy for long-duration research into the ‘milligravity’ environment of asteroids, comets and small moons, where surface gravity is a vector field typically less than 1/1000 the

We advocate a low-cost strategy for long-duration research into the ‘milligravity’ environment of asteroids, comets and small moons, where surface gravity is a vector field typically less than 1/1000 the gravity of Earth. Unlike the microgravity environment of space, there is a directionality that gives rise, over time, to strangely familiar geologic textures and landforms. In addition to advancing planetary science, and furthering technologies for hazardous asteroid mitigation and in situ resource utilization, simplified access to long-duration milligravity offers significant potential for advancing human spaceflight, biomedicine and manufacturing. We show that a commodity 3U (10 × 10 × 34 cm[superscript 3]) cubesat containing a laboratory of loose materials can be spun to 1 r.p.m. = 2π/60 s[superscript −1] on its long axis, creating a centrifugal force equivalent to the surface gravity of a kilometer-sized asteroid. We describe the first flight demonstration, where small meteorite fragments will pile up to create a patch of real regolith under realistic asteroid conditions, paving the way for subsequent missions where landing and mobility technology can be flight-proven in the operational environment, in low-Earth orbit. The 3U design can be adapted for use onboard the International Space Station to allow for variable gravity experiments under ambient temperature and pressure for a broader range of experiments.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-06-05

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Sesquinary catenae on the Martian satellite Phobos from reaccretion of escaping ejecta

Description

The Martian satellite Phobos is criss-crossed by linear grooves and crater chains whose origin is unexplained. Anomalous grooves are relatively young, and crosscut tidally predicted stress fields as Phobos spirals

The Martian satellite Phobos is criss-crossed by linear grooves and crater chains whose origin is unexplained. Anomalous grooves are relatively young, and crosscut tidally predicted stress fields as Phobos spirals towards Mars. Here we report strong correspondence between these anomalous features and reaccretion patterns of sesquinary ejecta from impacts on Phobos. Escaping ejecta persistently imprint Phobos with linear, low-velocity crater chains (catenae) that match the geometry and morphology of prominent features that do not fit the tidal model. We prove that these cannot be older than Phobos’ current orbit inside Mars’ Roche limit. Distinctive reimpact patterns allow sesquinary craters to be traced back to their source, for the first time across any planetary body, creating a novel way to probe planetary surface characteristics. For example, we show that catena-producing craters likely formed in the gravity regime, providing constraints on the ejecta velocity field and knowledge of source crater material properties.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-30

Adaptive Technologies using Soft Robotic Bladders

Description

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in fields such as manufacturing, automation, and biomedical application, the robotic structures formed by rigid axels on mechanical actuators lack the delicate differential sensors and actuators associated with known biological systems. The rigid structures of traditional robotics also inhibit the use of simple mechanisms in congested and/or fragile environments. By observing a variety of biological systems, it is shown that nature models its structures over millions of years of evolution into a combination of soft structures and rigid skeletal interior supports. Through technological bio-inspired designs, researchers hope to mimic some of the complex behaviors of biological mechanisms using pneumatic actuators coupled with highly compliant materials that exhibit relatively large reversible elastic strain. This paper begins the brief history of soft robotics, the various classifications of pneumatic fluid systems, the associated difficulties that arise with the unpredictable nature of fluid reactions, the methods of pneumatic actuators in use today, the current industrial applications of soft robotics, and focuses in large on the construction of a universally adaptable soft robotic gripper and material application tool. The central objective of this experiment is to compatibly pair traditional rigid robotics with the emerging technologies of sort robotic actuators. This will be done by combining a traditional rigid robotic arm with a soft robotic manipulator bladder for the purposes of object manipulation and excavation of extreme environments.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Hopping Mobility Mechanism for Robotic Exploration of Lunar Lava Pits

Description

A robotic exploration mission that would enter a lunar pit to characterize the environment is described. A hopping mechanism for the robot's mobility is proposed. Various methods of hopping drawn

A robotic exploration mission that would enter a lunar pit to characterize the environment is described. A hopping mechanism for the robot's mobility is proposed. Various methods of hopping drawn from research literature are discussed in detail. The feasibilities of mechanical, electric, fluid, and combustive methods are analyzed. Computer simulations show the mitigation of the risk of complex autonomous navigation systems. A mechanical hopping mechanism is designed to hop in Earth gravity and carry a payload half its mass. A physical experiment is completed and proves a need for further refinement of the prototype design. Future work is suggested to continue exploring hopping as a mobility method for the lunar robot.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Go and catch a falling star

Description

Patches of deposits containing unusual mafic minerals are observed in and around some large lunar impact craters. Numerical simulations suggest that in the slowest of these impacts, asteroidal material, alien to the Moon, could have survived.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-08-16

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Modeling the interior of Haumea

Description

The Kuiper Belt Object Haumea is one of the most fascinating objects in the solar system. Spectral reflectance observations reveal a surface of almost pure water ice, yet it

The Kuiper Belt Object Haumea is one of the most fascinating objects in the solar system. Spectral reflectance observations reveal a surface of almost pure water ice, yet it has a mass of 4.006 × 1021 kg, measured from orbits of its moons, along with an inferred mean radius of 715 km, and these imply a mean density of around 2600 kg m−3. Thus the surface ice must be a veneer over a rocky core. This model is supported by observations of Haumea's light curve, which shows large photometric variations over an anomalously rapid 3.9154-hour rotational period. Haumea's surface composition is uniform, therefore the light curve must be due to a varying area presented to the observer, implying that Haumea has an oblong, ellipsoidal shape. If Haumea's rotation axis is normal to our line of sight, and Haumea reflects with a lunar-like scattering function, then its axis ratios are p = b/a = 0.80 (in the equatorial cross section) and q = c/a = 0.52 (in the polar cross section). In this work, I assume that Haumea is in hydrostatic equilibrium, and I model it as a two-phase ellipsoid with an ice mantle and a rocky core. I model the core assuming it has a given density in the range between 2700–3300 kg m−3 with axis ratios that are free to vary. The metric which my code uses calculates the angle between the gravity vector and the surface normal, then averages this over both the outer surface and the core-mantle boundary. When this fit angle is minimized, it allows an interpretation of the size and shape of the core, as well as the thickness of the ice mantle. Results of my calculations show that Haumea's most likely core density is 2700–2800 kg m−3, with ice thicknesses anywhere from 12–32 km over the poles and as thin as 4–18 km over the equator.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Methods for calibration, registration, and change detection in robot mapping applications

Description

Multi-sensor fusion is a fundamental problem in Robot Perception. For a robot to operate in a real world environment, multiple sensors are often needed. Thus, fusing data from various sensors

Multi-sensor fusion is a fundamental problem in Robot Perception. For a robot to operate in a real world environment, multiple sensors are often needed. Thus, fusing data from various sensors accurately is vital for robot perception. In the first part of this thesis, the problem of fusing information from a LIDAR, a color camera and a thermal camera to build RGB-Depth-Thermal (RGBDT) maps is investigated. An algorithm that solves a non-linear optimization problem to compute the relative pose between the cameras and the LIDAR is presented. The relative pose estimate is then used to find the color and thermal texture of each LIDAR point. Next, the various sources of error that can cause the mis-coloring of a LIDAR point after the cross- calibration are identified. Theoretical analyses of these errors reveal that the coloring errors due to noisy LIDAR points, errors in the estimation of the camera matrix, and errors in the estimation of translation between the sensors disappear with distance. But errors in the estimation of the rotation between the sensors causes the coloring error to increase with distance.

On a robot (vehicle) with multiple sensors, sensor fusion algorithms allow us to represent the data in the vehicle frame. But data acquired temporally in the vehicle frame needs to be registered in a global frame to obtain a map of the environment. Mapping techniques involving the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm and the Normal Distributions Transform (NDT) assume that a good initial estimate of the transformation between the 3D scans is available. This restricts the ability to stitch maps that were acquired at different times. Mapping can become flexible if maps that were acquired temporally can be merged later. To this end, the second part of this thesis focuses on developing an automated algorithm that fuses two maps by finding a congruent set of five points forming a pyramid.

Mapping has various application domains beyond Robot Navigation. The third part of this thesis considers a unique application domain where the surface displace- ments caused by an earthquake are to be recovered using pre- and post-earthquake LIDAR data. A technique to recover the 3D surface displacements is developed and the results are presented on real earthquake datasets: El Mayur Cucupa earthquake, Mexico, 2010 and Fukushima earthquake, Japan, 2011.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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The formation and degradation of planetary surfaces: impact features and explosive volcanic landforms on the Moon and Mars

Description

Impact cratering and volcanism are two fundamental processes that alter the surfaces of the terrestrial planets. Though well studied through laboratory experiments and terrestrial analogs, many questions remain regarding how

Impact cratering and volcanism are two fundamental processes that alter the surfaces of the terrestrial planets. Though well studied through laboratory experiments and terrestrial analogs, many questions remain regarding how these processes operate across the Solar System. Little is known about the formation of large impact basins (>300 km in diameter) and the degree to which they modify planetary surfaces. On the Moon, large impact basins dominate the terrain and are relatively well preserved. Because the lunar geologic timescale is largely derived from basin stratigraphic relations, it is crucial that we are able to identify and characterize materials emplaced as a result of the formation of the basins, such as light plains. Using high-resolution images under consistent illumination conditions and topography from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), a new global map of light plains is presented at an unprecedented scale, revealing critical details of lunar stratigraphy and providing insight into the erosive power of large impacts. This work demonstrates that large basins significantly alter the lunar surface out to at least 4 radii from the rim, two times farther than previously thought. Further, the effect of pre-existing topography on the degradation of impact craters is unclear, despite their use in the age dating of surfaces. Crater measurements made over large regions of consistent coverage using LROC images and slopes derived from LROC topography show that pre-existing topography affects crater abundances and absolute model ages for craters up to at least 4 km in diameter.

On Mars, small volcanic edifices can provide valuable insight into the evolution of the crust and interior, but a lack of superposed craters and heavy mantling by dust make them difficult to age date. On Earth, morphometry can be used to determine the ages of cinder cone volcanoes in the absence of dated samples. Comparisons of high-resolution topography from the Context Imager (CTX) and a two-dimensional nonlinear diffusion model show that the forms observed on Mars could have been created through Earth-like processes, and with future work, it may be possible to derive an age estimate for these features in the absence of superposed craters or samples.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

Differential equation models for understanding phenomena beyond experimental capabilities

Description

Mathematical models are important tools for addressing problems that exceed experimental capabilities. In this work, I present ordinary and partial differential equation (ODE, PDE) models for two problems: Vicodin abuse

Mathematical models are important tools for addressing problems that exceed experimental capabilities. In this work, I present ordinary and partial differential equation (ODE, PDE) models for two problems: Vicodin abuse and impact cratering.

The prescription opioid Vicodin is the nation's most widely prescribed pain reliever. The majority of Vicodin abusers are first introduced via prescription, distinguishing it from other drugs in which the most common path to abuse begins with experimentation. I develop and analyze two mathematical models of Vicodin use and abuse, considering only those patients with an initial Vicodin prescription. Through adjoint sensitivity analysis, I show that focusing efforts on prevention rather than treatment has greater success at reducing the total population of abusers. I prove that solutions to each model exist, are unique, and are non-negative. I also derive conditions for which these solutions are asymptotically stable.

Verification and Validation (V&V) are necessary processes to ensure accuracy of computational methods. Simulations are essential for addressing impact cratering problems, because these problems often exceed experimental capabilities. I show that the Free Lagrange (FLAG) hydrocode, developed and maintained by Los Alamos National Laboratory, can be used for impact cratering simulations by verifying FLAG against two analytical models of aluminum-on-aluminum impacts at different impact velocities and validating FLAG against a glass-into-water laboratory impact experiment. My verification results show good agreement with the theoretical maximum pressures, and my mesh resolution study shows that FLAG converges at resolutions low enough to reduce the required computation time from about 28 hours to about 25 minutes.

Asteroid 16 Psyche is the largest M-type (metallic) asteroid in the Main Asteroid Belt. Radar albedo data indicate Psyche's surface is rich in metallic content, but estimates for Psyche's composition vary widely. Psyche has two large impact structures in its Southern hemisphere, with estimated diameters from 50 km to 70 km and estimated depths up to 6.4 km. I use the FLAG hydrocode to model the formation of the largest of these impact structures. My results indicate an oblique angle of impact rather than a vertical impact. These results also support previous claims that Psyche is metallic and porous.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The Geologic History of the Hypanis Deposit, Mars and Ballistic Modeling of Lunar Impact Ejecta

Description

Water has shaped the surface of Mars, recording previous environments and inspiring the search for extinct life beyond Earth. While conditions on the Martian surface today are not conducive to

Water has shaped the surface of Mars, recording previous environments and inspiring the search for extinct life beyond Earth. While conditions on the Martian surface today are not conducive to the presence of liquid water, ancient erosional and depositional features indicate that this was not always so. Quantifying the regional and global history of water on Mars is crucial to understanding how the planet evolved, where to focus future exploration, and implications for water on Earth.

Many sites on Mars contain layered sedimentary deposits, sinuous valleys with delta shaped deposits, and other indications of large lakes. The Hypanis deposit is a unique endmember in this set of locations as it appears to be the largest ancient river delta identified on the planet, and it appears to have no topographic boundary, implying deposition into a sea. I have used a variety of high-resolution remote sensing techniques and geologic mapping techniques to present a new model of past water activity in the region.

I gathered new orbital observations and computed thermal inertia, albedo, elevation, and spectral properties of the Hypanis deposit. I measured the strike and dip of deposit layers to interpret the sedimentary history. My results indicate that Hypanis was formed in a large calm lacustrine setting. My geomorphic mapping of the deposit and catchment indicates buried volatile-rich sediments erupted through the Chryse basin fill, and may be geological young or ongoing. Collectively, my results complement previous studies that propose a global paleoshoreline, and support interpretations that Mars had an ocean early in its history. Future missions to the Martian surface should consider Hypanis as a high-value sampling opportunity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019