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Testing of COTS Systems in Space

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0559
Agency Tracking Number: 193299
Amount: $124,951.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6
Solicitation Number: STTR_19_P1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-18
Small Business Information
3100 Fresh Way Southwest
Huntsville, AL 35805-6720
United States
DUNS: 124289294
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Roberto DiSalvo
 (256) 713-1220
Business Contact
 Alton Reich
Phone: (256) 713-1220
Research Institution
 Alabama A&M University
Normal, Alabama 35762
Normal, AL 35762-1234
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

For long duration space missions beyond LEO, the complexity of the missions and the latency of communications with Earth will require HPC systems that would be prohibitively expensive if qualified under traditional guidelines for high reliability space systems. There is a wealth COTS hardware that could potentially be used for HPC systems for non-critical tasks within heavily shielded spacecraft cabins. To employ COTS systems for such missions, we propose to use a simulation/experimental method to screen, test, and validate that the systems of interest are suitable for Cis-Lunar and Cis-Mars missions. The simulation component will make use of Monte Carlo N-Particle transport codes to study the secondary radiation environment within the spacecraft, the damage potential to COTS electronics, and the benefits of polyethylene-like shielding materials to protect COTS electronics. The experimental component will bombard functioning HPC COTS electronic samples with/without shielding using the AAMU Pelletron accelerator facilities. At the completion of Phase I we expect this approach will elucidate precautionary techniques to enhance reliability and performance, and to develop radiation shielding strategies and materials to protect the COTS electronics. The Phase II program will refine and standardize the simulation techniques, will test a wider array of HPC electronics, both in quantity and category, and most importantly explore the techniques for conducting accelerated radiation bombardment of the HPC electronics. This is a necessary step in creating a responsive and timely qualification process. In Phase II we will also build a database to contain the data on the critical characteristics of the test articles, the test conditions, the test results, the failure modes, and the associated results of the simulated predictions. This will enable an ever-greater number of future missions to more efficiently identify the COTS HPC electronics that can meet the mission requirements.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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