Tech

June 18, 2012

Space exploration, higher education will both benefit from new partnership

While many college students have started applying what they are learning at school in summer internships, 10 students and three professors from two Historically Black College and University institutions are now at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The final results of their efforts may one day be orbiting above the Earth or flying off into deep space.

An agency-wide effort, the NASA Science and Technology Institute for Minority Institutions, or NSTI-MI, is a three-year competitive program designed to enhance the science, technology, engineering and math capabilities of HBCU students. The unique nature of Goddard’s arrangement is that it also involves a partnership with two private commercial companies.

NASA Goddard, Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Tuskegee University, Ala., along with Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville, Ore. and Triad Semiconductor of Winston-Salem, N.C., have entered into this innovative collaboration. The goal is to have these university professors knowledgeable in microelectronics and computer science work with their students to build a library of electronic designs that can be rapidly and affordably built and used to design electronics for future spacecraft and instrument control.

“One of the challenges in undergraduate education is to have relevant and real design-and-build projects for students,” said Lucy McFadden, chief for higher education at Goddard. “With efforts such as this, we have a ready structure to motivate students and give them a real learning environment with an exciting outcome.”

Microelectronics design for space missions is demanding. Being able to optimize the size, weight and power of electronics is a mission-critical activity for all projects. At the same time, outer space presents a harsh radiation environment requiring electronics to operate under extreme conditions.

The researchers will utilize a design environment provided by Triad known as ViaDesignerâ„¢. ViaDesigner is a new electronic design automation tool that enables system-level engineers, who have no previous integrated circuit design experience, to create their own application-specific integrated circuits. ViaDesigner is based on the Mentor Graphics SystemVision® design environment. Prior to the students’ arrival at Goddard, Mentor Graphics provided training with their SystemVision tool.

“Using a virtual prototype to try out a design instead of waiting for physical hardware to be built is so natural for the upcoming generation of engineers,” said Darrell Teegarden, Director of System Modeling & Analysis Business Unit, Mentor Graphics. “Our SystemVision environment is perfect for NASA engineers to design and integrate Triad Semiconductor devices into a larger system — including off-the-shelf components, sensors and actuators, and other real-world effects.”

“Triad is excited about NASA’s evaluating VCA technology and ViaDesigner as a potential way to develop mixed-signal integrated circuits,” said Reid Wender, vice-president, marketing and technical sales at Triad Semiconductor. “As evaluation and development proceed, the goal will be to create a design flow that supports mission requirements across a number of NASA flight programs while reducing development time, cost and improving reliability.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

ONR features technology for Marines of future

From virtual training to laser weapons, the Office of Naval Research is showcasing a range of technologies at Modern Day Marine exposition Sept. 23-25 that will prepare Marines as they continue to face an increasingly complex security landscape. ONR program officers will be in booth no. 2305 during the event, held at Marine Corps Base...
 
 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
NASA/SSAI photograph by Edward Winstead

ACCESS II confirms jet biofuel burns cleaner

NASA/ORAU photograph by Richard Moore NASA’s DC-8 research aircraft leads one of the ACCESS II sampler aircraft across the early morning California sky.   Flying high above the California desert, NASA researchers rec...
 

 

Sparks fly as NASA pushes limits of 3-D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector – a highly complex part that...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Alexander

NASA MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft completes visual, radar mission in Hawaii

NASA photograph “Ikhana,” NASA’s MQ-9 remotely piloted research aircraft, carries a maritime radar in a specialized centerline pod during a flight to check out systems prior to the aircraft’s deployment ...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Armstrong’s space shuttle Mate-Demate Device coming down

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida The space shuttle Mate-Demate Device that stood as an iconic symbol of NASA’s now-concluded Space Shuttle Program at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center for 38 years is being dismantled af...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>