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.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




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>