Ma, Kristin R, Juran, Cassandra M, and Almeida, Eduardo
American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) 2019; Nov 20, 2019 - Nov 23, 2019; Denver, CO; United States
The NASA Bioculture System is an advanced cell culture closed-loop system containing highly automated flowpaths designed to conduct long term biology experiments on ISS with earth remote controllable medium flow, temperature, gas composition, medium exchange, cell sampling and fixation. This technology was already demonstrated with successful cardiomyocyte and osteocyte cultures experiments onboard the ISS and is now supporting NASA PI science. The Bioculture System, however, can only support 10 cassettes with disposable flowpaths, each containing a single hollow fiber bioreactor with a culture capacity of about 2ml. This constraint not only severely limits the number of investigators that can conduct experiments in space, but also subjects the experiments to limitations in the number of replicates and conditions that can be studied. To address these limitations, we sought a novel design solution to maximize the number of separate bioreactor cultures and volume that can be conducted simultaneously. To this end we designed, prototyped, and are now testing a six-Vitvo 3D Matrix 2ml bioreactor insert that replaces the conventional Bioculture System hollow fiber bioreactor. This design will allow the Bioculture System to support up to 60 different bioreactors and samples at once. Specifically, the novel gas-tight containment housing insert contains six COTS Rigenerand VITVO bioreactors stacked on each side of a heat sink powered by the existing heating element and pair of temperature sensors. Medium will be distributed into each bioreactor's cell-free chamber via its built-in Luer connector, then across the 3D matrix to the cell chamber, dissipating laminar flow and limiting fluid shear stresses that might mechanostimulate cell cultures. Gas (5% CO2 in air) will be supplied directly to the bioreactor gas-tight housing for exchange via the bioreactor flat-surface gas-permeable membranes, eliminating the need for the existing Bioculture System cassette oxygenator. If successfully implemented on ISS, this new multi-bioreactor insert for the Bioculture System has the potential to make real-time cell science experimentation in space more efficient and accessible to more investigators.
Lifson, Miles T, Kopardekar, Parimal H, Nag, Sreeja, Marker, Nimesh A, and Murakami, David D
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Conference; Oct 21, 2019 - Oct 25, 2019; Washington, DC; United States
Space Transportation and Safety
Current state of the art in Space Traffic Management (STM) relies on a handful of providers for surveillance and collision prediction, and manual coordination between operators. Neither is scalable to support the expected 10x increase in spacecraft population in less than 10 years, nor does it support automated manuever planning. We present a software prototype of an STM architecture based on open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), drawing on previous work by NASA to develop an architecture for low-altitude Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management. The STM architecture is designed to provide structure to the interactions between spacecraft operators, various regulatory bodies, and service suppliers, while maintaining flexibility of these interactions and the ability for new market participants to enter easily. Autonomy is an indispensable part of the proposed architecture in enabling efficient data sharing, coordination between STM participants and safe flight operations. Examples of autonomy within STM include syncing multiple non-authoritative catalogs of resident space objects, or determining which spacecraft maneuvers when preventing impending conjunctions between multiple spacecraft. The STM prototype is based on modern micro-service architecture adhering to OpenAPI standards and deployed in industry standard Docker containers, facilitating easy communication between different participants or services. The system architecture is designed to facilitate adding and replacing services with minimal disruption. We have implemented some example participant services (e.g. a space situational awareness provider/SSA, a conjunction assessment supplier/CAS, an automated maneuver advisor/AMA) within the prototype. Different services, with creative algorithms folded into then, can fulfil similar functional roles within the STM architecture by flexibly connecting to it using pre-defined APIs and data models, thereby lowering the barrier to entry of new players in the STM marketplace. We demonstrate the STM prototype on a multiple conjunction scenario with multiple maneuverable spacecraft, where an example CAS and AMA can recommend optimal maneuvers to the spacecraft operators, based on a predefined reward function. Such tools can intelligently search the space of potential collision avoidance maneuvers with varying parameters like lead time and propellant usage, optimize a customized reward function, and be implemented as a scheduling service within the STM architecture. The case study shows an example of autonomous maneuver planning is possible using the API-based framework. As satellite populations and predicted conjunctions increase, an STM architecture can facilitate seamless information exchange related to collision prediction and mitigation among various service applications on different platforms and servers. The availability of such an STM network also opens up new research topics on satellite maneuver planning, scheduling and negotiation across disjoint entities.
Imagine standing on the surface of an alien planet or satellite. High in the sky, a soft breeze is interrupted by the whistling sound of a tiny probe sent from Earth to study the atmosphere, or to land on some high-value target on the surface. Now imagine that this probe is followed by a dozen others, all entering in distributed locations throughout the geographic landscape. These probes are systematically and methodically being released from an orbiting spacecraft, perhaps having arrived months in advance. Or maybe the probes themselves are released systematically months in advance by and approaching mother-ship. Although probes have been sent to celestial neighbors before, what is unique is that these new vehicles had their genesis on the highly popular Cubesat specification My dream is to make spaceflight so mundane, we can actually routinely leave the bounds of our planet to explore en masse our solar system. For that, we must create systems that allow us to bring space exploration within the realm of our everyday lives. No longer exquisite systems but just good enough, where failure is an option and a new opportunity.