SET-teamed proposals selected for NASA funding

SET-teamed proposals selected for NASA funding

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NASA announced awards to seven proposal teams in June and July 2021 where SET plays a major role.

NASA’s 2020 Living With a Star program announced selected proposal teams in June 2020. These include development of a prediction capability for enhanced radiation levels at aviation altitudes due to energetic electron precipitation. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate announced the selection of flight qualification for radiation sensors on the International Space Station (ISS) in June 2020. NASA’s 2021 Space Weather Science Applications Operations 2 Research (SWO2R) program announced award selections in July. These focused on 1) forecast of Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) index and 2) orbital drag effects for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites at altitudes higher than 500 km during geomagnetic storms. The US Space Force announced a STTR Phase II award in July to improve its HASDM densities for a SET-team. Finally, NASA announced selections of the Nitric Oxide Infrared Emissions Cubesat (NICECUBE) as part of the Heliophysics Flight Opportunities Studies and its 2021 NASA SBIR Phase II awards, including one to develop a radiation monitoring satellite for LEO using SET’s ARMAS system.

The prediction capability of enhanced radiation levels at aviation altitudes effort is led by Dr. Jacob Bortnik of the University of California, LA. The radiation sensor qualification is led by Dr. Dennis Wingo of SkyCorp. The Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) index development is led by Dr. Enrico Camporeale of University of Colorado, Boulder. The orbital drag effects for LEO satellites activity is led by Dr. Eftyhia Zesta of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Siamak Hesar of Kayhan Space leads the USSF HASDM density Phase II STTR. The NICECUBE satellite project is lead by Dr. Marty Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center and Dr. Hank Voss of NearSpaceLaunch is the PI for the NASA SBIR Phase II award for LEO radiation measuring satellites.

With these seven awards, the broader academic, industry, and agency communities, along with SET, will be able to improve air safety at commercial altitudes by better understanding the radiation environment caused by leaked particles from the Van Allen radiation belts as they enter the top of the atmosphere, including from satellite observations. In addition, the Dst index forecast will greatly improve thermosphere density specification during geomagnetic storm periods for the US Space Force’s HASDM system, to which SET provides operational data. The improved understanding of orbital drag effects for LEO satellites, the improved operational capacity of HASDM, and the nitric oxide measurements from NICECUBE will greatly impact the ability to specify more accurately thermosphere densities and conduct space traffic management more safely in the coming decade.

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