Recognizing that TSGC's limited resources preclude
the funding of continued research, TSGC has opted to utilize its
research budget by providing seed grants. Since 1994 TSGC has sponsored
over 200 such research efforts. In some instances TSGC was extremely
successful in assisting a new program to secure other outside funding.
These projects have had a total budget of $5.9 M. Greater than 94%
of these funds were provided by outside sources with less than 6%
provided by TSGC.
|Provide resources to initiate research
|6.2, 6.4, 6.7
|Coordinate with other NASA programs.
|6.2, 6.3, 6.4
|Enhance opps. for faculty partnerships
with NASA personnel.
|6.1, 6.5, 6.7
|Establish mechanisms for collaboration
among industries universities, and NASA
|6.1, 6.3, 6.4
|Implement research linking academic
and industrial affiliates
||6.4, 6.6, 6.7
|Identify and implement topical research
||6.1, 6.2, 6.3
TexaSat was a program developed at the University
of Houston under the auspices of TSGC to give Texas universities
and industries an opportunity for access to space for the development
of space science and technology. This unique payload opportunity
resulted from the allocation of excess real estate on the Wake Shield
Facility (WSF) directly to TSGC payloads for flight on two separate
WSF missions. The goals of the program were to:
- Stimulate space science and technology at Texas universities
- Promote commercial utilization of space by Texas companies
- Elevate the perception of Texas a as place from which to do business
- Provide an opportunity for smaller/minority Texas universities
to develop space technology capacity by teaming with space flight
experienced universities and industry
TexaSat-01 was initiated on the WSF-02 flight on
September 7, 1995 and the TexaSat-02 was accommodated on the WSF-03
flight of November 19, 1996.
Seven University/Industry payloads were flown in
the TexaSat series of missions and resulted in science and technology
development in the space arena, training and education of students,
and encouragement of industry to utilize the low earth orbit space
The TexaSat program included 14 research professionals,
18 students, 3 technical support staff and over $850,000 of direct
and in-kind support in the design, development, and operations of
the flight experiments. In addition, the access to space afforded
by the Wake Shield Facility program represents an added $2.3 M contribution
(under a $10,000/lb assumption for the Space Shuttle).
The Wake Shield Facility at the end of the Space
- Global Positioning System - University of Texas at Austin
Center for Space Research, University Corporation for Atmospheric
Research, JPL and AOA
- DMS, Dual Mass Spectrometer - University
of Texas-Dallas, Lamar University, and University of Houston Space
- The Cosmic Dust and Orbital Debris Experiment Monitor-
Baylor University Space Science Laboratory
- The Iowa Joint Experiment on Materials Solidification- -Iowa
State, the University of Iowa, and the Iowa Space Grant Consortium
- IST Solar Cell Exposure Experiment - International Stellar
Technologies, Inc. and the University of Houston Space Vacuum
- Atomic Oxygen Processing - Ionwerks, Inc. and the University
of Houston Spaced Vacuum Epitaxy Center
- Atomic Oxygen Concentrator - Ionwerks, Inc. and the
University of Houston Spaced Vacuum Epitaxy Center
The relationship of muscle atrophy and bone demineralization
is important to NASA Life Sciences oriented toward long duration
space flight. Muscle atrophy and bone strength loss is observed to
continue without plateau or end in a micro-gravity environment. Bone
loss closely follows muscle atrophy; the tension from muscle acting
on bone is important in the maintenance of bone integrity.
At the University of Texas Medical Branch, heart left ventricular and skeletal
muscle volume measurement techniques were studied. Three-dimensional reconstructions
were realized. Collection of data and resulting quantitative results were
animated, and an interactive virtual reality display was demonstrated. A
web site communicates the results to academia, industry, and government.
Several NASA proposals were submitted and peer
reviews requested more clinical validation of the advanced technology.
Present work is oriented toward the ground based clinical applications
important to human medical care on earth. The technologies will be
waiting "spin on" as opposed to the "spin off". There is no assurance
that earth based motivations will precede a micro-gravity requirement
for quantitative muscle atrophy measurement.
Ultrasound generated muscle volume measurement
generated at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston.
At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas,
changes in bone strength were measured quantitatively for both cortical
bone. These are structurally and biologically distinct tissues and a new
ultrasound critical-angle reflectometry (UCR) technique was developed to
study them separately. Further information on the physics and application
of the method can be gleaned from the programÍs extensive world wide web
Clinical efficacy has been demonstrated with a
large, non-portable mechanical device. In a ground based study supported
by NASA, UCR was used to measure the response of the two bone types
to space flight. The study demonstrates profound differences in the
absence of gravity on bone strength in the lower, middle and upper
skeleton. This indicates that the technique would be useful in testing
the effectiveness of countermeasures (pharmacological and physical)
to avoid bone quality losses in space flight.
The Texas Regional Change Program (TRCP) is a multi-disciplinary,
multi-institutional endeavor focused on establishing a remote sensing
research cooperative program throughout the state of Texas consisting
of University, NASA-JSC, State of Texas, and Industrial partners
which is a cost effective means for data acquisition and a competitive
group for acquiring new research dollars. The TRCP was established
in 1996 to facilitate the acquisition of high-resolution optical
and synthetic aperture radar imagery along the Texas coast. The TRCP
program collects and conducts the accompanying research required
to analyze, verify, interpret, and understand the implications of
remotely sensed data for studying environmental change in Texas.
The principle goal of the TRCP is to collect and acquire remotely
sensed imagery over portions of the state which can be studied and
analyzed as part of a collaborative program. Collaborative work includes
algorithm development, ground verification, establishment of thematic
datasets, and data processing techniques.
The focus of the remote sensing research is divided
into 3 geographic areas: coastal regions, Rio Grande river/borderlands,
and agriculture areas. Due to the large amount of interest in the
coastal area from many academic partners, state agencies, and NASA,
the first year was focused on the Texas coast. In June 1996, TRCP
provided funding to acquire high resolution optical and radar imagery
over portions of the Texas coast. These areas include optical imagery
(CAMS) over Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, as well as both
optical (CAMS) and synthetic aperture radar imagery (AIRSAR) over
the Corpus Christi/Aransas NWR area. In addition, data will be collected
at several locations along the Texas coast from an airborne hyperspectral
sensor which is capable of collecting 21 bands of imagery sensitive
to vegetative cover.
Research in the first year of the TRCP was done
primarily by the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and
Center for Space Research and was focused on image processing and
classification of imagery in the Galveston and Corpus Christi areas.
These efforts have resulted in three publications, two to the International
Geosciences and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS '97) and one to
the 1998 NASA JPL AIRSAR Workshop. The second year of research will
focus on the continued classification of the optical and SAR datasets,
as well as establishing the digital database.
During the second year, the TRCP is working with
students from Galveston Ball High school located in Galveston, TX.
Students from Ball High School will perform a GPS ground verification
campaign using the high-resolution optical imagery acquired over
Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. The vegetation mapping performed
by Ball High students will coincide with other related field trips.
The vegetation information that they record will be stored in an
on-line database maintained by UT-CSR and will be made available
for public use. Curriculum is currently being developed for the high
school classroom which will help the teacher introduce digital imagery
to the students.
This program studied the properties of the lunar
regolith for the production of in-situ lunar construction materials.
This program was originally funded by TSGC and was continued into
1998 with funding from NASA/JSC. Undergraduate students, graduate
students, and university professors at Prairie View A&M University,
a federally designated Historically Black College or University,
studied properties of the lunar regolith as a source of raw materials
for construction projects on the moon. This research project lead
to more than ten senior projects, graduate research studies, technical
papers, and conference presentations.
To more directly address the national priorities
in research, in 1998 TSGC established the Cooperative Space Research
Program (SRP). The purpose of this program is to stimulate institutional
research that supports Texas aerospace industries, foster participation
of member industry and academic organizations in TSGC research efforts,
encourage collaborative research among TSGC members, and pursue long
range research goals. Preference is given to proposals supporting
collaborative research that is broadly related to the Human Exploration
and Development of Space NASA Strategic Enterprise projects on an
annual basis with a maximum two-year renewal eligibility. A total
of $150,000 per year has been allocated to this program with the
maximum request set at $50,000. Renewal requests are considered for
a maximum 50% of the original SRP grant funding the second year and
25% the third year. Each proposal must include a commitment letter
from an industry partner to commit matching cash funds of at least
a one-to-one dollar ratio to the project. In-kind matching is also
encouraged but will not count toward the dollar-to-dollar cash matching
The objective of this project is to derive and
demonstrate designs for flexible radiators fin materials to be used
in space. The project addresses both flexible miniature heat pipe
concepts for integration into the fins, and the thermal interface
between the mini-heat pipes and the interfacing loop heat pipe or
fluid flow tubes. New flexible materials, such as graphite fabrics,
have sufficiently high thermal conductivity to be considered as space
radiator fins for advanced applications. One important example is
the proposed inflatable lunar or Mars human transit habitat module.
The potential for use of these materials can be increased by incorporation
of miniature heat pipes directly into the flexible materials to further
enhance fin efficiency. TSGC and Lockheed Martin fund this project.
Get-Away-Special Canister (GASCan) is a NASA program
that provides opportunity to fly small payloads in the Space Shuttle
cargo bay. Our GASCan program was initiated by a grant from TSGC
to the University of Texas at Dallas and to Lamar University to fly
a set of student experiments in a GASCan.
The program has evolved into the ASTOR Satellite
project which involves an ejectable satellite that will be released
from a GASCan in the Shuttle bay. When the satellite is a safe distance
from the Shuttle, it will separate into two parts connected by a
tether of some 2.5 km in length. The goals of the ASTOR program are
to study the tether deployment using a tensiometer, video cameras
and a GPS receiver on each section, and to provide a platform for
student experiments to be flown on-orbit. Several high schools have
joined the project and will work with sensors for the mission. Students
in a rocketry and payloads class at Lamar University will mentor
them. Instruments to be flown include accelerometers, magnetometers,
solar UV sensors, thermisters, and a sun sensor. Data will be downlinked
over ham radio bands and an active web site will be maintained. Video
data of the earth and its cloud cover will be provided periodically.
Launch is expected in approximately two years.