TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MITIGATION PRINCIPAL CENTER
Welcome to the Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) Principal Center
International Meetings with ESA and the European Materials and Processes Technology Board
Representatives from NASA's Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) Office along with HQ Senior Managers from the Environmental Management Division, met with our European Space Agency (ESA) counterparts last week to discuss resource commitments that are required to implement the joint project plan as defined in the NASA-ESA "Space Transportation" Agreement (ESA-0358-0). The project plan is considered the next phase of testing based on the preliminary test results conducted in unison at ESA and KSC's Corrosion Technology Laboratory. One of the agency's biggest issues is combating corrosion of the launch facilities and ground support equipment which is why they will continue to have a vested interest in this joint follow-on effort to find replacement materials that meet performance specifications while reducing risk and cost to NASA's mission. ESA also invited NASA to participate in the the European Materials and Processes Technology Board (MPTB) at the ESTEC Facility. The main objective of the board is to enable a dialogue between industry, national space agencies, and ESA programs on long-term obsolescence risks.
Corrosion Awareness Day: April 24th is Corrosion Awareness Day. Corrosion of metals used in aircraft, spacecraft and launch structures often presents cost and safety risks for NASA and Department of Defense (DoD) missions as well as to the aerospace industry overall. Costs associated with fighting corrosion in the U.S. are estimated at $276 billion/year. TEERM has managed a number of corrosion related projects, and is working closely with the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Corrosion Technology Laboratory, the DoD, the European Space Agency and commercial aerospace companies. TEERM is primarily focused on identifying coatings, and materials for corrosion control that are safer and more environmentally-friendly than currently used coatings, and materials such as coatings containing zinc, hexavalent chromium, and others. Check the Projects page for more information on these and other TEERM projects. TEERM also hosted a meeting of the U.S. Tank, Automotive, and Armaments Command (TACOM) on the 19th through the 21st of April at KSC, where NASA and the US Army discussed corrosion control and alternative coatings as well as other technology and logistics issues and solutions.
Environment and Alternative Energy Workshop in Spain
In concert with our European partners, NASA held the 13th Annual International Workshop on Environment and Alternative Energy, November 10-13 at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain. The workshop focused on increasing space mission ground infrastructure resiliency through sustainability. Nine countries were represented with more than 80 participants including ESA representatives as well as NASA personnel from the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex (MDSCC), Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN), Office of Strategic Infrastructure (OSI), KSC's Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) Office and ARC's Sustainability Base. A highlight of the workshop was the involvement of 12 students--five from the U.S. and seven from Europe--who participated with presentations and a poster session. Following the workshop the workshop organizers discussed both the success of the workshop and ways to make it even more effective.
NASA TEERM Travels to Svalbard Station to Support International Project Development Regarding Resiliency
NASA TEERM met with Nordic partners from NASA and Kongsberg Satellite Services the first week of June 2015. The purpose of these face-to-face meetings was to begin identifying the stakeholders and potential technologies that would be included in the proposed pilot project. The project would be a collaborative effort designed to address the agency's sustainability goals by increasing the resiliency while continuing to meet mission critical science data requirements at the SvalSat ground station in Svalbard, Norway, located north of the Arctic Circle. Understanding the challenges and lessons learned of operating in this extreme and remote environment is imperative to ensure continuous, reduced-risk operations and allow other NASA ground stations that support Near Earth Network (NEN), to potentially benefit from this technology demonstration effort.
NASA Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) Meetings with Stakeholders
During the week of April 27th, representatives from NASA's TEERM Program Office traveled to NASA Headquarters, NASA GSFC, the Army Research Lab-Aberdeen, and NAVAIR-Pax River to meet with project stakeholders and interested parties to discuss current and developing NASA TEERM projects. Meeting topics focused on current and developing collaborative efforts in areas such as evaluating hexavalent chromium-free coatings, citric acid passivation, environmentally preferred coatings for launch structures, and sustainability projects that support the space asset protection program.
Project Aims to Improve Photovoltaic Panel Efficiency through Soiling Mitigation
NASA TEERM is working with the KSC Sustainability Program, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), and Florida Power & Light (FPL) to evaluate coatings developed to reduce soiling impacts on photovoltaic (PV) panel efficiency. Soiling is a build-up of dust, bugs, bird droppings, water spots, and other debris. Current soiling mitigation techniques include regular cleaning or reliance on rain events. Industry has begun developing protective coatings to maintain PV panel efficiency while reducing or eliminating current cleaning needs. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of several commercial off-the-shelf coatings, an economic feasibility analysis will be included to determine if the cost of the coating is offset by its soiling mitigation performance and durability. The focus of this project will be on coatings that are suitable for application on panels already installed in the field, as opposed to being applied during the manufacturing process. This project was selected and awarded by the KSC Sustainability Steering Committee in February 2015, using recycling funds. The first phase will be a coordinated effort amongst the aforementioned stakeholders that includes selecting, procuring and installing the necessary equipment to collect and analyze the data with in interim test report due by February 2016.
NASA TEERM Testing Shows That Citric Acid is Comparable to Nitric Acid
NASA TEERM is working with NASA Centers (KSC, Stennis Space Center, Wallops Flight Facility, White Sands Test Facility), the NASA Corrosion Technology Laboratory (CTL), the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDOP), and Department of Defense (DOD) to evaluate citric acid as a safer alternative to nitric acid for passivation of stainless steel alloys. Nitric acid has numerous environmental and safety issues associated with its use. Citric acid is a bio-based alternative that alleviates those concerns and offers additional operational benefits, such as reduced costs. Stage 1 Testing is complete and thus far, citric acid is showing comparable performance to nitric acid with no issues associated with adhesion or corrosion resistance. Additional testing is underway looking at other alloys and expanded performance requirements.
Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) Support Contract Awarded to ITB, Inc.
The Environmentally Driven Risk Reduction (EDRR) contract that includes supporting the TEERM Program and is managed by NASA's Environmental Management Division was recompeted and awarded to the incumbent, ITB, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. ITB will continue to develop and execute collaborative activities/projects with industry partners and other agencies such as DoD and ESA, to help improve NASA's ability to adopt new environmental or energy-related technologies to reduce unacceptable mission risks in a more proactive and cost effective manner, and to better position itself to respond to new global regulatory and business paradigms.