NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA

Sierra Lobo (SLI) is one of three companies awarded the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) subcontract at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. JPL is managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for NASA. SLI will perform tasks and provide services in support of non-flight and flight areas of engineering, technology development, hardware development, test development, and operations support. Tasks will span both formulation and flight development activities and will include efforts relating to requirements definition, concept definition, tradeoff studies, hardware design, modeling, simulation, analysis, review support, mechanical and electrical fabrication, inspection, assembly and integration, and technical-documentation support. The subcontract period of performance is five years.

Our partner subcontractor, Orbital ATK, brings diverse experience providing engineering, technology development and hardware development through engineering services to JPL and NASA. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK offers an array of highly specialized engineering services, scientific research, and aerospace expertise. Orbital ATK has an 18-year history of providing engineering services to the Engineering and Science Directorate at JPL.

Our other partner subcontractor, Stellar Solutions, Inc., brings a capable solution of available qualified top-secret, cleared personnel in the area of systems engineering and mission support as a leader in government and commercial aerospace programs. Their experienced engineers and scientists provide support through all phases of advanced engineering projects, from planning, development, instrument and payload integration, to mission launch and operation.

Systems Engineering

The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Conceptual design, feasibility studies, design reviews, margin/budget management, specification development/review, interface definition/control, & technology validation

Tools

  • Application of a comprehensive Systems suite of requirements, modeling, design, simulation, CONOPS, & analysis tools
  • DOORS, NX Teamcenter Systems Engineering, custom Excel forms
  • Model Based Systems Engineering
  • Siemens NX CAD & Analysis
  • SolidWorks, Autodesk MDT & AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max
  • STK, Adams, FEMAP
  • TMG, Thermal Desktop, SINDA

Projects

Satellite Servicing

  • 1990 – 2009 Hubble Telescope Servicing Missions
  • 2010 – 2015 Robotic Servicing Tech. Development

Planetary Drilling Technology Hardware Development

  • 1999 (TRL-2) 1-meter Segmented Coring Auger Drill (SCAD)
  • 2001 (TRL-3) SCAD completes 2m & rock hardness lab tests
  • 2002 (TRL-4/5) Subsurface Planetary Exploration Core Extracting System (SPECES) drill developed & NASA field-proven to 10m using less than 100W
  • 2004 – 2008 NASA Contract Award to develop Modular Planetary Drill System (MPDS), capable of 0.5 to 20 meters (TRL-5)

Planetary Drilling Technology Development Studies

  • 2009 – 2012 Max-C 2018/ Mars 2020 Mission 5cm SAC Technology Development Studies

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Flight ESP Instrument

  • Requirements development & management
  • Systems flight instrument requirements
  • CONOPS development support
  • Schedule, risk, cost control, & trades

Mechanical Hardware

The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Mechanical structure development
  • Deployment mechanism development
  • Mechanical hardware development
  • Ground Support Equipment (GSE) design
  • Mechanical test execution & support

Tools

  • Siemens NX
  • SolidWorks
  • AutoCAD (Inventor)
  • Creo (Pro/E)
  • Siemens Teamcenter Engineering
  • Product Data Management
  • Application Administration
  • CAESAR

Projects

Microwave Radiometers

  • Lead multi-disciplinary team in developing mechanical housing for breadboard, engineering and flight models for the Juno MWR Receiver, COWVR Receiver, NISAR transmit/receive module, & Jason-3 microwave radiometer

Mars Science Laboratory

  • Designed all special tooling used to fabricate the Rover and Cruise-stage heat rejection system

Moon Mineralogy Mapper and MATMOS

  • Lead designer in charge of the instrument passive cooled
  • Designed parabolic reflectors to direct energy to space

Planck Sorption Cooler

  • Supported the design, fabrication, & integration efforts for ten years
  • Efforts successfully culminated in providing spacecraft pre-cooling for the High Frequency Instrument & the primary cooling for the Low Frequency Instrument

Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver

  • Designed thermal isolation mount for the Bolometer detector support

Optical Systems

Optical System Design/Opto-Mechanical Design: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Optical Design & Optical Analysis
  • Optical ray trace & prescription development
  • Optical tolerance analysis/manufacturability
  • Optical bench structure design
  • Filter-wheel & focus mechanism design
  • Integrated opto-mechanical analysis
  • Opto-mechanical mechanism design, fabrication, assembly & test
  • Laser comm. terminal design & analysis
  • Hyperspectral imager design & analysis
  • Raman instrument design & analysis

Tools

  • Siemens NX
  • SolidWorks
  • AutoCAD
  • ZEMAX
  • FRED

Projects

Moon Mineralogy Mapper

  • Managed all aspects of the procurement and fabrication of the proto-flight/GSE mechanical & optical components
  • Designed the opto-mechanical system from a “clean-sheet” & delivered a flight instrument on-time in less than two years
  • Optical performance & opto-mechanical tolerance analysis of the hyperspectral instrument
  • Designed a fiber-optic based in-line metrology tool for optimizing focal-plane alignment during thermal-vacuum tests
  • Supported JPL I&T efforts using JPL processes

Space Interferometry Mission

  • Successful optical design & opto-mechanical tolerancing of a multi-laser polarization-preserving fiber-coupled metrology system for SIM

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter-Optical Navigation Camera

  • Opto-mechanical design effort took the camera from initial concept through final flight built. Camera exceeded all operational performance requirements

Electronics Design

Electronics Design and Performance Analysis: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Design
    • Circuit Simulation & Analysis
      (AC/DC/Transient)
    • Thermal, Structural & Vibration Analysis
    • Worst-Case Analysis & Magnetic Sim.
  • Schematic Capture/PCB Layout
  • High Voltage/High Current
  • Analog
    • Precision Data Acquisition
    • High Channel Count
    • Instrumentation Front Ends
    • Power & power management
  •  Digital
    • FPGA/Microcontroller/CPLD
    • High speed/low power
    • IP & software

Projects

Mars Science Laboratory Descent Power and Analog Module (DPAM) Simulator

  • Thermal protection system Sensor Support Electronics (SSE) for NASA ARC.  An integrated, turnkey system supporting 16 heatshield PRT/recession sensors, 12 Type K and Type R thermocouples and 16 analog inputs.  Compatible with operation in high-EMI environment

Cryogenic Orbital Testbed Avionics

  • Design, analysis, IP development, fabrication, assembly and testing of a conduction cooled, radiation-tolerant, FPGA-based cryogenic fluid sensing system for a long-duration LEO experiment sponsored by NASA KSC

NASA GRC Zero-Gravity Facility Experiment Power Distribution and Igniter Systems

  • A custom, vacuum-compatible, small-footprint precision igniter system designed to maximize combustion experiment repeatability in a simulated zero-gravity environment and exposed to high deceleration loads.  Accompanied by a custom 14-output battery-powered distribution system for drop tower carrier and experiment subsystem payloads for use in the same environment

Electronic Packaging

Electronics Packaging and Cable/Harness Engineering: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • RF, high voltage, & hybrid microelectronics packaging
  • PWB design & PCB fabrication
  • Electronic chassis design
  • Electronic assembly design
  • Thermal and structural analysis of electronic packages
  • Harness design
  • Cable/harness fabrication & test support

Tools

  • Siemens NX
  • SolidWorks
  • AutoCAD (Inventor)
  • Altium Designer
  • Siemens Teamcenter Engineering
  • Creo (Pro/E)

Projects

CheMin

  • Mechanical design of all integrated Instrument electrical board housings
  • Layout of Instrument boards
  • Thermal and Structural analysis of entire Instrument

SWOT

  • Mechanical design of the Low and High Frequency assemblies including RF hybrid circuit packaging

Moon Mineralogy Mapper

  • Flight electronics packaging for the electronic control unit

Mars Science Laboratory

  • Managed more than 20 engineers and designers responsible for the Mars Rover electronics flight packaging and PCB design
    RF flight packaging design for the decent stage Transmit and Receive Module (TRM) and Power Distribution Unit (PDU)
    Designed Rover cable support/thermal isolation bracket. Directed the Decent Stage installation of propulsion line and heaters. Oversaw cabling, connector, heat insulation on all Rover mobility, antenna, and door actuators

Structural and Thermal

Structural Analysis and Thermal Engineering: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Finite element modeling
  • Stress, load, & dynamics analysis
  • Normal modes
  • Random and sine vibration, fatigue
  • Opto-mechanical analysis
  • Structural test development & planning
  • Thermal hardware design & development
  • Spacecraft & payload systems thermal analysis

Tools

  • Siemens NX
  • FEMAP
  • NX NASTRAN
  • MSC NASTRAN
  • NX/TMG
  • SINDA
  • COMSOL
  • PTC Mathcad
  • NASGRO
  • CAESAR
  • Creo (Simulate)
  • Thermal Desktop (RadCAD & FloCAD)

Projects

Juno

  • Performed static, thermal, & acoustic structural assessment of the Juno A1 and A2 composite panels

CheMin

  • Stress analysis & evaluation of CCD and X-Ray source deflection for various thermal loads & operating conditions
  • Lead Thermal Design Engineer for the instrument, performed unit-level thermal analyses & trade studies to finalize the thermal design of the flight hardware currently operating

Mars Science Laboratory

  • Complete stress analysis of MSL Rotation Cradle & Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF)
  • Thermal analysis of the MSL Cruise Phase configuration

Moon Mineralogy Mapper

  • Structural analysis of the instrument mirrors under static & thermal loads. Analysis iteration of base plate & flexible mounting brackets to optimize design & meet stress and frequency requirements
  • Thermal analysis & performance characterization of the optical bench & sized radiators

Propulsion Engineering

Propulsion Engineering: The SLI Team brings engineering experience gained by supporting customers on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • System Design
  • Design & Simulation: 0-D level up through a multidisciplinary 3-D level
  • Technology Trade Studies: hypergolic storable propellants including ignition systems, energy release, compatibilities, supply, & sources
  • Component Sizing & Procurement
  • Pump, valve, piping, & other component sizing
  • Integration & Test Support
  • Support of space propulsion system designs and trade studies; liquid engine systems; cryogenic and non-cryogenic propellant systems; electric propulsion; rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion systems; and advanced propulsion systems

Projects

  • Developed a parametric Sinaps model of the AFRL (Edwards) Test Stand LOX & RP process systems
  • Provide research & engineering services to support the AFRL Propulsion Directorate in the development of advanced rocket propulsion technology and the transition into space and missile propulsion systems and their associated vehicle and mission systems
  • Supported the Hydrocarbon Boost (HCB) Technology Demonstrator program to develop critical technologies that reduce the risk in developing a long-life liquid oxygen/kerosene oxygen-rich staged combustion booster engine
  • Supported the government/industry Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT) initiative, focusing on long-term technical challenges & three critical components: Ox-Rich PreBurner, TurboPump Assembly, & the Thrust Chamber Assembly
  • Research and Technologies for Aerospace Propulsion Systems 2 (RTAPS2) prime contract at NASA's Glenn Research Center (GRC) in the area of Space Propulsion

RF Engineering

Radio-frequency (RF) Engineering: The SLI Team brings engineering experience gained by supporting customers on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Design, architect, analyze, implement & test RF communications subsystems for telemetry & command or high data rate applications
  • Design, build, & test antennas from S to Ka band
  • Subcontractor oversight for key component procurements

Tools

  • MathWorks MATLAB & Simulink
  • ANSYS HFSS, AGI STK
  • TICRA GRASP & POS
  • Remcom XGtd
  • Mician Microwave Wizard
  • LLNL NEC/GNEC
  • AWR (NI) Microwave Office
  • In-house tools for antenna optimization

 

Projects

  • Designed, analyzed, implemented, & tested the RF Communications subsystem for use with TDRSS & NEN/USN (e.g., OCO-2, NuSTAR, Cygnus) & DSN (e.g., DAWN, TESS). Subcontractor oversight including requirements definition & test evaluation for major active components such as transponders
  • Designed, analyzed, fabricated & tested in-house S-band monofilar & quadrifilar antennas (e.g., OCO-2, TESS, ICESat-2) & X-band high gain patch array (e.g., OCO-2)
  • Designed, analyzed & tested Ka-band axially displaced elliptical high gain antenna (e.g., TESS). Implemented rapid prototyping using additive manufacturing in both metal & plated thermoplastic for engineering model demonstration RF tests of feed horn & polarizer
  • Modeled spacecraft-level antenna pattern complete with spacecraft-induced multipath effects from two passively combined hemispherical antennas (e.g., Cygnus)
  • Developed link budget tools to enable complete mission dynamic link analysis for proximity communications (e.g., Cygnus)

Cryogenics Engineering

Cryogenics Engineering: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Fluid dynamics, heat transfer
  • Zero-gravity thermal/fluid models
  • Material selection & compatibility
  • Liquid level monitoring/temp. stratification
  • Two-phase flow
  • Low-gravity propellant management devices
  • Multi-layer insulation modeling & fabrication
  • Low conductivity structural systems
  • Cryocoolers, solar shading
  • Radiation shields, pumps

Tools

  • Creo (Pro/E)
  • AutoCAD (Inventor)
  • Thermal Desktop
  • Sinda/Fluint
  • COMSOL Multiphysics (CFD)
  • FLOW-3D

Projects

  • PCFS/EPCS - Propellant Conditioning Systems
    • Provided customized design, analysis, & fabrication of complex cryogenic test systems used for precision temperature control of cryogenic propellants at specific pressure & flow ranges. This includes both cryogenic gases as well as sub-cooled liquids (GO2, LO2, and LCH4)
  • C7VS - Cryogenic Insulation Calorimeter
    • Provided customized design & analysis of state-of-the-art, large-scale calorimeter to measure the effectiveness of multi-layer insulation (MLI) packages at specific, precisely-controlled cryogenic temperatures
  • INP1 - Undersea Fuel Cell Power Systems
    • Developed the capability to provide gaseous oxygen & hydrogen via controlled vaporization of ultrapure cryogenic liquid in dewars. Testing was conducted at SLI’s Hydrogen Test Facility which allowed LOX and LH2 dewars to be refilled
  • LZBO - Liquid Oxygen Zero Boil-off Storage
    • Developed a liquid oxygen thermal management test system that was the first to achieve zero boil-off, using LN2 in place of LOX, in tests at NASA GRC’s SMIRF

Guidance and Navigation

Guidance, Navigation, and Control Services: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Design, analysis, attitude determination and estimation, ACS simulations, multi-body dynamics analyses and simulations, including separation mechanism kinematics, hardware/software specifications and interfaces, GN&C algorithm development, technical monitoring

Tools

  • MathWorks MATLAB & Simulink
  • MathWorks Real-time Workshop for GNC flight code generation
  • AGI STK for mission analyses
  • LabVIEW for real-time dynamic simulators
  • In-house tools for modeling & analyses

Projects

  • Dawn Asteroid Rendezvous Spacecraft

    • Designed, analyzed, implemented, & tested the GN&C subsystem
    • Provided (and still providing) operations support since launch in September 2007
    • Designed a thrust vector control system for low-thrust ion engines, one of the first applications of such a design on an interplanetary spacecraft
    • Designed a gyro-less attitude determination system, one of the first applications of such a design on an interplanetary spacecraft
    • Designed an attitude steering algorithm to maintain simultaneous asteroid pointing & solar array Sun pointing
    • Designed, implemented, tested, & uploaded to the spacecraft flight software a hybrid wheel-thruster control system after the spacecraft experienced a wheel failure during the cruise to Vesta

    Dawn Spacecraft Tools

    • Developed a high-fidelity hybrid simulation that can be run in either an all-software or hardware-in-the-loop mode for GN&C flight software
    • Delivered to JPL a flight system test bed based on this simulation

Contamination Control

Contamination Control Services: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.

Capabilities

  • Design
  • Analysis
  • Modeling
  • In-situ testing for particulate and molecular contamination at all levels of assembly
  • FTIR and Mass Spec for in-house analysis

Tools

  • Multiple Cleanroom facilities in Pasadena, Ohio, and Maryland
  • COMSOL (CFD and Chemistry Extensions)
  • Internal processes & procedures for H20 mitigation in cryogenic & vacuum environments
  • 5S/FOD workmanship program included in our AS9100 scope

Projects

  • Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Centric Contamination Tiger Team

    • Supported Materials Screening
    • Materials Testing and Evaluation
    • Design Support

    Organic Check Material Development

    • Evaluated Base Matrix Materials for Organic Cleanliness
    • Defined Concept of Blank Sample
    • Identified Materials for Blank
    • Developed Material Doping Concept
    • Verified Material Doping Concept

    Program Panel Review Support

    • JPL Mars 2020 Mars Sample Return Organic Contamination Panel
    • NASA Mars Sample Return Technology Development Panel