Southwest Research Institute
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
Recent publications
Operational transfer path analysis (OTPA) is an advanced vibration and noise transfer path identification and contribution evaluation method. However, the application of OTPA to rail transit vehicles considers only the excitation amplitude and ignores the influence of the excitation phase. This study considers the influence of the excitation amplitude and phase, and analyzes the contribution of the secondary suspension path to the floor vibration when the metro vehicle runs at 60 km/h, using an analysis based on the OTPA method. The results show that the vertical direction of the anti-rolling torsion bar area provides the maximum contribution to the floor vibration, with a contribution of 22.1%, followed by the longitudinal vibration of the air spring area, with a contribution of 17.1%. Based on the contribution analysis, a transfer path optimization scheme is proposed, which may provide a reference for the optimization of the transfer path of metro vehicles in the future.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission revealed that the asteroid Bennu has ~1500 impact craters (Bierhaus et al., 2022). Here we use data from the OSIRIS-REx laser altimeter (OLA) to measure the depths, d, and diameters, D, of a sample of small (D ≤ 10 m) impact craters that span a broad range of latitudes and longitudes. d/D in this sample ranges from 0.04 to 0.27, with a mean of 0.13 ± 0.04. Compared to larger (D ≥ 10 m) craters on Bennu, those studied here have a greater average d/D. The mean d/D of craters on Bennu's younger, Rugged Unit is statistically larger than the mean d/D of those on the older, Smooth Unit. One of the studied craters contains an interior mound that may indicate the presence of stronger material at depth. A large fraction of craters studied here are located near large boulders whose lengths are >50% the diameter of the crater. Some of these large boulders cross the crater rim crest, protruding into and perched above the crater interior. In the most extreme cases, the boulder length is ~2.5 times the crater diameter. The d/D of craters near large boulders is bimodal, which could be a consequence of how boulders affect crater formation. Laboratory experiments and results from Hayabusa2's Small Carry-On Impactor experiment indicate that preexisting boulders and heterogeneities affect crater formation and d/D. The abundance of small craters on Bennu makes the asteroid a rich resource for understanding impact processes.
The crater populations of Saturn's midsized icy moons are not well matched by the size-frequency distributions of impacting material inferred from other outer planet satellite systems, frustrating attempts to date their surfaces and constrain models of their formation. Elliptical craters record the trajectories of impacting materials and can thus be used to characterize the impactors' dynamics and facilitate crater interpretations. Here, we report evidence of a unique Saturn-orbiting impactor population, distinct from any previously described source population. This population is identified through global mapping and analysis of the elliptical crater populations on Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione. We report the presence of a strong signal of east/west oriented elliptical craters located in the equatorial latitudes of both satellites. Poleward of 30° the orientations of these craters become more widely distributed. On Tethys, a survey of a high latitude area (30°-60° N) reveals that the non-elliptical craters are better matched by the production function constructed from craters on Triton than from the Jovian moons, although the high likelihood of planetocentric material in both the Saturnian and Neptunian systems precludes us from determining an absolute age using the Triton derived production function. Rather, we can conclude that the mid-sized Saturnian satellites have been strongly affected by a potentially similar collisional environment to Triton, giving rise to a Triton-like crater population along with a unique population that is not observed at Triton. Origin scenarios for the elliptical craters on Tethys and Dione would have to explain the orientation and latitudinal clustering of east/west oriented craters, as well as the characteristics of the azimuthally isotropic population, which requires evenly distributed cratering across each satellite without a preferred impact direction. These characteristics can serve as constraints on the formation and evolution of the Saturnian satellites.
Asteroid interiors play a key role in our understanding of asteroid formation and evolution. As no direct interior probing has been done yet, characterisation of asteroids’ interiors relies on interpretations of external properties. Here we show, by numerical simulations, that the top-shaped rubble-pile asteroid (101955) Bennu’s geophysical response to spinup is highly sensitive to its material strength. This allows us to infer Bennu’s interior properties and provide general implications for top-shaped rubble piles’ structural evolution. We find that low-cohesion (≲0.78 Pa at surface and ≲1.3 Pa inside) and low-friction (friction angle ≲ 35 ∘ ) structures with several high-cohesion internal zones can consistently account for all the known geophysical characteristics of Bennu and explain the absence of moons. Furthermore, we reveal the underlying mechanisms that lead to different failure behaviours and identify the reconfiguration pathways of top-shaped asteroids as functions of their structural properties that either facilitate or prevent the formation of moons.
We investigate two flow bursts in a series of Earthward bursty bulk flows (BBFs) observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft in Earth's magnetotail at (−24, 7, 4) RE in Geocentric Solar Magnetospheric coordinates. At the leading edges of the BBFs, we observe complex magnetic field structures. In particular, we focus on one BBF which contains large‐amplitude magnetic field fluctuations on the time scale of the proton gyroperiod, and another with a large scale dipolarization. For both events, the magnetic field structures are associated with flux increases of supra‐thermal ions with energies ≳100 keV. We observe that helium ions dominate the ion flux at energies ≳150 keV. We investigate the ion acceleration mechanism and its dependence on the mass and charge state of H⁺ and He²⁺ ions. We show that for both events, the ions with gyroradii smaller than the dawn‐dusk scale of the structure are accelerated by the ion bulk flow. For ions with larger gyroradii, the acceleration is likely due to a localized spatially limited electric field for the event with a large‐scale dipolarization. For the event with fluctuating magnetic field, the acceleration of ions with gyroradii comparable with the scale of the magnetic fluctuations can be explained by resonance acceleration.
Collisions are one of the key processes shaping planetary systems. Asteroid families are outcomes of such collision still identifiable across our solar system. The families provide a unique view of catastrophic disruption phenomena and have been in the focus of planetary scientists for more than a century. Most of them are located in the main belt, a ring of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Here we review the basic properties of the families, discuss some recent advances, and anticipate future challenges. This review pays more attention to dynamic aspects such as family identification, age determination, and long-term evolution. The text, however, goes beyond that. Especially, we cover the details of young families that see the major advances in the last years, and we anticipate it will develop even faster in the future. We also discuss the relevance of asteroid families for water-ice content in the asteroid belt and our current knowledge on links between families and main-belt comets. query Please check the edit made in the article title.
Silicon-containing diamond-like carbon (DLC) is a class of thin-film materials with excellent mechanical properties, high thermal stability, and good tribological performance over a wide range of environmental conditions. While non-alloyed/non-doped DLCs also exhibit good biocompatibility and bioinertness, our understanding of the effect of silicon in DLCs on biomolecules/DLC interactions is still elusive. Here, we evaluated the structural, mechanical, and tribological properties of Si-containing DLC coatings with silicon content fraction of 11% and 16%. Tribological tests, performed by sliding a stainless steel pin on the coatings in water, indicated a low friction response (steady-state coefficient of friction <0.11), while quartz crystal microbalance experiments indicated no adsorption of a model biomolecule, namely adenosine triphosphate (ATP), on Si-containing DLCs. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectromicroscopy analyses performed after tribological experiments provided evidence for an increase in the fraction of silanol surface terminal groups formed in the worn region upon sliding in water without any significant sp³-to-sp² rehybridization of carbon atoms. The fraction of surface hydroxyl groups in the worn region increases with the silicon content in Si-containing DLC, which leads to a decrease in friction. This tribologically-induced change in surface termination did not lead to the adsorption of ATP upon incubation of tribotested samples in ATP solutions for several hours. These findings open the path for the use of Si-containing DLC in applications requiring good tribological properties in aqueous solution and an excellent resistance to biomolecule surface adsorption that is maintained even after tribologically-induced variations in surface termination.
During March-April 2002, while between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft detected a significant enhancement in pickup proton flux. The most likely explanation for this enhancement was the addition of protons to the solar wind by the ionization of neutral hydrogen in the corona of comet 153P/Ikeya-Zhang. This comet passed relatively close to the Sun-Cassini line during that period, allowing pickup ions to be carried to Cassini by the solar wind. This pickup proton flux could have been further modulated by the passage of the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections past the comet and spacecraft. The radial distance of 6.5 Astronomical Units (au) traveled by the pickup protons, and the implied total tail length of >7.5 au make this cometary ion tail the longest yet measured.
During magnetic reconnection, field lines interconnect in electron diffusion regions (EDRs). In some EDRs, the reconnection and energy conversion rates are controlled by a steady out-of-plane electric field. In other EDRs, the energy conversion rate [Formula: see text] is “patchy,” with electron-scale large-amplitude positive and negative peaks. We investigate 22 EDRs observed by NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in a wide range of conditions to determine the cause of patchy [Formula: see text]. The patchiness of the energy conversion is quantified and correlated with seven parameters describing various aspects of the asymptotic inflow regions that affect the structure, stability, and efficiency of reconnection. We find that (1) neither the guide field strength nor the asymmetries in the inflow ion pressure, electron pressure, nor number density are well correlated with the patchiness of the EDR energy conversion; (2) the out-of-plane axes of the 22 EDRs are typically fairly well aligned with the “preferred” axes, which bisect the time-averaged inflow magnetic fields and maximize the reconnection rate; and (3) the time-variability in the upstream magnetic field direction is best correlated with the patchiness of the EDR [Formula: see text]. A 3D fully kinetic simulation of reconnection with a non-uniform inflow magnetic field is analyzed; the variation in the magnetic field generates secondary X-lines, which develop to maximize the reconnection rate for the time-varying inflow magnetic field. The results suggest that magnetopause reconnection, for which the inflow magnetic field direction is often highly variable, may commonly be patchy in space, at least at the electron scale.
In this study, observations from the Jovian auroral distributions experiment, Jupiter energetic particle detector instrument, and Magnetic field investigation instruments on Juno are used to identify signatures of magnetic reconnection at Jupiter's dawn magnetopause and relate these signatures to the local plasma environment. Magnetopause crossings occurred between 73–114 Jovian radii and 4.3–6.2 magnetic local time at low latitudes. Reconnection signatures include plasma energization and ion velocity enhancements resembling reconnection jets. We test for diamagnetic suppression which considers the magnetic shear and plasma beta (β) before and after a magnetopause crossing. Findings show that a large majority of these dawn magnetopause crossings at Jupiter have a low likelihood for local magnetic reconnection (are diamagnetically suppressed) because of high delta β values and/or low magnetic shear angles across the magnetopause boundary. These crossings exhibit no evidence of local reconnection while crossings that are not diamagnetically suppressed show multiple signatures of reconnection, adhering to the Swisdak relation.
For vehicles to operate in unmapped areas with some degree of autonomy, it would be useful to aggregate and store processed sensor data so that it can be used later. In this paper, a tool that records and optimizes the placement of costmap data on a persistent map is presented. The optimization takes several factors into account, including local vehicle odometry, GPS signals when available, local map consistency, deformation of map regions, and proprioceptive GPS offset error. Results illustrating the creation of maps from previously unseen regions (a 100 m × 880 m test track and a 1.2 km dirt trail) are presented, with and without GPS signals available during the creation of the maps. Finally, two examples of the use of these maps are given. First, a path is planned along roads that have been seen exactly once during the mapping phase. Secondly, the map is used for vehicle localization in the absence of GPS signals.
Background: Poor nutrition during fetal development programs postnatal kidney function. Understanding postnatal consequences in nonhuman primates (NHP) is important for translation to our understanding the impact on human kidney function and disease risk. We hypothesized that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in NHP persists postnatally, with potential molecular mechanisms revealed by Western-type diet challenge. Methods: IUGR juvenile baboons were fed a 7-week Western diet, with kidney biopsies, blood, and urine collected before and after challenge. Transcriptomics and metabolomics were used to analyze biosamples. Results: Pre-challenge IUGR kidney transcriptome and urine metabolome differed from controls. Post-challenge, sex and diet-specific responses in urine metabolite and renal signaling pathways were observed. Dysregulated mTOR signaling persisted postnatally in female pre-challenge. Post-challenge IUGR male response showed uncoordinated signaling suggesting proximal tubule injury. Conclusion: Fetal undernutrition impacts juvenile offspring kidneys at the molecular level suggesting early-onset blood pressure dysregulation.
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371 members
Gloria E Gutierrez
  • Microencapsulation and Nanomaterials Department
Ben Teolis
  • Space Science and Engineering Division
Kwai S Chan
  • Materials Engineering Department
Maarten Versteeg
  • Automation and Data Systems Division
Radoslav Bučík
  • Space Science Department
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