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Viewing 1 to 26 of 26
2005-07-11
Technical Paper
2005-01-2946
Jing Li, John Fisher, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah
One of the major problems associated with solid waste processing technologies is effluent contaminants that are released in gaseous forms from the processes. This is a concern in both biological as well as physicochemical solid waste processing. Carbon dioxide (CO2), the major gas released, does not present a serious problem and there are currently in place a number of flight-qualified technologies for CO2 removal. However, a number of other gases, in particular NOx, SO2, NH3, and various hydrocarbons (e.g. CH4) do present health hazards to the crew members in space habitats. In the present configuration of solid waste processing in the International Space Station (ISS), some of these gases are removed by the Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS), demands a major resupply. Reduction of the resupply can be effective by using catalyst impregnated carbon nanotubes. For example, NO decomposition to N2 and O2 is thermodynamically favored.
2009-07-12
Journal Article
2009-01-2363
Gregory S. Pace, Lance Delzeit, John Fisher
Significant progress has been made at NASA Ames Research Center in the development of a heat melt compaction device called the Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (PMWC). The PMWC was designed to process wet and dry wastes generated on human space exploration missions. The wastes have a plastic content typically greater than twenty percent. The PMWC removes the water from the waste, reduces the volume, and encapsulates it by melting the plastic constituent of the waste. The PMWC is capable of large volume reductions. The final product is compacted waste disk that is easy to manage and requires minimal crew handling. This paper describes the results of tests conducted using the PMWC with a wet and dry waste composite that was representative of the waste types expected to be encountered on long duration human space exploration missions.
2009-07-12
Technical Paper
2009-01-2365
James A. Nabity, Erik W. Andersen, Jeffrey R. Engel, David T. Wickham, John W. Fisher
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The goals outlined in this document include extending the human presence in the solar system, culminating in the exploration of Mars. A key requirement for this effort is to identify a safe and effective method to process waste. Methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis, drying, and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this work was to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. TDA and NASA Ames Research Center have developed a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system to convert organic waste to CO2 and H2O.
1997-07-01
Technical Paper
972272
Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, Suresh Pisharody, John Fisher, Michael Flynn
Terraforming of Mars is the long-term goal of colonization of Mars. However, this process is likely to be a very slow process and conservative estimates involving a synergetic, technocentric approach suggest that it may take around 10,000 years before the planet can be parallel to that of Earth and where humans can live in open systems (Fogg, 1995). Hence, for the foreseeable future, any missions will require habitation within small confined habitats with high biomass to atmospheric mass ratios, thereby requiring that all wastes be recycled. Processing of the wastes will ensure predictability and reliability of the ecosystem and reduce resupply logistics. Solid wastes, though smaller in volume and mass than the liquid wastes, contain more than 90% of the essential elements required by humans and plants.
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981553
A. Hoehn, J. Clawson, A. G. Heyenga, P. Scovazzo, K. S. Sterrett, L. S. Stodieck, P. W. Todd, M. H. Kliss
The Plant Generic BioProcessing Apparatus (PGBA), a plant growth facility developed for commercial space biotechnology research, has flown successfully on 3 spaceflight missions for 4, 10 and 16 days. The environmental control systems of this plant growth chamber (28 liter/0.075 m2) provide atmospheric, thermal, and humidity control, as well as lighting and nutrient supply. Typical performance profiles of water transpiration and dehumidification, carbon dioxide absorption (photosynthesis) and respiration rates in the PGBA unit (on orbit and ground) are presented. Data were collected on single and mixed crops. Design options and considerations for the different sub-systems are compared with those of similar hardware.
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981552
David L. Bubenheim, Joseph Stieber, William Campbell, Frank B. Salisbury, Margarita Leviskikh, Vladimir N. Sytchev, Irene Ivanova, Igor Podolsky
The reproductive ontogeny of ‘Super-Dwarf’ wheat grown on the space station Mir is chronicled from the vegetative phase through flower' development. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative plhase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of ‘Super Dwarf’ wheat up to the point of anthesis. Filament elongation, which characteristically occurs just prior to anthesis (during floral development stage 4) and moves the anthers through the stigmatic branches thus facilitating pollination, did not occur in the flowers of spikes grown on Mir. While pollen did form in the anthers, no evidence of pollination or fertilization was observed. Analysis of pollen idlentified abnormalities; the presence of only one nucleus in the pollen as opposed to the normal trinucleate condition is likely an important factor in the sterility observed in wheat grown on Mir.
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981538
Michael Flynn, John Fisher, Bruce Borchers
This paper compares four potential water treatment systems in the context of their applicability to a Mars transit vehicle mission. The systems selected for evaluation are the International Space Station system, a JSC bioreactor-based system, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal system, and the direct osmotic concentration system. All systems are evaluated on the basis of their applicability for use in the context of the Mars Reference Mission. Each system is evaluated on the basis of mass equivalency. The results of this analysis indicate that there is effectively no difference between the International Space Station system and the JSC bioreactor configurations. However, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal and the direct osmotic concentration systems offer a significantly lower mass equivalency (approximately 1/7 the ISS or bioreactor systems).
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981747
Cory K. Finn
A steady-state system mass balance calculation was performed to investigate design issues regarding the storage and/or processing of solid waste. In the initial stages of BIO-Plex, only a certain percentage of the food requirement will be satisfied through crop growth. Since some food will be supplied to the system, an equivalent amount of waste will accumulate somewhere in the system. It is a system design choice as to where the mass should accumulate in the system. Here we consider two approaches. One is to let solid waste accumulate in order to reduce the amount of material processing that is needed. The second is to process all of the solid waste to reduce solid waste storage and then either resupply oxygen or add physical/chemical (P/C) processors to recover oxygen from the excess carbon dioxide and water that is produced by the solid waste processor.
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981760
M. Douglas LeVan, W. Scot Appel, John E. Finn, Cory K. Finn
This paper offers a concept for a regenerable, low-power system for purifying exhaust from a solid waste processor. The innovations in the concept include the use of a closed-loop regeneration cycle for the adsorber, which prevents contaminants from reaching the breathable air before they are destroyed, and the use of a humidity-swing desorption cycle, which uses less power than a thermal desorption cycle and requires no venting of air and water to space vacuum or planetary atmosphere. The process would also serve well as a trace contaminant control system for the air in the closed environment. A systems-level design is presented that shows how both the exhaust and air purification tasks could be performed by one processor. Data measured with a fixed-bed apparatus demonstrate the effects of the humidity swing on regeneration of the adsorbent.
1998-07-13
Technical Paper
981606
P. D. Savage, G. C. Jahns, T. Schnepp
Ames Research Center's Life Sciences Division was responsible for managing the development of fundamental biology flight experiments during the Phase 1 NASA/Mir Science Program. Beginning with astronaut Norm Thagard's historic March, 1995 Soyuz rendezvous with the Mir station and continuing through Andy Thomas' successful return from Mir onboard STS-91 in June, 1998, the NASA/Mir Science Program has provided scientists with unparalleled long duration research opportunities. In addition, the Phase 1 program has yielded many valuable lessons to program and project management personnel who are managing the development of future International Space Station payload elements. This paper summarizes several of the key space station challenges faced and associated lessons learned by the Ames Research Center Fundamental Biology Research Project.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2183
Michael A. Serio, Erik Kroo, Marek A. Wójtowicz, Eric M. Suuberg, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, John Fisher
Pyrolysis processing of solid waste in space will inevitably lead to carbon formation as a primary pyrolysis product. The amount of carbon depends on the composition of the starting materials and the pyrolysis conditions (temperature, heating rate, residence time, pressure). Many paper and plastic materials produce almost no carbon residue upon pyrolysis, while most plant biomass materials or human wastes will yield up to 20-40 weight percent on a dry, as-received basis. In cases where carbon production is significant, it can be stored for later use to produce CO2 for plant growth. Alternatively it can be partly gasified by an oxidizing gas (e.g., CO2, H2O, O2) in order to produce activated carbon. Activated carbons have a unique capability of strongly absorbing a great variety of species, ranging from SO2 and NOx, trace organics, mercury, and other heavy metals.
2004-07-19
Technical Paper
2004-01-2380
Michael Serio, Erik Kroo, Elizabeth Florczak, Marek Wójtowicz, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, Kevin Howard, John Fisher
Pyrolysis is a very versatile waste processing technology which can be tailored to produce a variety of solid, liquid, and/or gaseous products. The main disadvantages of pyrolysis processing are: (1) the product stream is more complex than for many of the alternative treatments; (2) the product gases cannot be vented directly into the cabin without further treatment because of the high CO concentrations. One possible solution is to combine a pyrolysis step with catalytic oxidation (combustion) of the effluent gases. This integration takes advantage of the best features of each process. The advantages of pyrolysis are: insensitivity to feedstock composition, no oxygen consumption, and batch operation. The main advantage of oxidation is the simplicity and consistency of the product stream. In addition, this hybrid process has the potential to result in a significant reduction in Equivalent System Mass (estimated at 10-40%) and system complexity.
2004-07-19
Technical Paper
2004-01-2379
John Fisher, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, Kevin Howard, Michael Serio, Erik Kroo
Pyrolysis is a technology that can be used on future space missions to convert wastes to an inert char, water, and gases. The gases can be easily vented overboard on near term missions. For far term missions the gases could be directed to a combustor or recycled. The conversion to char and gases as well as the absence of a need for resupply materials are advantages of pyrolysis. A major disadvantage of pyrolysis is that it can produce tars that are difficult to handle and can cause plugging of the processing hardware. By controlling the heating rate of primary pyrolysis, the secondary (cracking) bed temperature, and residence time, it is possible that tar formation can be minimized for most biomass materials. This paper describes an experimental evaluation of two versions of pyrolysis reactors that were delivered to the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) as the end products of a Phase II and a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project.
2003-07-07
Technical Paper
2003-01-2369
Gregory S. Pace, Suresh Pisharody, John Fisher
This paper describes work that has begun at Ames Research Center on development of a heat melt compactor that can be used on near term and future missions. The heat melt compactor can handle wastes with a significant plastic composition and minimize crew interaction. The current solid waste management system employed on the International Space Station (ISS) consists of compaction, storage, and disposal. Wastes such as plastic food packaging and trash are compacted manually and wrapped in duct taped “footballs” by the astronauts. Much of the waste is simply loaded into the empty Russian Progress spacecraft that is used to bring supplies to ISS. The progress spacecraft and its contents are intentionally burned up in the earth's atmosphere during reentry. This manual method of trash management on ISS is a wasteful use of crew time and does not transition well to far term missions.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3135
David Wickham, Erik Andersen, Jeffrey Engel, Marcus Jones, John Fisher
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The important goals outlined in this document include extending human presence in the solar system culminating in the exploration of Mars. Unprocessed waste poses a biological hazard to crew health and morale. The waste processing methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this project is to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. In the Phase I project, TDA Research, Inc. demonstrated the potential of a low temperature oxidation process using ozone. In the current Phase II project, TDA and NASA Ames Research Center are developing a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3262
Lance Delzeit, John W. Fisher
The initial concepts and construction of a three layered, water-absorbent, zero-G, compactor trash bag will be described. This bag is composed of an inner wicking layer, a middle absorbent layer, and an outer containment layer. The primary properties of the wicking layer are the fast adsorption of any free liquid released within the trash bag and the lateral spreading of this liquid around the interior of the bag. The absorbent layer sequesters and stores the liquid captured by the wicking layer. It need not be as fast acting as the wicking layer, but has to have a much larger capacity. The containment layer allows for handling of the bag without worry of releasing the contents. The combined strength of the three layers needs to be sufficient to withstand the forces exerted by the compactor.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3265
Gregory S. Pace, John Hogan, John Fisher
Waste management is a critical component of life support systems for manned space exploration. Human occupied spacecraft and extraterrestrial habitats must be able to effectively manage the waste generated throughout the entire mission duration. The requirements for waste systems may vary according to specific mission scenarios but all waste management operations must allow for the effective collection, containment, processing, and storage of unwanted materials. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle usually referred to as the CEV, will have limited volume for equipment and crew. Technologies that reduce waste storage volume free up valuable space for other equipment. Waste storage volume is a major driver for the Orion waste compactor design. Current efforts at NASA Ames Research Center involve the development of two different prototype compactors designed to minimize trash storage space.
2008-06-29
Journal Article
2008-01-2052
James A. Nabity, Erik W. Andersen, Jeffrey R. Engel, David T. Wickham, John W. Fisher
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The goals outlined in this document include extending the human presence in the solar system, culminating in the exploration of Mars. A key requirement for this effort is to identify a safe and effective method to process waste. Methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis, drying, and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this work is to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. Previously, TDA Research, Inc. demonstrated the potential of a low temperature dry oxidation process using ozone in a small laboratory reactor.
2005-07-11
Technical Paper
2005-01-3083
Michael Serio, Erik Kroo, Elizabeth Florczak, Marek Wójtowicz, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, John Fisher
Pyrolysis is a very versatile waste processing technology which can be tailored to produce a variety of solid liquid and/or gaseous products. The main disadvantages of pyrolysis processing are: (1) the product stream is more complex than for many of the alternative treatments; (2) the product gases cannot be vented directly into the cabin without further treatment because of the high CO concentrations. One possible solution is to combine a pyrolysis step with catalytic oxidation (combustion) of the effluent gases. This integration takes advantage of the best features of each process, which is insensitivity to product mix, no O2 consumption, and batch processing, in the case of pyrolysis, and simplicity of the product effluent stream in the case of oxidation. In addition, this hybrid process has the potential to result in a significant reduction in Equivalent System Mass (ESM) and system complexity.
1999-10-19
Technical Paper
1999-01-5601
James H. Bell
The desire to provide integrated surface pressures for aerodynamic loads measurements has been a driving force behind the development of pressure-sensitive paint (PSP). To demonstrate the suitability of PSP for this purpose, it is not sufficient to simply show that PSP is accurate as compared to pressure taps. PSP errors due to misregistration or temperature sensitivity may be high near model edges, where pressure taps are rarely installed. Thus, PSP results will appear good compared to the taps, but will yield inaccurate results when integrated. A more stringent technique is to compare integrated PSP data over the entire model surface with balance and/or CFD results. This paper describes a simple integration method for PSP data and presents comparisons of balance and PSP results for three experiments. PSP is shown quite accurate for normal force measurements, but less effective at determining axial force and moments.
2000-07-10
Technical Paper
2000-01-2236
L. J. Salerno, S. M White, B. P. M. Helvensteijn
NASA’s planned advanced space transportation vehicles will benefit from the use of integral/conformal cryogenic propellant tanks which will reduce the launch weight and lower the earth-to-orbit costs considerably. To implement the novel concept of integral/conformal tanks requires developing an equally novel concept in thermal protection materials. Providing insulation against reentry heating and preserving propellant mass can no longer be considered separate problems to be handled by separate materials. A new family of materials, Superthermal Insulation (STI), has been conceived and investigated by NASA’s Ames Research Center to simultaneously provide both thermal protection and cryogenic insulation in a single, integral material. The present paper presents the results of a series of proof-of-concept tests intended to characterize the thermal performance of STI over a range of operational conditions representative of those which will be encountered in use.
2001-03-05
Technical Paper
2001-01-0626
Edward Duell, Douglas Everstine, Rabindra Mehta, James Bell, Mark Perry
Pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) technology is a technique used to experimentally determine surface pressures on models during wind tunnel tests. The key to this technique is a specially formulated pressure-sensitive paint that responds to, and can be correlated with the local air pressure. Wind tunnel models coated with pressure-sensitive paint are able to yield quantitative pressure data on an entire model surface in the form of light intensity values in recorded images. Quantitative results in terms of pressure coefficients (Cp) are obtained by correlating PSP data with conventional pressure tap data. Only a small number of surface taps are needed to be able to obtain quantitative pressure data with the PSP method. This technique is gaining acceptance so that future automotive wind tunnel tests can be done at reduced cost by eliminating most of the expensive pressure taps from wind tunnel models.
2002-11-05
Technical Paper
2002-01-2968
Lance Sherry, Peter Polson, Michael Feary
The efficiency and robustness of pilot-automation interaction is a function of the volume of memorized action sequences required to use the automation to perform mission tasks. This paper describes a model of pilot cognition for the evaluation of the cognitive usability of cockpit automation. Five common cockpit automation design errors are discussed with examples.
2002-07-15
Technical Paper
2002-01-2396
Suresh Pisharody, K. Wignarajah, John Fisher
Oxidation is one of a number of technologies that are being considered for waste management and resource recovery from waste materials generated on board space missions. Oxidation processes are a very effective and efficient means of clean and complete conversion of waste materials to sterile products. However, because oxidation uses oxygen there is an “oxygen penalty” associated either with resupply of oxygen or with recycling oxygen from some other source. This paper is a systems approach to the issue of oxygen penalty in life support systems and presents findings on the oxygen penalty associated with an integrated oxidation-Sabatier-Oxygen Generation System (OGS) for waste management in an Advanced Life Support System. The findings reveal that such an integrated system can be operated to form a variety of useful products without a significant oxygen penalty.
2002-11-05
Technical Paper
2002-01-3006
David C. Foyle, Becky L. Hooey, John R. Wilson, Walter A. Johnson
This study investigated pilots' taxi performance, situation awareness and workload while taxiing with three different head-up display (HUD) symbology formats: Command-guidance, Situation-guidance and Hybrid. Command-guidance symbology provided the pilot with required control inputs to maintain centerline position; Situation-guidance symbology provided conformal, scene-linked navigation information; while the Hybrid symbology combined elements of both symbologies. Taxi speed, centerline tracking accuracy, workload and situation awareness were assessed. Taxi speed, centerline accuracy, and situation awareness were highest and workload lowest with Situation-guidance and Hybrid symbologies. These results are thought to be due to cognitive tunneling induced by the Command-guidance symbology. The conformal route information of the Situation-guidance and Hybrid HUD formats provided a common reference with the environment, which may have supported better distribution of attention.
1996-10-01
Technical Paper
965583
Mark D. Ardema, Mark C. Chambers, Anthony P. Patron, Andrew S. Hahn, Hirokazu Miura, Mark D. Moore
A method of estimating the load-bearing fuselage weight and wing weight of transport aircraft based on fundamental structural principles has been developed. This method of weight estimation represents a compromise between the rapid assessment of component weight using empirical methods based on actual weights of existing aircraft, and detailed, but time-consuming, analysis using the finite element method. The method was applied to eight existing subsonic transports for validation and correlation. Integration of the resulting computer program, PDCYL, has been made into the weights-calculating module of the AirCraft SYNThesis (ACSYNT) computer program. ACSYNT has traditionally used only empirical weight estimation methods; PDCYL adds to ACSYNT a rapid, accurate means of assessing the fuselage and wing weights of unconventional aircraft.
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