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Viewing 1 to 30 of 39
2004-07-19
Technical Paper
2004-01-2582
Harry Jones
Future space life support systems may use crop plants to grow most of the crew’s food. A harvest failure can reduce the food available for future consumption. If the previously stored food is insufficient to last until the next harvest, the crew may go hungry. This paper considers how the overall food supply system should be designed to cope with food production failures. The food supply system for a mission will use grown food, or stored food, or both. The optimum food supply mix depends on the costs and failure probabilities of stored and grown food. A simple food system model assumes that either we obtain the nominal harvest or a failure occurs and no food is harvested. Given the probability that any particular harvest fails, it is easy to compute the expected number of failures and the total food shortfall over a mission.
2008-06-29
Technical Paper
2008-01-2155
Harry Jones
Space projects are spectacular, costly, and highly visible. Their occasional failures receive extensive analysis and explanation. This paper reviews studies of failures of crewed and uncrewed missions. The explanations of these space project failures include simple oversight errors, poor project management, complex combinations of unforeseen events, and conceptual flaws that prohibited success. Failures are usually found to be caused by project management errors, based on the reasoning that the project manager and team members had the capability and responsibility to avoid them. These failure causes are well known. Why do so many projects make the same mistakes?
2008-06-29
Technical Paper
2008-01-2193
Harry Jones
This paper considers the design of a Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) water processor. The Constellation Program has begun to consider the first human mission to Mars, and the MTV water processor is of special interest. Mars transit system design is not affected by Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) or In-Situ Resource utilization (ISRU). The total duration of Mars transit and return is relatively fixed at about four hundred days, while Mars and lunar surface stays can vary from a few days to many years. The Mars transit water processor will operate in zero gravity, like the International Space Station (ISS) Water Recovery System (WRS), so the ISS WRS design can serve as a reference baseline for the Mars transit system. The paper develops the MTV water requirements and considers the suitability of the ISS WRS for Mars transit. The ISS WRS meets MTV requirements and requires less mass than direct resupply for Mars transfer, but it has excess capacity for the requirements.
2005-07-11
Technical Paper
2005-01-2810
Harry Jones, Mark Kliss
This paper considers system design and technology selection for the crew air and water recycling systems to be used in long duration human space exploration. The ultimate objective is to identify the air and water technologies likely to be used for the vision for space exploration and to suggest alternate technologies that should be developed. The approach is to conduct a preliminary systems engineering analysis, beginning with the Air and Water System (AWS) requirements and the system mass balance, and then to define the functional architecture, review the current International Space Station (ISS) technologies, and suggest alternate technologies.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3210
Harry Jones
This study describes the operational requirements for planetary surface access and compares the performance of a hatch, airlock, suitlock, and suitport. The requirements for mitigating dust, performing EVA (ExtraVehicular Activity) by only part of the crew, and use on Mars as well as the Moon are strong reasons to prefer an airlock over a simple hatch, which would require depressurizing the habitat and sending all the crew on EVA. A requirement for minimum cost would favor the hatch above all. A suitlock provides better dust mitigation than an airlock, but at higher cost and complexity. A suitlock accommodating two crew meets requirements for buddy assistance and ability to help an incapacitated crewmember. Two suitlocks would provide redundant airlocks.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3245
Bruce Webbon, Bernadette Luna, Jeff Brown, Andy Gonzales, Harry Jones, Brian Koss, Doug Smith
This study introduces several new concepts for suited EVA astronaut ingress/egress (departure and return) from a pressurized planetary surface habitat, based on use of a rear-entry suit and a suit lock or suitport. We provide insight into key operational aspects and integration issues, as well as the results of a requirements analysis and risk assessment of the concepts. The risk assessment included hazard analysis, hazard mitigation techniques, failure mode assessment, and operational risk assessment. Also included are performance and mass estimates for the egress concepts, and concepts for integration of the egress concepts with potential planetary habitat designs.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2013
Harry Jones
The Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) requirements to reach the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, and Mars as part of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) are similar to the earlier ECLS requirements for Apollo, Space Shuttle, and ISS. It seems reasonable that the VSE life support designs will develop in the same way. The ECLS for spacecraft to reach ISS and the Moon can use the Shuttle and Apollo approaches. However, the long duration ECLS for the Moon base should be the same as for Mars, because the Moon will be the testbed for Mars. The ECLS for Mars could be similar to that of ISS, but it should be redesigned to incorporate lessons learned, to take advantage of twenty years technical progress, and to respond to the much more difficult launch mass and reliability requirements for Mars.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2005
Harry Jones
This paper considers the possible current and future distribution of technical civilizations in our galaxy. Either we are the only technical civilization in the galaxy or there are others. Humanity will spread through the galaxy or not. If there are other technical civilizations, we may become aware of them or not, interact with them or not. Although we do not know the actual situation, there are only a few distinct possibilities. Thinking logically about the galactic future of the human race does not require that we know what the galaxy contains or how it will develop, only that we consider all the possible alternatives. This paper describes and develops models of the current distribution and possible future spread of technical civilizations in the galaxy.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2189
Harry Jones
This work presents a simple and useful project process model. The project model directly shows how a few basic parameters determine project duration and cost and how changes in these parameters can improve them. Project cost and duration can be traded-off by adjusting the work rate and staffing level. A project's duration and cost can be computed on the back of an envelope, with an engineering calculator, or in a computer spreadsheet. The project model can be simulated dynamically for further insight. The project model shows how and why projects can greatly exceed their expected duration and cost. Delays and rework requirements may create work feedback loops that increase cost and schedule in non-proportional and non-intuitive ways.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2191
Harry Jones, Mark Kliss
Stored air and water will be sufficient for Crew Exploration Vehicle visits to the International Space Station and for brief missions to the moon, but an air and water recycling system will be needed to reduce cost for a long duration lunar base and for exploration of Mars. The air and water recycling system developed for the International Space Station is substantially adequate but it has not yet been used in operations and it was not designed for the much higher launch costs and reliability requirements of moon and Mars missions. Significant time and development effort, including long duration testing, is needed to provide a flawless air and water recycling system for a long duration lunar base. It would be beneficial to demonstrate air and water recycling as early as the initial lunar surface missions.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3032
Harry Jones
This paper considers the cost and benefit of planetary surface ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) on the Moon and Mars. The Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) scenarios are used as a basis. The benefits of surface EVA depend on the number of sites visited, the total duration of EVA, and the maximum distance of exploration. The costs of EVA are measured by the total emplaced mass required to support a sortie mission or to establish and support a long term base. The later lunar sorties described in the ESAS have longer duration and use rovers not provided earlier, so they are more cost-effective in surface exploration. The planned permanent lunar base provides one-sixth the cost per EVA hour and a thirty percent lower cost per kilometer of explorable distance, but exploration is limited to a single site. There is an important trade-off between the number of different sites explored and the total time spent in surface exploration.
2000-07-10
Technical Paper
2000-01-2397
Harry Jones
This paper matches the BIO-Plex crop food production to the crew diet requirements. The expected average calorie requirement for BIO-Plex is 2,975 Calories per crewmember per day, for a randomly selected crew with a typical level of physical activity. The range of 2,550 to 3,400 Calories will cover about two-thirds of all crews. The exact calorie requirement will depend on the gender composition, individual weights, exercise, and work effort of the selected crew. The expected average crewmember calorie requirement can be met by 430 grams of carbohydrate, 100 grams of fat, and 90 grams of protein per crewmember per day, for a total of 620 grams. Some fat can replaced by carbohydrate. Each crewmember requires only 2 grams of vitamins and minerals per day. Only unusually restricted diets may lack essential nutrients. The Advanced Life Support (ALS) consensus is that BIO-Plex should grow wheat, potato, and soybean, and maybe sweet potato or peanut, and maybe lettuce and tomato.
2000-07-10
Technical Paper
2000-01-2261
Harry Jones, James Cavazzoni
We have developed top-level crop models for analysis of Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems that use plants to grow food. The crops modeled are candidates for ALS use: bean (dry), lettuce, peanut, potato (white), rice, soybean, sweet potato, tomato, and wheat. The crop models are modified versions of the energy cascade crop growth model originally developed for wheat by Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler. The models now simulate the effects of temperature, carbon dioxide level, planting density, and relative humidity on canopy gas exchange, in addition to the effects of light level and photoperiod included in the original model. The energy cascade model has also been extended to predict the times of canopy closure, grain setting (senescence), and maturity (harvest) as functions of the environmental conditions.
2003-07-07
Technical Paper
2003-01-2543
Harry Jones
The purpose of dynamic modeling and simulation of Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems is to help design them. Static steady state systems analysis provides basic information and is necessary to guide dynamic modeling, but static analysis is not sufficient to design and compare systems. ALS systems must respond to external input variations and internal off-nominal behavior. Buffer sizing, resupply scheduling, failure response, and control system design are aspects of dynamic system design. We develop two dynamic mass flow models and use them in simulations to evaluate systems issues, optimize designs, and make system design trades. One model is of nitrogen leakage in the space station, the other is of a waste processor failure in a regenerative life support system. Most systems analyses are concerned with optimizing the cost/benefit of a system at its nominal steady-state operating point. ALS analysis must go beyond the static steady state to include dynamic system design.
2003-07-07
Technical Paper
2003-01-2668
Harry Jones
The search for alien life in the solar system should include exploring unearthlike environments for life having an unearthly biochemistry. We expect alien life to conform to the same basic chemical and ecological constraints as terrestrial life, since inorganic chemistry and the laws of ecosystems appear to be universal. Astrobiologists usually assume alien life will use familiar terrestrial biochemistry and therefore hope to find alien life by searching near water or by supplying hydrocarbons. The assumption that alien life is likely to be based on carbon and water is traditional and plausible. It justifies high priority for missions to search for alien life on Mars and Europa, but it unduly restricts the search for alien life. Terrestrial carbon-water biochemistry is not possible on most of the bodies of our solar system, but all alien life is not necessarily based on terrestrial biochemistry.
2003-07-07
Technical Paper
2003-01-2635
Harry Jones
The decision to develop a particular life support technology or to select it for flight usually depends on the cost to develop and fly it. Other criteria such as performance, safety, reliability, crew time, and technical and schedule risk are considered, but cost is always an important factor. Because launch cost would account for much of the cost of a future planetary mission, and because launch cost is directly proportional to the mass launched, equivalent mass has been used instead of cost to select advanced life support technology. The equivalent mass of a life support system includes the estimated mass of the hardware and of the spacecraft pressurized volume, power supply, and cooling system that the hardware requires. The equivalent mass of a system is defined as the total payload launch mass needed to provide and support the system. An extension of equivalent mass, Equivalent System Mass (ESM), has been established for use in the Advanced Life Support project.
2001-07-09
Technical Paper
2001-01-2302
Harry Jones
System failures, dynamics, and nonlinearities can cause unacceptable performance and damaging instability in Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems. Much current ALS modeling assumes that ALS systems are linear, static, and failure-free. But in reality most ALS hardware is subject to failure, real ALS systems are dynamic, and many ALS processors are nonlinear beyond a limited operating range. Modeling and simulation are needed to study the stability and time behavior of nonlinear dynamic ALS systems with failures and to develop appropriate controls. The nonlinear dynamics of ALS systems has many interesting potential consequences. Different equilibrium points may be reached for different initial conditions. The system stability can depend on the exact system inputs and initial conditions. The system may oscillate or even in rare cases behave chaotically. Temporary internal hardware failures or external perturbations can lead to dynamic instability and total ALS system failure.
2001-07-09
Technical Paper
2001-01-2299
Richard Boulanger, David Overland, Harry Jones
Industrial process control has been dominated by closed architectures and proprietary protocols for the last three decades. In the late 1990’s, the advent of open fieldbus and middleware standards has greatly changed the process control arena. Fieldbus has pushed control closer and closer to the process itself. Middleware standards have exposed real-time process data to higher level software applications. Control systems can now be designed to minimize the reconfiguration costs associated with design changes. How can Advanced Life Support (ALS) benefit from these technologies? We consider designing the control system for the BIO-Plex and evaluate how complex it will be, the effort it will require, and how much it will it cost. Various fieldbus technologies were compared and Foundation Fieldbus was chosen for detailed evaluation. This new fieldbus was integrated with an existing ALS system.
2001-07-09
Technical Paper
2001-01-2361
Harry Jones, Cory Finn, Xianmin Kwauk, Charles Blackwell
We modeled BIO-Plex designs with separate or combined atmospheres and then simulated controlling the atmosphere composition. The BIO-Plex is the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex, a large regenerative life support test facility under development at NASA Johnson Space Center. Although plants grow better at above-normal carbon dioxide levels, humans can tolerate even higher carbon dioxide levels. Incinerator exhaust has very high levels of carbon dioxide. An elaborate BIO-Plex design would maintain different atmospheres in the crew and plant chambers and isolate the incinerator exhaust in the airlock. This design option easily controls the crew and plant carbon dioxide levels but it uses many gas processors, buffers, and controllers. If all the crew’s food is grown inside BIO-Plex, all the carbon dioxide required by the plants can be supplied by crew respiration and the incineration of plant and food waste.
2002-07-15
Technical Paper
2002-01-2520
Harry Jones, James Cavazzoni, Paul Keas
New variable environment Modified Energy Cascade (MEC) crop models were developed for all the Advanced Life Support (ALS) candidate crops and implemented in SIMULINK. The MEC models are based on the Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler Energy Cascade (EC) model and are derived from more recent Top-Level Energy Cascade (TLEC) models. The MEC models were developed to simulate crop plant responses to day-to-day changes in photosynthetic photon flux, photoperiod, carbon dioxide level, temperature, and relative humidity. The original EC model allowed only changes in light energy and used a less accurate linear approximation. For constant nominal environmental conditions, the simulation outputs of the new MEC models are very similar to those of earlier EC models that use parameters produced by the TLEC models. There are a few differences. The new MEC models allow setting the time for seed emergence, have more realistic exponential canopy growth, and have corrected harvest dates for potato and tomato.
2002-07-15
Technical Paper
2002-01-2291
Harry Jones
To facilitate analysis, Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems are often assumed to be linear and time invariant, but they usually have important nonlinear and dynamic aspects. This paper reviews nonlinear models applicable to ALS. Nonlinear dynamic behavior can be caused by time varying inputs, changes in system parameters, nonlinear system functions, closed loop feedback delays, and limits on buffer storage or processing rates. Dynamic models are usually cataloged according to the number of state variables. The simplest dynamic models are linear, using only integration, multiplication, addition, and subtraction of the state variables. A general linear model with only two state variables can produce all the possible dynamic behavior of linear systems with many state variables, including stability, oscillation, or exponential growth and decay. Linear systems can be described using mathematical analysis.
2001-07-09
Technical Paper
2001-01-2143
Harry Jones
Researchers in astrobiology should develop alternate concepts for the detection of extraterrestrial life. We should search for extraterrestrial ecology, exoecology, as well as for extraterrestrial biology, exobiology. Ecology describes the interactions of living things with their environment. All ecosystems are highly constrained by their environment and conform to well-known and inescapable system design principles. An ecology could exist wherever there is an energy source and living things can employ some method to capture, store, and use the available energy. Terrestrial ecosystems use energy sources including light, organic molecules, and, in thermal vents and elsewhere, simple inorganic molecules. Ecosystem behavior is controlled by matter and energy conservation laws and is described by dynamic systems theory. Typically in an ecosystem different molecules are not in chemical equilibrium and scarce materials are conserved, stored, or recycled.
2008-06-29
Journal Article
2008-01-2160
Harry Jones
Ultra reliable space life support systems can be built with small additional mass for direct material supply or about twice the minimum mass for recycling equipment. The required direct supply of a material such as oxygen, water, or food for space life support can be provided in some number “r” of identical packages. If only one of the r packages fails, the life support system fails. But by providing n > r packages, so that there are n - r spare packages to make up for failures, the reliability of direct material supply can be greatly increased. Ultra reliability can be achieved if the required direct supply is provided in 10 to 100 or more packages with 1 or 2 spare packages, so the additional mass required for ultra reliable direct life support is only a few percent.
2008-06-29
Technical Paper
2008-01-2184
Harry Jones
This report considers crewmembers’ life support needs for air, water, and food in a long duration lunar surface base. It also considers requirements for washing and clean-up water, waste recycling, and the crew's use of air, water, and food during Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The life support mass flow is described, including the needs of the statistical average crewmember, the expected variation between crewmembers, and the potential range of the total crew's average requirements. To develop the lowest cost, most reliable life support system that meets the crew needs, we must understand how the requirements impose design constraints and cost drivers and provide options and opportunities. We also must be aware of the degree of flexibility and potential change in requirements as their costs and implementation become defined.
2006-07-17
Technical Paper
2006-01-2082
Harry Jones
Popular depictions of space exploration as well as government life support research programs have long assumed that future planetary bases would rely on small scale, closed ecological systems with crop plants producing food, water, and oxygen and with bioreactors recycling waste. In actuality, even the most advanced anticipated human life support systems will use physical/ chemical systems to recycle water and oxygen and will depend on food from Earth. This paper compares bioregenerative and physical/chemical life support systems using Equivalent System Mass (ESM), which gauges the relative cost of hardware based on its mass, volume, power, and cooling requirements. Bioregenerative systems are more feasible for longer missions, since they avoid the cost of continually supplying food.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3221
Harry Jones
The least expensive life support for brief human missions is direct supply of all water and oxygen from Earth without any recycling. The currently most advanced human life support system was designed for the International Space Station (ISS) and will use physicochemical systems to recycle water and oxygen. This paper compares physicochemical to direct supply air and water life support systems using Equivalent Mass (EM). EM breakeven dates and EM ratios show that physicochemical systems are more cost effective for longer mission durations.
2007-07-09
Technical Paper
2007-01-3160
Harry Jones, Mark Kliss
This paper considers the design of a life support system for transit to Mars and return to Earth. Because of the extremely high cost of launching mass to Mars, the Mars transit life support system must minimize the amount of oxygen, water, and food transported. The three basic ways to provide life support are to directly supply all oxygen and water, or to recycle them using physicochemical equipment, or to produce them incidentally while growing food using crop plants. Comparing the costs of these three approaches shows that physicochemical recycling of oxygen and water is least costly for a Mars transit mission. The long mission duration also requires that the Mars transit life support system have high reliability and maintainability. Mars transit life support cannot make use of planetary resources or gravity. It should be tested in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
2002-07-15
Technical Paper
2002-01-2527
Harry Jones
Space power systems include power source, storage, and management subsystems. In current crewed spacecraft designs, solar cells are the power source, batteries provide storage, and the crew performs any required load scheduling. For future crewed planetary surface systems using Advanced Life Support, we assume that plants will be grown to produce much of the crew's food and that nuclear power will be employed. Battery storage is much more costly than nuclear power capacity and so is not likely to be provided. We investigate scheduling of power demands to reduce the required peak power generating capacity. The peak to average power ratio is a good measure of power capacity efficiency. We can easily schedule power demands to reduce the peak power below the potential maximum, but simple scheduling rules may not achieve the lowest possible peak to average power ratio.
2003-07-07
Technical Paper
2003-01-2356
Harry Jones
This paper describes engineering rules of thumb for life support system design. One general design rule is that the longer the mission, the more the life support system should use regenerable technologies and recycling. A more specific rule is that, if plants supply more than about half the food, the plants will provide all the oxygen needed by the crew. There are many such design rules that can help in planning the analysis of life support systems or in assessing design concepts. These rules typically describe the results of steady state, “back of the envelope,” trade-off calculations. They are useful in suggesting plausible candidate life support system designs or approaches. Life support system engineers should consider the basic design rules and make quick steady state calculations as a guide before doing detailed design.
2004-07-19
Technical Paper
2004-01-2363
Harry Jones
The Advanced Life Support (ALS) project uses Equivalent Mass (EM) to report ALS progress and in technology selection. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is much more widely used. We develop a new metric, Life Cycle Mass (LCM), from EM and a mass-based LCC model. EM, LCM and Mass (M) alone are compared for technology ranking and progress reporting. These metrics are usually highly correlated and typically produce similar technology rankings and ALS progress metrics. Since M is much simpler than EM or LCM, ALS analysis could use M (Mass) alone for initial technology ranking and for ALS metric reporting.
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