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Journal Article

A New Automotive Air Conditioning System Simulation Tool Developed in MATLAB/Simulink

Accurate evaluation of vehicles' transient total power requirement helps achieving further improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency. When operated, the air-conditioning (A/C) system is the largest auxiliary load on a vehicle, therefore accurate evaluation of the load it places on the vehicle's engine and/or energy storage system is especially important. Vehicle simulation models, such as "Autonomie," have been used by OEMs to evaluate vehicles' energy performance. However, the load from the A/C system on the engine or on the energy storage system has not always been modeled in sufficient detail. A transient A/C simulation tool incorporated into vehicle simulation models would also provide a tool for developing more efficient A/C systems through a thorough consideration of the transient A/C system performance. The dynamic system simulation software MATLAB/Simulink® is frequently used by vehicle controls engineers to develop new and more efficient vehicle energy system controls.
Technical Paper

A Modular Battery Management System for HEVs

Proper electric and thermal management of an HEV battery pack, consisting of many modules of cells, is imperative. During operation, voltage and temperature differences in the modules/cells can lead to electrical imbalances from module to module and decrease pack performance by as much as 25%. An active battery management system (BMS) is a must to monitor, control, and balance the pack. The University of Toledo, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and in collaboration with DaimlerChrysler and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a modular battery management system for HEVs. This modular unit is a 2nd generation system, as compared to a previous 1st generation centralized system. This 2nd generation prototype can balance a battery pack based on cell-to-cell measurements and active equalization. The system was designed to work with several battery types, including lithium ion, NiMH, or lead acid.
Technical Paper

A Miniature Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer Array and GC For Space Flight: Astronaut EVA and Cabin-Air Monitoring

A miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array and gas chromatograph have been designed and built for NASA flight missions. Without the gas chromatograph the mass spectrometer is to be used for detection, by astronauts in EVA, of N2, O2, the hydrazines, and NH3 leaks in the hull of the International Space Station, and of adsorbed hydrazines on the astronauts’ suits. The fully-adapted astronaut system, with all software and visual readout, is called the Trace Gas Analyzer. When interfaced with the miniature gas chromatographic system, the mass spectrometer will be useful for a variety of NASA missions involving more complex gas mixtures. The missions include planetary exploration (to Venus, Europa, Titan, etc.), as well as cabin-air monitoring for long-duration human flight to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Technical Paper

A Method for and Issues Associated with the Determination of Space Suit Joint Requirements

In the design of a new space suit it is necessary to have requirements that define what mobility space suit joints should be capable of achieving in both a system and at the component level. NASA elected to divide mobility into its constituent parts -- range of motion (ROM) and torque -- in an effort to develop clean design requirements that limit subject performance bias and are easily verified. Unfortunately, the measurement of mobility can be difficult to obtain. Current technologies, such as the Vicon motion capture system, allow for the relatively easy benchmarking of range of motion (ROM) for a wide array of space suit systems. The ROM evaluations require subjects in the suit to accurately evaluate the ranges humans can achieve in the suit. However, when it comes to torque, there are significant challenges for both benchmarking current performance and writing requirements for future suits.
Technical Paper

A Lightweight EVA Emergency System

TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) is developing a compact, lightweight ExtraVehicular activity (EVA) emergency system that provides 30-minute life-support in the case of system or component failures in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The system uses a low ventilation rate to reduce the amount of stored oxygen, reducing the associated weight and volume penalty. Operation of the system requires an effective sorbent that would remove carbon dioxide and moisture from the suit. We are developing a regenerable sorbent that is suitable for the conceptual system. Recently, we tested the sorbent performance in an adiabatic reactor setup simulating representative EVA emergency conditions. This paper summarizes results of these adiabatic tests.
Journal Article

A History of Space Toxicology Mishaps: Lessons Learned and Risk Management

After several decades of human spaceflight, the community of space-faring nations has accumulated a diverse and sometimes harrowing history of toxicological events that have plagued human space endeavors almost from the very beginning. Some lessons have been learned in ground-based test beds and others were discovered the hard way - when human lives were at stake in space. From such lessons one can build a risk-management framework for toxicological events to minimize the probability of a harmful exposure, while recognizing that we cannot predict all possible events. Space toxicologists have learned that relatively harmless compounds can be converted by air revitalization systems into compounds that cause serious harm to the crew.
Technical Paper

A High Efficiency Magnetic Activated Sludge Reactor for Wastewater Processing

Technologies for the recycling of water are a primary goal of NASA’s advanced life support programs. Biological processes have been identified as an attractive method for wastewater processing. A fundamental new bioreactor based on a traditional activated sludge process is demonstrated that treats hygiene wastewater using magnetic iron oxide particles agglomerated with microbial cells. In this bioreactor, microbes are suspended in magnetic flocs in a wastewater medium. Instead of a traditional gravity separator used in activated sludge operations, a magnetic separator removes the microbial flocs from the outlet stream. The reactor separation operates continuously, independent of gravitational influences. The reactor has been able to simultaneously remove 98% of high levels of both nitrogenous and organic carbon impurities from the wastewater as well as achieve acceptably low levels of total suspended solids.
Journal Article

A Freezable Heat Exchanger for Space Suit Radiator Systems

During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment, the load from the electrical components and incident radiation. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Radiators have no moving parts and are thus simple and highly reliable. However, past freezable radiators have been too heavy.
Journal Article

1000-Hour Durability Evaluation of a Prototype 2007 Diesel Engine with Aftertreatment Using B20 Biodiesel Fuel

A prototype 2007 ISL Cummins diesel engine equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), diesel particle filter (DPF), variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), and cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was tested at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) under a high-load accelerated durability cycle for 1000 hours with B20 soy-based biodiesel blends and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel to determine the impact of B20 on engine durability, performance, emissions, and fuel consumption. At the completion of the 1000-hour test, a thorough engine teardown evaluation of the overhead, power transfer, cylinder, cooling, lube, air handling, gaskets, aftertreatment, and fuel system parts was performed. The engine operated successfully with no biodiesel-related failures. Results indicate that engine performance was essentially the same when tested at 125 and 1000 hours of accumulated durability operation.