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Technical Paper

Micro-Flying Robotics in Space Missions

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board issued a major recommendation to NASA. Prior to return to flight, NASA should develop and implement a comprehensive inspection plan to determine the structural integrity of all Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) system components.
Technical Paper

NASA's Aviation System Monitoring and Modeling Project

Within NASA's Aviation Safety Program, the Aviation System Monitoring and Modeling (ASMM) Project addresses the need to provide decision makers with the tools to identify and evaluate predisposing conditions that could lead to accidents. This Project is developing a set of automated tools to facilitate efficient, comprehensive, and accurate analyses of data collected in large, heterogeneous databases throughout the National Aviation System.
Technical Paper

A Decade of Life Sciences Experiment Unique Equipment Development for Spacelab and Space Station, 1990-1999

Ames Research Center’s Life Sciences Division has developed and flown an extensive array of spaceflight experiment unique equipment (EUE) during the last decade of the twentieth century. Over this ten year span, the EUE developed at ARC supported a vital gravitational biology flight research program executed on several different platforms, including the Space Shuttle, Spacelab, and Space Station Mir. This paper highlights some of the key EUE elements developed at ARC and flown during the period 1990-1999. Resulting lessons learned will be presented that can be applied to the development of similar equipment for the International Space Station.
Technical Paper

Utilization of Virtual Environments for Astronaut Crew Training

The development of virtual environment technology at NASA Ames Research Center and other research institutions has created opportunities for enhancing human performance. The application of this technology to training astronaut flight crews planning to go onboard the International Space Station has already begun at the NASA Johnson Space Center. A unique application of virtual environments to crew training is envisioned at NASA Ames Research Center which combines state of the art technology with haptic feedback to create a method for training crewmembers on critical life sciences operations which require fine motor skills. This paper describes such a concept, known as the Virtual Glovebox, as well as surveys other applications of virtual environments to astronaut crew training.
Technical Paper

Secure Large-Scale Airport Simulations Using Distributed Computational Resources

To fully conduct research that will support the far-term concepts, technologies and methods required to improve the safety of Air Transportation a simulation environment of the requisite degree of fidelity must first be in place. The Virtual National Airspace Simulation (VNAS) will provide the underlying infrastructure necessary for such a simulation system. Aerospace-specific knowledge management services such as intelligent data-integration middleware will support the management of information associated with this complex and critically important operational environment. This simulation environment, in conjunction with a distributed network of super-computers, and high-speed network connections to aircraft, and to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airline and other data-sources will provide the capability to continuously monitor and measure operational performance against expected performance.
Technical Paper

3D PIV in Wind Tunnel Applications: Measurements of a Truck Wake

Three-component Particle Image Velocimetry (3D PIV) is a fluid velocity measurement technique that has evolved from the laboratory to become a method appropriate for use in large-scale wind tunnel testing. An example application of 3D PIV in a wind tunnel test is described. The PIV technique was applied to characterize the wake of The Ground Transportation System (GTS) model developed for the Department of Energy (DOE) Heavy Vehicle Drag Reduction (HVDR) program. The test was performed in the Ames/Army 7×10 foot wind tunnel. The objective of the PIV measurements was to validate the HVDR computational fluid dynamics code. The PIV method and PIV system are described. Sample truck wake data with and without boattail attachments are shown. 3D PIV system successfully captured the effects of the boattails on the truck wake.
Technical Paper

Development of Insect Habitat System for Studying Long Duration Circadian Rhythm Changes on Mir Space Station

A habitat for housing up to 32 Tenebrionid, black body beetles (Trigonoscelis gigas Reitter) has been developed at Ames Research Center for conducting studies to evaluate the effects of long duration spaceflight upon insect circadian timing systems. This habitat, identified as the Beetle Kit, provides an automatically controlled lighting system and activity and temperature recording devices, as well as individual beetle enclosures. Each of the 32 enclosures in a Beetle Kit allows for ad lib movement of the beetle as well as ventilation of the beetle enclosure via an externally operated hand pump. Two Beetle Kits were launched on STS-84 (Shuttle-Mir Mission-06) on May 15, 1997 and were transferred to the Priroda module of the Russian Mir space station on May 18 as part of the NASA/Mir Phase 1 Science Program. Following the Progress collision with Spektr on June 25, the Kits were transferred to the Kristall module. The beetles will remain on Mir for approximately 135 days.
Technical Paper

Training Pilots for In-flight Icing: Cognitive Foundations for Effective Learning and Operational Application

Aviation training has remained largely untouched by decades of development in cognitive science. In aviation, people must be trained to perform complicated tasks and make good operational decisions in complex dynamic environments. However, traditional approaches to professional aviation training are not well designed to accomplish this goal. Aviation training has been based mainly on relatively rigid classroom teaching of factual information followed by on-the-job mentoring. This approach tends to compartmentalize knowledge. It is not optimal for teaching operational decision-making, and it is costly in time and personnel. The effectiveness of training can be enhanced by designing programs that support the psychological processes involved in learning, retention, retrieval, and application. By building programs that are informed by current work in cognitive science and that utilize modern technological advances, efficient training programs can be created.
Technical Paper

Integrated Health Monitoring and Fault Adaptive Control for an Unmanned Hexrotor Helicopter

This paper presents a novel health monitoring and fault adaptive control architecture for an unmanned hexrotor helicopter. The technologies developed to achieve the described level of robust fault contingency management include; 1.) A Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) routine for maximizing the “built-in” fault tolerance that the closed loop flight control system affords, 2.) A two-stage Kalman filter scheme for real-time identification of faults that are masked by control system compensation, and 3.) A reconfigurable control allocation method which compensates for large degradations of the six main motor/rotor assemblies. The fault adaptive control system presented herein has strong robustness against small faults without the need for controller reconfiguration, and strong tolerance of large faults through adaptive accommodation of the fault source and severity.
Technical Paper

Compressing Aviation Data in XML Format

Design, operations and maintenance activities in aviation involve analysis of variety of aviation data. This data is typically in disparate formats making it difficult to use with different software packages. Use of a self-describing and extensible standard called XML provides a solution to this interoperability problem. While self-describing nature of XML makes it easy to reuse, it also increases the size of data significantly. A natural solution to the problem is to compress the data using suitable algorithm and transfer it in the compressed form. We found that XML-specific compressors such as Xmill and XMLPPM generally outperform traditional compressors. However, optimal use of Xmill requires of discovery of optimal options to use while running Xmill. Manual discovery of optimal setting can require an engineer to experiment for weeks.
Technical Paper

Integration and Synthesis in Astrobiology

Astrobiology is one of the most highly integrative scientific efforts ever undertaken, relying on the synthesis of sciences from astronomy to zoology and geology to genomics to discover the thread of life in the universe. These sciences must be further integrated with the technological revolutions in biotechnology, microminiaturization and information technology to realize the vast potential offered by NASA's mission suites. This paper discusses development of the Astrobiology Roadmap and novel management approaches which attempt to bring in the best scientific and technical talent available to bear on Astrobiology's goals, while simultaneously minimizing the overhead and time to flight for Astrobiology payloads.
Technical Paper

Planning Dynamic Simulation of Space Life Support

Dynamic modeling and simulation of recycling space life support is necessary to determine processing rates, buffer sizes, controls, and other aspects of systems design. A common approach is to develop an overall inclusive model that reflects nominal system operation. A full dynamic simulation of space life support represents many system elements in an inclusive model, but it cannot and should not include everything possible. A model is a simplified, partial, mathematical representation of reality. Including unnecessary elements makes the model complex, costly, and confusing. Models are built to help understand a system and to make predictions and decisions about it. The best and most useful models are developed to answer specific important questions. There are many possible questions about life support design and performance. Different questions are best answered by different models. Static spreadsheet analysis is a good starting point.