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Technical Paper

Summary of the High Ice Water Content (HIWC) RADAR Flight Campaigns

2019-06-10
2019-01-2027
NASA and the FAA conducted two flight campaigns to quantify onboard weather radar measurements with in-situ measurements of high concentrations of ice crystals found in deep convective storms. The ultimate goal of this research was to improve the understanding of high ice water content (HIWC) and develop onboard weather radar processing techniques to detect regions of HIWC ahead of an aircraft to enable tactical avoidance of the potentially hazardous conditions. Both HIWC RADAR campaigns utilized the NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory equipped with a Honeywell RDR-4000 weather radar and in-situ microphysical instruments to characterize the ice crystal clouds. The purpose of this paper is to summarize how these campaigns were conducted and highlight key results. The first campaign was conducted in August 2015 with a base of operations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Analysis of the Elytron 2S Experimental Tiltwing Aircraft

2016-09-20
2016-01-2008
The Elytron 2S is a prototype aircraft concept to allow VTOL capabilities together with fixed wing aircraft performance. It has a box wing design with a centrally mounted tilt-wing supporting two rotors. This paper explores the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft using computational fluid dynamics in hover and low speed forward flight, as well as analyzing the unique control system in place for hover. The results are then used to build an input set for NASA Design and Analysis if Rotorcraft software allowing trim and flight stability and control estimations to be made with SIMPLI-FLYD.
Technical Paper

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

2013-09-17
2013-01-2331
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.
Journal Article

Autonomy and Intelligent Technologies for Advanced Inspection Systems

2013-09-17
2013-01-2092
This paper features a set of advanced technologies for autonomy and intelligence in advanced inspection systems of facility operations. These technologies offer a significant contribution to set a path to establish a system and an operating environment with autonomy and intelligence for inspection, monitoring and safety via gas and ambient sensors, video mining and speech recognition commands on unmanned ground vehicles and other platforms to support operational activities in the Cryogenics Test bed and other facilities and vehicles. These advanced technologies are in current development and progress and their functions and operations require guidance and formulation in conjunction with the development team(s) toward the system architecture.
Journal Article

Modeling Weather Impact on Airport Arrival Miles-in-Trail Restrictions

2013-09-17
2013-01-2301
When the demand for either a region of airspace or an airport approaches or exceeds the available capacity, miles-in-trail (MIT) restrictions are the most frequently issued traffic management initiatives (TMIs) that are used to mitigate these imbalances. Miles-in-trail operations require aircraft in a traffic stream to meet a specific inter-aircraft separation in exchange for maintaining a safe and orderly flow within the stream. This stream of aircraft can be departing an airport, over a common fix, through a sector, on a specific route or arriving at an airport. This study begins by providing a high-level overview of the distribution and causes of arrival MIT restrictions for the top ten airports in the United States. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of the frequency, duration and cause of MIT restrictions impacting the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) from 2009 through 2011.
Journal Article

Modeling Weather Impact on Ground Delay Programs

2011-10-18
2011-01-2680
Scheduled arriving aircraft demand may exceed airport arrival capacity when there is abnormal weather at an airport. In such situations, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) institutes ground-delay programs (GDP) to delay flights before they depart from their originating airports. Efficient GDP planning depends on the accuracy of prediction of airport capacity and demand in the presence of uncertainties in weather forecast. This paper presents a study of the impact of dynamic airport surface weather on GDPs. Using the National Traffic Management Log, effect of weather conditions on the characteristics of GDP events at selected busy airports is investigated. Two machine learning methods are used to generate models that map the airport operational conditions and weather information to issued GDP parameters and results of validation tests are described.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Cognitive Abilities in Simulated Space Ascent Environments

2009-07-12
2009-01-2425
The cognitive abilities of some astronauts are affected during spaceflight. We investigated whether a simulated space flight ascent environment, including vibration and 3.8 Gx ascent forces, would result in cognitive deficits detectable by the WinSCAT test battery. Eleven participants were administered the computerized cognitive test battery, a workload rating questionnaire and a subjective state questionnaire before and after a combination of acceleration plus vibration conditions. The acceleration plus vibration exposure resulted in significant self-reports of physical discomfort but did not significantly affect cognitive test battery scores. We discuss ways in which a cognitive assessment tool could be made more sensitive to subtle cognitive changes relevant to astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

Advanced Development of the Direct Osmotic Concentration System

2008-06-29
2008-01-2145
Direct osmotic concentration (DOC) is an integrated membrane treatment process designed for the reclamation of spacecraft wastewater. The system includes forward osmosis (FO), membrane evaporation, reverse osmosis (RO) and an aqueous phase catalytic oxidation (APCO) post-treatment unit. This document describes progress in the third year of a four year project to advance hardware maturity of this technology to a level appropriate for human rated testing. The current status of construction and testing of the final deliverable is covered and preliminary calculations of equivalent system mass are funished.
Technical Paper

Current and Planned Modifications to the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology in Response to the MSFC ECLS Long Duration Test Results

2008-06-29
2008-01-2141
The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology has undergone long duration testing at MSFC. The results of this testing revealed several areas in which the VPCAR Technology could be improved and those improvements are summarized here. These improvements include the replacement of several parts with units that are more durable, redesign of several pieces which proved to have mechanical weaknesses, and incorporation of some new designs in order to prevent other potential problems.
Journal Article

Operator Performance Evaluation of Fault Management Interfaces for Next-Generation Spacecraft

2008-06-29
2008-01-2039
In the cockpit of NASA's next generation spacecraft, most vehicle command will be performed via electronic interfaces instead of hard cockpit switches. Checklists will be also displayed and completed on electronic procedure viewers rather than on paper. Transitioning to electronic cockpit interfaces opens up opportunities for more automated assistance, including automated root-cause diagnosis capability. The paper reports an empirical study evaluating two potential concepts for fault management interfaces incorporating two different levels of automation. The operator performance benefits produced by automation were assessed. Also, some design recommendations for spacecraft fault management interfaces are discussed.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of a Breadboard Compactor for Advanced Waste Management Designs

2007-07-09
2007-01-3267
Waste management is a vital function of spacecraft life support systems as it is necessary to meet crew health and safety and quality of life requirements. Depending on the specific mission requirements, waste management operations can include waste collection, segregation, containment, processing, storage and disposal. For the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), addressing volume and mass constraints is paramount. Reducing the volume of trash prior to storage is a viable means to recover habitable volume, and is therefore a particularly desirable waste management function to implement in the CEV, and potentially in other spacecraft as well. Research is currently being performed at NASA Ames Research Center to develop waste compaction systems that can provide both volume and mass savings for the CEV and other missions.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility

2007-07-09
2007-01-3036
The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) technology has been previously discussed as a viable option for the Exploration Water Recovery System. This technology integrates a phase change process with catalytic oxidation in the vapor phase to produce potable water from exploration mission wastewaters. A developmental prototype VPCAR was designed, built and tested under funding provided by a National Research Announcement (NRA) project. The core technology, a Wiped Film Rotating Device (WFRD) was provided by Water Reuse Technologies under the NRA, whereas Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International performed the hardware integration and acceptance test of the system. Personnel at the Ames Research Center performed initial systems test of the VPCAR using ersatz solutions. To assess the viability of this hardware for Exploration Life Support (ELS) applications, the hardware has been modified and tested at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility.
Technical Paper

NASA's On-line Project Information System (OPIS) Attributes and Implementation

2006-07-17
2006-01-2190
The On-line Project Information System (OPIS) is a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) system being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to improve Agency information transfer and data availability, largely for improvement of system analysis and engineering. The tool will enable users to investigate NASA technology development efforts, connect with experts, and access technology development data. OPIS is currently being developed for NASA's Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project. Within OPIS, NASA ELS Managers assign projects to Principal Investigators (PI), track responsible individuals and institutions, and designate reporting assignments. Each PI populates a “Project Page” with a project overview, team member information, files, citations, and images. PI's may also delegate on-line report viewing and editing privileges to specific team members. Users can browse or search for project and member information.
Technical Paper

Performance Characterization of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization Based on Integrated Tests with Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reduction Assemblies

2006-07-17
2006-01-2126
CO2 removal, recovery and reduction are essential processes for a closed loop air revitalization system in a crewed spacecraft. Typically, a compressor is required to recover the low pressure CO2 that is being removed from the spacecraft in a swing bed adsorption system. This paper describes integrated tests of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor (TSAC) with high-fidelity systems for carbon dioxide removal and reduction assemblies (CDRA and Sabatier reactor). It also provides details of the TSAC operation at various CO2 loadings. The TSAC is a solid-state compressor that has the capability to remove CO2 from a low-pressure source, and subsequently store, compress, and deliver it at a higher pressure. TSAC utilizes the principle of temperature-swing adsorption compression and has no rapidly moving parts.
Technical Paper

Carbon Production in Space from Pyrolysis of Solid Waste

2006-07-17
2006-01-2183
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.
Technical Paper

Protein-based Sensors for Environmental Monitoring

2006-07-17
2006-01-2177
Biomolecules exhibit specific binding and high affinity for their ligands. These properties can be exploited to produce sensitive, specific, real-time sensors for analytes that cannot be readily monitored by other methods. Several technologies for environmental monitoring using proteins are currently being developed. We discuss specific challenges to practical application of a family of protein-based sensors derived from bacterial periplasmic binding proteins. We also present recent work to address these challenges.
Technical Paper

Machine Learning for Detecting and Locating Damage in a Rotating Gear

2005-10-03
2005-01-3371
This paper describes a multi-disciplinary damage detection methodology that can aid in detecting and diagnosing a damage in a given structural system, not limited to the example of a rotating gear presented here. Damage detection is performed on the gear stress data corresponding to the steady state conditions. The normal and damage data are generated by a finite-difference solution of elastodynamic equations of velocity and stress in generalized coordinates1. The elastodynamic solution provides a knowledge of the stress distribution over the gear such as locations of stress extrema, which in turn can lead to an optimal placement of appropriate sensors over the gear to detect a potential damage. The damage detection is performed by a multi-function optimization that incorporates Tikhonov kernel regularization reinforced by an added Laplacian regularization term as used in semi-supervised machine learning. Damage is mimicked by reducing the rigidity of one of the gear teeth.
Technical Paper

Navigation in a Challenging Martian Environment Using Data Mining Techniques

2005-10-03
2005-01-3383
This paper discussed how data mining techniques could give advantage to the robot in navigation, in terms of speed. The input of our navigation system is the sensory information collected by the robot's equipped landmark sensor and infra-red sensor, the process of the system is the proposed data mining technique, and the output of the system is the execution of the moving direction in a 2D Martian environment. The results demonstrate efficient goal-oriented navigation using data mining techniques.
Technical Paper

Machine Learning for Rocket Propulsion Health Monitoring

2005-10-03
2005-01-3370
This paper describes the initial results of applying two machine-learning-based unsupervised anomaly detection algorithms, Orca and GritBot, to data from two rocket propulsion testbeds. The first testbed uses historical data from the Space Shuttle Main Engine. The second testbed uses data from an experimental rocket engine test stand located at NASA Stennis Space Center. The paper describes four candidate anomalies detected by the two algorithms.
Technical Paper

Control of Effluent Gases from Solid Waste Processing Using Impregnated Carbon Nanotubes

2005-07-11
2005-01-2946
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.
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