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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.
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.
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.
Journal Article

Waste Management Technology and the Drivers for Space Missions

2008-06-29
2008-01-2047
Since the mid 1980s, NASA has developed advanced waste management technologies that collect and process waste. These technologies include incineration, hydrothermal oxidation, pyrolysis, electrochemical oxidation, activated carbon production, brine dewatering, slurry bioreactor oxidation, composting, NOx control, compaction, and waste collection. Some of these technologies recover resources such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon, fuels, and nutrients. Other technologies such as the Waste Collection System (WCS - the commode) collect waste for storage or processing. The need for waste processing varies greatly depending upon the mission scenario. This paper reviews the waste management technology development activities conducted by NASA since the mid 1980s and explores the drivers that determine the application of these technologies to future missions.
Journal Article

Lightweight Contingency Water Recovery System Concept Development

2008-06-29
2008-01-2143
The Lightweight Contingency Water Recovery System (LWC-WRS) harvests water from various sources in or around the Orion spacecraft in order to provide contingency water at a substantial mass savings when compared to stored emergency water supplies. The system uses activated carbon treatment (for urine) followed by forward osmosis (FO). The LWC-WRS recovers water from a variety of contaminated sources by directly processing it into a fortified (electrolyte and caloric) drink. Primary target water sources are urine, seawater, and other on board vehicle waters (often referred to as technical waters). The product drink provides hydration, electrolytes, and caloric requirements for crew consumption. The system hardware consists of a urine collection device containing an activated carbon matrix (Stage 1) and an FO membrane treatment element (or bag) which contains an internally mounted cellulose triacetate membrane (Stage 2).
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

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.
Technical Paper

Planner-Based Control of Advanced Life Support Systems

2005-07-11
2005-01-2961
The paper describes an approach to the integration of qualitative and quantitative modeling techniques for advanced life support (ALS) systems. Developing reliable control strategies that scale up to fully integrated life support systems requires augmenting quantitative models and control algorithms with the abstractions provided by qualitative, symbolic models and their associated high-level control strategies. This will allow for effective management of the combinatorics due to the integration of a large number of ALS subsystems. By focusing control actions at different levels of detail and reactivity we can use faster, simpler responses at the lowest level and predictive but complex responses at the higher levels of abstraction. In particular, methods from model-based planning and scheduling can provide effective resource management over long time periods.
Technical Paper

A Prototype Pyrolysis / Oxidation System for Solid Waste Processing

2005-07-11
2005-01-3083
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.
Technical Paper

An On-line Technology Information System (OTIS) for Advanced Life Support

2003-07-07
2003-01-2636
An On-line Technology Information System (OTIS) is currently being developed for the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Program. This paper describes the preliminary development of OTIS, which is a system designed to provide centralized collection and organization of technology information. The lack of thorough, reliable and easily understood technology information is a major obstacle in effective assessment of technology development progress, trade studies, metric calculations, and technology selection for integrated testing. OTIS will provide a formalized, well-organized protocol to communicate thorough, accurate, current and relevant technology information between the hands-on technology developer and the ALS Community. The need for this type of information transfer system within the Solid Waste Management (SWM) element was recently identified and addressed.
Technical Paper

Component-based Control System for the Rotating-Disk Analytical System (R-DAS)

2003-07-07
2003-01-2529
The Rotating Disk Analytical System (R-DAS) is an in-situ, bio-analytical technology, which utilizes a micro-fluidic disk with similar form factor as an audio compact disc to enhance and augment microgravity-based cellular and molecular biology research. The current micro-fluidic assay performs live cell/dead cell analysis using fluorescent microscopy. Image acquisition and analysis are performed for each of the selected microscope slide windows. All images are stored for later download and possible further post analysis. The flight version of the R-DAS will occupy a double mid-deck shuttle locker or one quarter of an ISS rack. The control system for the R-DAS consists of a set of interactive software components. These components interact with one another to control disk rotation, vertical and horizontal stage motion, sample incubation, image acquisition and analysis, and human interface.
Technical Paper

Crop Models for Varying Environmental Conditions

2002-07-15
2002-01-2520
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.
Technical Paper

Atmosphere Composition Control of Spaceflight Plant Growth Growth Chambers

2000-07-10
2000-01-2232
Spaceflight plant growth chambers require an atmosphere control system to maintain adequate levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as to limit trace gas components, for optimum or reproducible scientific performance. Recent atmosphere control anomalies of a spaceflight plant chamber, resulting in unstable CO2 control, have been analyzed. An activated carbon filter, designed to absorb trace gas contaminants, has proven detrimental to the atmosphere control system due to its large buffer capacity for CO2. The latest plant chamber redesign addresses the control anomalies and introduces a new approach to atmosphere control (low leakage rate chamber, regenerative control of CO2, O2, and ethylene).
Technical Paper

Reactive Carbon from Life Support Wastes for Incinerator Flue Gas Cleanup

2000-07-10
2000-01-2283
This paper presents the results from a joint research initiative between NASA Ames Research Center and Lawrence Berkeley National lab. The objective of the research is to produce activated carbon from life support wastes and to use the activated carbon to adsorb and chemically reduce the NOx and SO2 contained in incinerator flue gas. Inedible biomass waste from food production is the primary waste considered for conversion to activated carbon. Results to date show adsorption of both NOx and SO2 in activated carbon made from biomass. Conversion of adsorbed NOx to nitrogen has also been observed.
Technical Paper

Mass Transport in a Spaceflight Plant Growth Chamber

1998-07-13
981553
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.
Technical Paper

Novel Regenerable Incinerator Exhaust Purification and Trace Contaminant Control System Utilizing Humidity Swings

1998-07-13
981760
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.
Technical Paper

Solid Waste Processing - An Essential Technology for the Early Phases of Mars Exploration and Colonization

1997-07-01
972272
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.
Technical Paper

Category A One-Engine-Inoperative Procedures and Pilot Aids for Multi-Engine Civil Rotorcraft

1996-10-01
965616
This paper summarizes the results to date of an on-going research program being conducted by NASA in conjunction with the FAA vertical flight program office. The goal of the program is to reduce pilot workload and increase safety for rotorcraft category A terminal area procedures. Two piloted simulations were conducted on the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator to examine the benefits of optimal procedures, cockpit displays, and alternate cueing methods. Measures of performance, handling qualities ratings and pilot comments indicate that such enhancements can greatly assist a pilot in handling an engine failure in the terminal area.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced Life Support Testbed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

1994-06-01
941610
This paper presents a description of the Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) and its functionality as a pilot study for the design of a future Lunar-Mars habitat. A description of the prototype development testbed, located at Ames Research, is provided as well as an analysis of the key design parameters. The CAAP program is tasked with the development of a life support testbed at the South Pole. This facility will include food production, waste processing, and in situ energy production capabilities. The testbed will provide NASA with a remote facility located in an extremely harsh environment which has been designed to provide a useful analog to the deployment of a future Lunar-Martian habitat. NASA's program goals are the operational testing of life support technologies and the conduct of scientific studies to facilitate future technology selection and system design.
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