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Journal Article

An Overview of the V&V of Flight-Critical Systems Effort at NASA

As the US is getting ready for the Next Generation (NextGen) of Air Traffic System, there is a growing concern that the current techniques for verification and validation will not be adequate for the changes to come. The JPDO (in charge of implementing NextGen) has given NASA a mandate to address the problem and it resulted in the formulation of the V&V of Flight-Critical Systems effort. This research effort is divided into four themes: argument-based safety assurance, distributed systems, authority and autonomy, and, software intensive systems. This paper presents an overview of the technologies that will address the problem.
Technical Paper

The ISS Water Processor Catalytic Reactor as a Post Processor for Advanced Water Reclamation Systems

Advanced water processors being developed for NASA's Exploration Initiative rely on phase change technologies and/or biological processes as the primary means of water reclamation. As a result of the phase change, volatile compounds will also be transported into the distillate product stream. The catalytic reactor assembly used in the International Space Station (ISS) water processor assembly, referred to as Volatile Removal Assembly (VRA), has demonstrated high efficiency oxidation of many of these volatile contaminants, such as low molecular weight alcohols and acetic acid, and is considered a viable post treatment system for all advanced water processors. To support this investigation, two ersatz solutions were defined to be used for further evaluation of the VRA. The first solution was developed as part of an internal research and development project at Hamilton Sundstrand (HS), and is based primarily on ISS experience related to the development of the VRA.
Technical Paper

Development Status of Amine-based, Combined Humidity, CO2 and Trace Contaminant Control System for CEV

Under a NASA-sponsored technology development project, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of industry, academia, and government organizations lead by Hamilton Sundstrand is developing an amine-based humidity and CO2 removal process and prototype equipment for Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) applications. Originally this project sought to research enhanced amine formulations and incorporate a trace contaminant control capability into the sorbent. In October 2005, NASA re-directed the project team to accelerate the delivery of hardware by approximately one year and emphasize deployment on board the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) as the near-term developmental goal. Preliminary performance requirements were defined based on nominal and off-nominal conditions and the design effort was initiated using the baseline amine sorbent, SA9T.
Technical Paper

Toward Human-Robot Interface Standards: Use of Standardization and Intelligent Subsystems for Advancing Human-Robotic Competency in Space Exploration

NASA's plans to implement the Vision for Space Exploration include extensive human-robot cooperation across an enterprise spanning multiple missions, systems, and decades. To make this practical, strong enterprise-level interface standards (data, power, communication, interaction, autonomy, and physical) will be required early in the systems and technology development cycle. Such standards should affect both the engineer and operator roles that humans adopt in their interactions with robots. For the engineer role, standards will result in reduced development lead-times, lower cost, and greater efficiency in deploying such systems. For the operator role, standards will result in common autonomy and interaction modes that reduce operator training, minimize workload, and apply to many different robotic platforms. Reduced quantities of spare hardware could also be a benefit of standardization.
Technical Paper

NASA's Advanced Life Support Technology Program

For reasons of safety as well as cost, increasingly lengthy space missions at unprecedented distances from Earth in the 21st century will require reductions in consumables and increases in the autonomy of spacecraft life support systems. Advanced life support technologies can increase mission productivity and enhance science yield by achieving reductions in the mass, volume, and power required to support human needs for long periods of time in sterile and hostile environments. Current investment in developing advanced life support systems for orbital research facilities will increase the productivity of these relatively near-term missions, while contributing to the technology base necessary for future human exploration missions.
Technical Paper

VTOL Flight Investigation to Develop a Decelerating Instrument Approach Capability

The inability of available situation displays to provide a decelerating instrument approach capability to a hover led to a flight research program in which control-command information was displayed for three degrees of freedom. The test aircraft (NASA's CH-46C in-flight simulator) was stabilized with high-gain attitude command system. Using this system, the pilot was able to decelerate the aircraft to a hover while simultaneously following a 6 deg glidepath. Although these tests demonstrate the potential of this concept, a number of factors, including adequate integration of command and situation information, were identified as affecting pilot acceptance of the system.