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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.
Journal Article

Time-Varying Loads of Co-Axial Rotor Blade Crossings

2017-09-19
2017-01-2024
The blade crossing event of a coaxial counter-rotating rotor is a potential source of noise and impulsive blade loads. Blade crossings occur many times during each rotor revolution. In previous research by the authors, this phenomenon was analyzed by simulating two airfoils passing each other at specified speeds and vertical separation distances, using the compressible Navier-Stokes solver OVERFLOW. The simulations explored mutual aerodynamic interactions associated with thickness, circulation, and compressibility effects. Results revealed the complex nature of the aerodynamic impulses generated by upper/lower airfoil interactions. In this paper, the coaxial rotor system is simulated using two trains of airfoils, vertically offset, and traveling in opposite directions. The simulation represents multiple blade crossings in a rotor revolution by specifying horizontal distances between each airfoil in the train based on the circumferential distance between blade tips.
Technical Paper

Coaxial Rotor Flow Phenomena in Forward Flight

2016-09-20
2016-01-2009
Coaxial rotors are finding use in advanced rotorcraft concepts. Combined with lift offset rotor technology, they offer a solution to the problems of dynamic stall and reverse flow that often limit single rotor forward flight speeds. In addition, coaxial rotorcraft systems do not need a tail rotor, a major boon during operation in confined areas. However, the operation of two counter-rotating rotors in close proximity generates many possible aerodynamic interactions between rotor blades, blades and vortices, and between vortices. With two rotors, the parameter design space is very large, and requires efficient computations as well as basic experiments to explore aerodynamics of a coaxial rotor and the effects on performance, loads, and acoustics.
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

Development of Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap for Performance Adaptive Aeroelastic Wing

2015-09-15
2015-01-2565
This paper summarizes the recent development of an adaptive aeroelastic wing shaping control technology called variable camber continuous trailing edge flap (VCCTEF). As wing flexibility increases, aeroelastic interactions with aerodynamic forces and moments become an increasingly important consideration in aircraft design and aerodynamic performance. Furthermore, aeroelastic interactions with flight dynamics can result in issues with vehicle stability and control. The initial VCCTEF concept was developed in 2010 by NASA under a NASA Innovation Fund study entitled “Elastically Shaped Future Air Vehicle Concept,” which showed that highly flexible wing aerodynamic surfaces can be elastically shaped in-flight by active control of wing twist and bending deflection in order to optimize the spanwise lift distribution for drag reduction. A collaboration between NASA and Boeing Research & Technology was subsequently funded by NASA from 2012 to 2014 to further develop the VCCTEF concept.
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.
Technical Paper

NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing Project: Generation N+3 Technology Portfolio

2011-10-18
2011-01-2521
Commercial aviation relies almost entirely on subsonic fixed wing aircraft to constantly move people and goods from one place to another across the globe. While air travel is an effective means of transportation providing an unmatched combination of speed and range, future subsonic aircraft must improve substantially to meet efficiency and environmental targets. The NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project addresses the comprehensive challenge of enabling revolutionary energy-efficiency improvements in subsonic transport aircraft combined with dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and perceived noise to facilitate sustained growth of the air transportation system. Advanced technologies, and the development of unconventional aircraft systems, offer the potential to achieve these improvements.
Technical Paper

Starship Life Support

2009-07-12
2009-01-2466
The design and mass cost of a starship and its life support system are investigated. The mission plan for a multigenerationai interstellar voyage to colonize a new planet is used to describe the starship design, including the crew habitat, accommodations, and life support. Cost is reduced if a small crew travels slowly and lands with minimal equipment. The first human interstellar colonization voyage will probably travel about 10 light years and last hundreds of years. The required travel velocity is achievable by nuclear propulsion using near future technology. To minimize mission mass, the entire starship would not decelerate at the destination. Only small descent vehicles would land on the destination planet. The most mass efficient colonization program would use colonizing crews of only a few dozen. Highly reliable life support can be achieved by providing selected spares and full replacement systems.
Technical Paper

Mentoring SFRM: A New Approach to International Space Station Flight Controller Training

2009-07-12
2009-01-2447
The Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) of the Johnson Space Center is responsible for providing continuous operations support for the International Space Station (ISS). Operations support requires flight controllers who are skilled in team performance as well as the technical operations of the ISS. ISS flight controller certification has evolved to include a balanced focus on the development of team performance and technical expertise. The latest challenge the ISS team faces is how to certify an ISS flight controller to the required level of effectiveness in one year. Space Flight Resource Management (SFRM) training, a NASA adapted variant of Crew Resource Management (CRM), is expanding the role of senior flight controllers as mentors to help meet that challenge. This paper explains our mentoring approach and discusses its effectiveness and future applicability in promoting SFRM/CRM skills.
Technical Paper

Results and Analysis from Reduced Gravity Experiments of the Flexible Membrane Commode Apparatus

2009-07-12
2009-01-2344
Two separate experimental rigs used in tests on NASA and Zero-G Corporation aircrafts flying low-gravity trajectories, and in the NASA 2.2 Second Drop Tower have been developed to test the functioning of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) concept under reduced gravity conditions. The first rig incorporates the flexible, optically opaque membrane bag and the second rig incorporates a transparent chamber with a funnel assembly for evacuation that approximates the size of the membrane bag. Different waste dispensers have been used including a caulking gun and flexible hose assembly, and an injection syringe. Waste separation mechanisms include a pair of wire cutters, an iris mechanism, as well as discrete slug injection. The experimental work is described in a companion paper. This paper focuses on the obtained results and analysis of the data.
Technical Paper

Fecal Simulant Delivery Systems for Parabolic Flight Testing of the Flexible Membrane Commode

2009-07-12
2009-01-2343
The Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) is an alternative waste management system designed to address the severe mass restrictions on the Orion vehicle. The concept includes a deployable seat and single use, three layer bags that employ air flow to draw solids away from the body and safely contain them in disposable bags.1 Simulated microgravity testing of the system was performed during two separate parabolic flight campaigns in July and August of 2008. Experimental objectives included verifying the waste fill procedures in reduced gravity, characterizing waste behavior during the filling process, and comparison of the results with model predictions. In addition the operational procedure for bag installation, removal, and sealing were assessed. 2 A difficult operational requirement concerns the delivery of the fecal waste simulant into the upper area of the bag in a manner that faithfully simulates human defecation.
Technical Paper

Development Status of a Low-Power CO2 Removal and Compression System for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization

2008-06-29
2008-01-2095
The “low power-CO2 removal (LPCOR) system” is an advanced air revitalization system that is under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The LPCOR utilizes the fundamental design features of the ‘four bed molecular sieve’ (4BMS) CO2 removal technology of the International Space Station (ISS). LPCOR improves power efficiency by replacing the desiccant beds of the 4BMS with a membrane dryer and a state-of-the-art, structured adsorbent device that collectively require 25% of the thermal energy required by the 4BMS desiccant beds for regeneration. Compared to the 4BMS technology, it has the added functionality to deliver pure, compressed CO2 for oxygen recovery. The CO2 removal and recovery functions are performed in a two-stage adsorption compressor. CO2 is removed from the cabin air and partially compressed in the first stage. The second stage performs further compression and delivers the compressed CO2 to a reduction unit such as a Sabatier reactor for oxygen recovery.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Ammonia Sorbents and Carbon Monoxide Oxidation Catalysts

2008-06-29
2008-01-2097
Designers of future space vehicles envision simplifying the Atmosphere Revitalization (AR) system by combining the functions of trace contaminant (TC) control and carbon dioxide removal into one swing-bed system. Flow rates and bed sizes of the TC and CO2 systems have historically been very different. There is uncertainty about the ability of trace contaminant sorbents to adsorb adequately in a high-flow or short bed length configurations, and to desorb adequately during short vacuum exposures. This paper describes preliminary results of a comparative experimental investigation into adsorbents for trace contaminant control. Ammonia sorbents and low temperature catalysts for CO oxidation are the foci. The data will be useful to designers of AR systems for Constellation. Plans for extended and repeated vacuum exposure of ammonia sorbents are also presented.
Technical Paper

Supporting Constellation Mission Training from Crew to Controllers

2008-06-29
2008-01-2106
Training to operate and manage Constellation vehicles, which include a crewed spacecraft and the lunar lander, is an essential part of the Constellation program. This paper discusses the on-going preparations for a Constellation Training Facility (CxTF). CxTF will be compromised of training simulators that will be used, in part, to prepare crew and flight controllers for vehicle operations. Current training simulators are reviewed to identify and outline key CxTF elements, i.e., part-task and full-task trainers. These trainers are further discussed within the context of the Constellation missions.
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

Idealized Modeling and Analysis of the Shuttle Orbiter Wing Leading Edge Impact Data

2007-09-17
2007-01-3882
Some selected segments of the ascent and the on-orbit data from the Space Shuttle flight, STS114, as well as some selected laboratory test article data have been analyzed using wavelets, power spectrum and autocorrelation function. Additionally, a simple approximate noise test was performed on these data segments to confirm the presence or absence of white noise behavior in the data. This study was initially directed at characterizing the on-orbit background against which a signature due to an impact during on-orbit operation could be identified. The laboratory data analyzed here mimic low velocity impact that the Orbiter may be subjected to during the very initial stages of ascent.
Technical Paper

Integrated Systems Testing of Spacecraft

2007-07-09
2007-01-3144
How much integrated system level test should be performed on a spacecraft before it is launched? Although sometimes system test is minimized, experience shows that systems level testing should be thorough and complete. Reducing subsystem testing is a less dangerous way to save cost, since it risks finding problems later in system test, while cutting systems test risks finding them even later on orbit. Human-rated spacecraft test planning is informal, subjective, and inconsistent, and its extent is often determined by the decision maker's risk tolerance, decision-making style, and long-term or short-term view. Decisions on what to test should be guided by an overall mission cost-benefit analysis, similar to the risk analysis used to guide development efforts.
Technical Paper

Mars Transit Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3160
This paper considers the design of a life support system for transit to Mars and return to Earth. Because of the extremely high cost of launching mass to Mars, the Mars transit life support system must minimize the amount of oxygen, water, and food transported. The three basic ways to provide life support are to directly supply all oxygen and water, or to recycle them using physicochemical equipment, or to produce them incidentally while growing food using crop plants. Comparing the costs of these three approaches shows that physicochemical recycling of oxygen and water is least costly for a Mars transit mission. The long mission duration also requires that the Mars transit life support system have high reliability and maintainability. Mars transit life support cannot make use of planetary resources or gravity. It should be tested in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
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