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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

Prediction of Weather Impacts on Airport Arrival Meter Fix Capacity

2019-03-19
2019-01-1350
This paper introduces a data driven model for predicting airport arrival capacity with 2-8 hour look-ahead forecast data. The model is suitable for air traffic flow management by explicitly investigating the impact of convective weather on airport arrival meter fix throughput. Estimation of the arrival airport capacity under arrival meter fix flow constraints due to severe weather is an important part of Air Traffic Management (ATM). Airport arrival capacity can be reduced if one or more airport arrival meter fixes are partially or completely blocked by convective weather. When the predicted airport arrival demands exceed the predicted available airport’s arrival capacity for a sustained period, Ground Delay Program (GDP) operations will be triggered by ATM system.
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.
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

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

A Pilot Scale System for Low Temperature Solid Waste Oxidation and Recovery of Water

2009-07-12
2009-01-2365
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The goals outlined in this document include extending the human presence in the solar system, culminating in the exploration of Mars. A key requirement for this effort is to identify a safe and effective method to process waste. Methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis, drying, and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this work was to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. TDA and NASA Ames Research Center have developed a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system to convert organic waste to CO2 and H2O.
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

Lunar Base Life Support Failure Analysis and Simulation

2009-07-12
2009-01-2482
Dynamic simulation of the lunar outpost habitat life support was undertaken to investigate the impact of life support failures and to investigate possible responses. Some preparatory static analysis for the Lunar Outpost life support model, an earlier version of the model, and an investigation into the impact of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) were reported previously. (Jones, 2008-01-2184, 2008-01-2017) The earlier model was modified to include possible resupply delays, power failures, recycling system failures, and atmosphere and other material storage failures. Most failures impact the lunar outpost water balance and can be mitigated by reducing water usage. Food solids and nitrogen can be obtained only by resupply from Earth. The most time urgent failure is a loss of carbon dioxide removal capability. Life support failures might be survivable if effective operational solutions are provided in the system design.
Journal Article

Testing of a Plastic Melt Waste Compactor Designed for Human Space Exploration Missions

2009-07-12
2009-01-2363
Significant progress has been made at NASA Ames Research Center in the development of a heat melt compaction device called the Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (PMWC). The PMWC was designed to process wet and dry wastes generated on human space exploration missions. The wastes have a plastic content typically greater than twenty percent. The PMWC removes the water from the waste, reduces the volume, and encapsulates it by melting the plastic constituent of the waste. The PMWC is capable of large volume reductions. The final product is compacted waste disk that is easy to manage and requires minimal crew handling. This paper describes the results of tests conducted using the PMWC with a wet and dry waste composite that was representative of the waste types expected to be encountered on long duration human space exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Pyrolysis of Mixed Solid Food, Paper, and Packaging Wastes

2008-06-29
2008-01-2050
Pyrolysis is a very versatile waste processing technology which can be tailored to produce a variety of solid, liquid and/or gaseous products. The pyrolysis processing of pure and mixed solid waste streams has been under investigation for several decades for terrestrial use and a few commercial units have been built for niche applications. Pyrolysis has more recently been considered for the processing of mixed solid wastes in space. While pyrolysis units can easily handle mixed solid waste streams, the dependence of the pyrolysis product distribution on the component composition is not well known. It is often assumed that the waste components (e.g., food, paper, plastic) behave independently, but this is a generalization that can usually only be applied to the overall weight loss and not always to the yields of individual gas species.
Technical Paper

Development of a Reduced Gravity Test Rig for Waste Management

2008-06-29
2008-01-2049
The space environment presents many challenges to the operation and functioning of life support systems. These challenges include reduced gravity, near vacuum ambient, extreme temperatures, and radiation. Proper testing and modeling of system components to account for these factors will be important for their verification. This paper describes the modeling and design of a reduced gravity test rig for waste management studies. The first investigation planned relate to the functioning of components of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) currently under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The planned reduced gravity tests will be carried out in NASA's C'9 aircraft which provides approximately 25 seconds of reduced gravity per parabolic trajectory. The filling of the commode bag under the influence of a directed air flow will be studied. Simulated waste will be injected and cabin air will be used for directing the waste into the bag.
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