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Technical Paper

Investigation of Transient Temperature Oscillations of a Propylene Loop Heat Pipe

A technology demonstration propylene Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) has been tested extensively in support of the implementation of this two-phase thermal control technology on NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument. This cryogenic instrument is being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA. This paper reports on the transient characterization testing results showing low frequency temperature oscillations. Steady state performance and model correlation results can be found elsewhere. Results for transient startup and shutdown are also reported elsewhere. In space applications, when LHPs are used for thermal control, the power dissipation components are typically of large mass and may operate over a wide range of power dissipations; there is a concern that the LHP evaporator may see temperature oscillations at low powers and over some temperature range.
Technical Paper

Monitoring Space Shuttle Air for Selected Contaminants Using an Electronic Nose

A miniaturized electronic nose has been constructed at JPL in collaboration with Caltech. This array of conductometric sensors has been trained to detect and quantify the presence of vapors in the air; the compounds detected have been found as contaminants in shuttle air. This device has potential application as a miniature, distributed device for monitoring and controlling the constituents in air.
Technical Paper

Measuring Aqueous Humor Glucose Across Physiological Levels: NIR Raman Spectroscopy, Multivariate Analysis, Artificial Neural Networks, and Bayesian Probabilities

We have elicited a reliable Raman spectral signature for glucose in rabbit aqueous humor across mammalian physiological ranges in a rabbit model stressed by recent myocardial infarction. The technique employs near infrared Raman laser excitation at 785 nm, multivariate analysis, non-linear artificial neural networks and an offset spectra subtraction strategy. Aqueous humor glucose levels ranged from 37 to 323 mg/dL. Data were obtained in 80 uL samples to anticipate the volume constraints imposed by the human and rabbit anterior chamber of the eye. Total sample collection time was 10 seconds with total power delivered to sample of 30 Mw. Spectra generated from the aqueous humor were compared qualitatively to artificial aqueous samples and an excitation offset technique was devised to counteract broadband background noise partially obscuring the glucose signature.
Technical Paper

Sojourner Mars Rover Thermal Performance

The Sojourner Rover landed on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Mission. The mission lasted almost three months during which the thermal design of the Rover was tested. This paper summarizes the Rover's design and performance as well as post-mission model correlation.
Technical Paper

Mars Pathfinder Active Heat Rejection System: Successful Flight Demonstration of a Mechanically Pumped Cooling Loop

One of the new technologies successfully demonstrated on the recent Mars Pathfinder mission was the active Heat Rejection System (HRS). This system consisted of a mechanically pumped cooling loop, which actively controlled the temperatures of the various parts of the spacecraft. A single phase Refrigerant 11 liquid was mechanically circulated through the lander and cruise electronics box heat exchangers. This liquid transferred the excess heat to an external radiator on the cruise stage. This is the first time in unmanned spacecraft history that an active heat rejection system of this type has been used on a long duration spacecraft mission. Pathfinder was launched in December 1996 and landed on the Martian surface on July 4, 1997. The system functioned flawlessly during the entire seven months of flight from Earth to Mars. A life test set up of the cooling loop was used to verify the life of the system.
Technical Paper

Chemical Sensor Testing for Space Life Support Chemical Processing: Part I. Moisture Sensors

In support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), a laboratory has been established at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to evaluate the characteristics of chemical sensors which are candidates for use in a controlled chemical processing life support system. Such a facility is required for characterizing those sensors under development as well as those commercially available but whose functional properties are typically based upon operating in industrial environments that will not be completely synonomous with space operations. Space environments, such as an orbiting station or lunar base, will generally have different sensor requirements than terrestrial applications with respect to size, multifunctionality, sensitivity, reliability, temperature, ruggedness, mass, consumables, life, and power requirements. Both commercially available and developmental moisture sensors have been evaluated.
Technical Paper

Noise Environment Reduction Foam Spheres in Space

The advent of lightweight fairings for new spacecraft and the increased thrust of new launch vehicles have intensified the need for better techniques for predicting and for reducing the low frequency noise environment of spacecraft at lift-off. This paper presents a VAPEPS (VibroAcoustic Payload Environment Prediction System) parametrical analysis of the noise reduction of spacecraft fairings and explores a novel technique for increasing the low frequency noise reduction of lightweight fairings by approximately 10 dB.
Technical Paper

Mariner V - The Venus Machine

The Mariner V mission to and past the planet Venus in 1967 is described and some scientific results are summarized. The engineering challenge and process of physically converting a machine designed to conduct a Mars flyby into one suitable for the Venus mission are discussed, and particular technical problems and solutions arising from this conversion or other aspects of the 1967 flight mission are examined. Finally, some results of a study of test effectiveness in this project are considered.
Technical Paper

Physical and Environmental Effects on the Energy Dissipating Characteristics of Balsa Wood

This paper presents the results of a developmental program designed to determine physical and environmental effects on the response of balsa wood as an energy dissipator. Specifically, the effects of moisture content, density, temperature, and pressure on the energy dissipating characteristics of balsa wood are presented. It is shown that the response of balsa wood is critically dependent on physical and environmental conditions, and that the energy dissipating capacity of the material increases significantly under certain combinations of these conditions.
Technical Paper

Propellant Expulsion in Unmanned Spacecraft

Bladders, diaphragms, and pistons used for the positive expulsion of earth-storable liquid rocket propellants are discussed in general terms. The history of PL's work on these devices is reviewed as a background to the current programs. A detailed account of the development and use of bladders in Ranger and Mariner spacecraft is presented. The final section describes an advanced development program aimed at providing technology for future spacecraft.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen: Primary or Supplementary Fuel for Automotive Engines

Hydrogen, gasoline, and mixtures thereof were compared as fuels for lean-burn engines. Hydrogen for the mixed fuels tests was generated by partial oxidation of gasoline. Hydrogen combustion yielded the highest thermal efficiency at any NOx level. Gasoline yielded the second highest thermal efficiency for NOx levels greater than or approximately equal to two gm/mi. For lower NOx levels and high vehicle inertia weights, progressively more hydrogen supplementation was the second most efficient system. For vehicle inertia weights below 5000 lbm (2300 kg), the statutory NOx standard (0.4 gm/mi) could be met with one lb/hr (0.13 g/s) hydrogen supplementation.
Technical Paper

Advanced Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Subsystem Assessment

Various candidates for nonpetroleum electric and hybrid vehicle (EHV) subsystems have been evaluated as part of the Advanced Vehicle (AV) Assessment at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The subsystems include battery and power-peaking energy storage, heat engine and fuel cell energy conversion devices, motor/controller subsystems, transmissions, and vehicle subsystem (structure and body) technologies. The primary objective of this effort, was to project the mature capabilities of the various components in the 1990’s for application in the systems evaluations in the next phase of this activity. This paper presents the basic characteristics of the subsystems and compares their capabilities with projected AV subsystem requirements.
Journal Article

On-Orbit Performance of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper Instrument

Launched on India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on October 22, 2008, JPL's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument has successfully completed over six months of operation in space. M3 is one in a suite of eleven instruments, six of which are foreign payloads, flying onboard the Indian spacecraft. Chandrayaan-1, managed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore, is India's first deep space mission. Chandrayaan-1 was launched on the upgraded version of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota, India. The primary science objective of the M3 instrument is the characterization and mapping of the lunar surface composition in the context of its geologic evolution. Its primary exploration goal is to assess and map the Moon mineral resources at high spatial resolution to support future targeted missions.
Journal Article

Thermal Design Trade Study for the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam Body Unit

The Mars Science Laboratory will be the next Martian mobility system that is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011. The ChemCam Instrument is a part of the MSL science payload suite. It is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 9 meters away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France. The portion of ChemCam that is located inside the Rover, the ChemCam Body Unit contains the imaging charged-coupled device (CCD) detectors. Late in the design cycle, the ChemCam team explored alternate thermal design architectures to provide CCD operational overlap with the Rover's remote sensing instruments. This operational synergy is necessary to enable planning for subsequent laser firings and geological context.
Technical Paper

Thermal Strategy for the Phoenix Robotic Arm Deployment

The Mars Scout Phoenix Lander successfully landed in the Martian northern latitude on May 25, 2008. The Robotic Arm, which was designed to dig and to transfer soil samples to other Lander instruments, contained a number of actuators that had specific operational windows on the Martian surface due to the bearing lubricant. The deployment of the Robotic Arm was planned for Sol 2 (Mars days are referred to “Sols”). A few weeks before Mars landing, the Robotic Arm operations team learned that a strict flight rule had been imposed. It specified that the deployment shall be accomplished when the actuators were at or above −25°C since the deployment activity was qualified with the actuators at −40°C. Furthermore, the deployment plan identified a window of opportunity between 13:00 Local Solar Time (LST, equivalent to dividing the Sol into 24 equal Martian hours) and 15:30 LST.
Journal Article

Mars Science Laboratory Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop for Thermal Control - Design, Implementation, and Testing

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to land a large rover on Mars is being prepared for Launch in 2011. A Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) on the rover provides an electrical power of 110 W for use in the rover and the science payload. Unlike the solar arrays, MMRTG provides a constant electrical power during both day and night for all seasons (year around) and latitudes. The MMRTG dissipates about 2000 W of waste heat to produce the desired electrical power. One of the challenges for MSL Rover is the thermal management of the large amount of MMRTG waste heat. During operations on the surface of Mars this heat can be harnessed to maintain the rover and the science payload within their allowable limits during nights and winters without the use of electrical survival heaters. A mechanically pumped fluid loop heat rejection and recovery system (HRS) is used to pick up some of this waste heat and supply it to the rover and payload.
Journal Article

Design Description and Initial Characterization Testing of an Active Heat Rejection Radiator with Digital Turn-Down Capability

NASA's proposed lunar lander, Altair, will be exposed to vastly different external temperatures following launch till its final destination on the moon. In addition, the heat rejection is lowest at the lowest environmental temperatures (0.5 kW @ 4K) and highest at the highest environmental temperature (4.5 kW @ 215K). This places a severe demand on the radiator design to handle these extreme turn-down requirements. A radiator with digital turn-down capability is currently under study at JPL as a robust means to meet the heat rejection demands and provide freeze protection while minimizing mass and power consumption. Turndown is achieved by independent control of flow branches with isolating latch valves and a gear pump to evacuate the isolated branches. A bench-top test was conducted to characterize the digital radiator concept. Testing focused on the demonstration of proper valve sequencing to achieve turn-down and recharge of flow legs.
Technical Paper

Monitoring Pre-Combustion Event Markers by Heating Electrical Wires

Simultaneous measurements were made for particle releases and off-gassing products produced by heating electrical wires. The wire samples in these experiments were heated to selected temperatures in a heating chamber and responses to vapor releases were recorded by the JPL Electronic Nose (ENose) and an Industrial Scientific ITX gas-monitor; particles released were detected by a TSI P-Trak particle counter. The temperature range considered for the experiment is room temperature (24−26°C) to 500 °C. The results were analyzed by overlapping responses from the ENose, ITX gas sensors and P-Trak, to understand the events (particle release/off-gassing) and sequence of events as a function of temperature and to determine qualitatively whether ENose may be used to detect pre-combustion event markers.
Technical Paper

Operation of Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose on the International Space Station

The Third Generation ENose is an air quality monitor designed to operate in the environment of the US Lab on the International Space Station (ISS). It detects a selected group of analytes at target concentrations in the ppm regime at an environmental temperature range of 18 – 30 °C, relative humidity from 25 – 75% and pressure from 530 to 760 torr. This device was installed and activated on ISS on Dec. 9, 2008 and has been operating continuously since activation. Data are downlinked and analyzed weekly. Results of analysis of ENose monitoring data show the short term presence of low concentration of alcohols, octafluoropropane and formaldehyde as well as frequent short term unknown events.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design of the Mars Science Laboratory Powered Descent Vehicle

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will use a Powered Descent Vehicle to accurately and safely land a roving, robotic laboratory on the surface of Mars. The precision landing systems employed on this vehicle are exposed to a wide range of mission environments from deep space cruise to atmospheric descent and require a robust and adaptable thermal design. This paper discusses the overall thermal design philosophy of the MSL Powered Descent Vehicle and presents analysis of the active and passive elements comprising the Cruise, Entry, Descent, and Landing thermal control systems.