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Technical Paper

Pressure-Sensitive Paint Technology Applied to Low-Speed Automotive Testing

2001-03-05
2001-01-0626
Pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) technology is a technique used to experimentally determine surface pressures on models during wind tunnel tests. The key to this technique is a specially formulated pressure-sensitive paint that responds to, and can be correlated with the local air pressure. Wind tunnel models coated with pressure-sensitive paint are able to yield quantitative pressure data on an entire model surface in the form of light intensity values in recorded images. Quantitative results in terms of pressure coefficients (Cp) are obtained by correlating PSP data with conventional pressure tap data. Only a small number of surface taps are needed to be able to obtain quantitative pressure data with the PSP method. This technique is gaining acceptance so that future automotive wind tunnel tests can be done at reduced cost by eliminating most of the expensive pressure taps from wind tunnel models.
Technical Paper

Considerations in the Development of Habitats for the Support of Live Rodents on the International Space Station

2001-07-09
2001-01-2228
The animal habitat under development for the International Space Station (ISS) provides a unique opportunity for the physiological and biological science community to perform controlled experiments in microgravity on rats and mice. This paper discusses the complexities that arise in developing a new animal habitat to be flown aboard the ISS. Such development is incremental and moves forward by employing the past successes, learning from experienced shortcomings, and utilizing the latest technologies. The standard vivarium cage on the ground can be a very simple construction, however the habitat required for rodents in microgravity on the ISS is extremely complex. This discussion presents an overview of the system requirements and focuses on the unique scientific and engineering considerations in the development of the controlled animal habitat parameters. In addition, the challenges to development, specific science, animal welfare, and engineering issues are covered.
Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

2001-07-09
2001-01-2229
Determining the fundamental role of gravity in vital biological systems in space is one of six science and research areas that provides the philosophical underpinning for why NASA exists. The study of cells, tissues, and microorganisms in a spaceflight environment holds the promise of answering multiple intriguing questions about how gravity affects living systems. To enable these studies, specimens must be maintained in an environment similar to that used in a laboratory. Cell culture studies under normal laboratory conditions involve maintaining a highly specialized environment with the necessary temperature, humidity control, nutrient, and gas exchange conditions. These same cell life support conditions must be provided by the International Space Station (ISS) Cell Culture Unit (CCU) in the unique environment of space. The CCU is a perfusion-based system that must function in microgravity, at unit gravity (1g) on earth, and from 0.1g up to 2g aboard the ISS centrifuge rotor.
Technical Paper

Reducing Vehicle Auxiliary Loads Using Advanced Thermal Insulation and Window Technologies

2003-03-03
2003-01-1076
Advanced lightweight insulation and window technologies can contribute significantly to achieving industry and government goals of substantially improving fuel economy without loss of vehicle performance or passenger comfort. Two conventional passenger automobiles, a 2001 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and a 1999 mid-size sedan, were retrofitted with lightweight insulation; the sedan was also fitted with specially designed windows. The body insulation and windows reduce heating and cooling loads, which allows downsizing of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Benefits derived from the use of advanced insulation and window technologies include: Demonstrated reductions in cooling loads; Fuel savings for conventional and hybrid vehicles; Extended range for electric vehicles; Greatly improved passenger comfort; Reduced degradation of interior surfaces; and Improved safety.
Technical Paper

Nondestructive Evaluation of Spot Welds Using Acoustic and Thermographic Imaging Techniques

2003-03-03
2003-01-0980
A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the ability of acoustic and thermographic methods to evaluate the quality of individual spot welds and the structural integrity of spot-welded joints with and without adhesive. Test specimens consisted of spot-welded, adhesive-bonded, and weld-bonded lap joints in steel plates. The quality of the spot welds was altered by varying welding parameters. After nondestructive evaluation, the samples were peeled or subjected to mechanical tests to determine the strength of the welds. Results demonstrate that it is possible to detect defective spot welds in both the thermographic and acoustic images. Techniques are presented that allow identification of “stick” welds characterized by solid but weak contact. Methods to quantify the imaging results are being developed by comparing the acoustic and thermographic images to the data obtained from mechanical strength tests and modeling results.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Prototype Plant Research Unit Subsystems

1996-07-01
961507
The Plant Research Unit (PRU) is currently under development by the Space Station Biological Research Project (SSBRP) team at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) with a scheduled launch in 2001. The goal of the project is to provide a controlled environment that can support seed-to-seed and other plant experiments for up to 90 days. This paper describes testing conducted on the major PRU prototype subsystems. Preliminary test results indicate that the prototype subsystem hardware can meet most of the SSBRP science requirements within the Space Station mass, volume, power and heat rejection constraints.
Technical Paper

Tubular Membrane Evaporator Development for the Plss

1996-07-01
961486
Current NASA space suits use porous metal plate sublimators to reject the metabolic heat generated by the astronaut into space vacuum during EVA. Relying on tubular membranes instead of the flat plate of the sublimator, a proposed alternate unit has the potential to be smaller and lighter. This work outlines the operation of the proposed tubular membrane evaporator and the evaluation of possible membrane materials for the unit.
Technical Paper

Growth of Super-Dwarf Wheat on the Russian Space Station MIR

1996-07-01
961392
During 1995, we tested instruments and attempted a seed-to-seed experiment with Super-Dwarf wheat in the Russian Space Station Mir. Utah instrumentation included four IR gas analyzers (CO2 and H2O vapor, calculate photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration) and sensors for air and leaf (IR) temperatures, O2, pressure, and substrate moisture (16 probes). Shortly after planting on August 14, three of six fluorescent lamp sets failed; another failed later. Plastic bags, necessary to measure gas exchange, were removed. Hence, gases were measured only in the cabin atmosphere. Other failures led to manual watering, control of lights, and data transmission. The 57 plants were sampled five times plus final harvest at 90 d. Samples and some equipment (including hard drives) were returned to earth on STS-74 (Nov. 20). Plants were disoriented and completely vegetative. Maintaining substrate moisture was challenging, but the moisture probes functioned well.
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

Development of Insect Habitat System for Studying Long Duration Circadian Rhythm Changes on Mir Space Station

1997-07-01
972311
A habitat for housing up to 32 Tenebrionid, black body beetles (Trigonoscelis gigas Reitter) has been developed at Ames Research Center for conducting studies to evaluate the effects of long duration spaceflight upon insect circadian timing systems. This habitat, identified as the Beetle Kit, provides an automatically controlled lighting system and activity and temperature recording devices, as well as individual beetle enclosures. Each of the 32 enclosures in a Beetle Kit allows for ad lib movement of the beetle as well as ventilation of the beetle enclosure via an externally operated hand pump. Two Beetle Kits were launched on STS-84 (Shuttle-Mir Mission-06) on May 15, 1997 and were transferred to the Priroda module of the Russian Mir space station on May 18 as part of the NASA/Mir Phase 1 Science Program. Following the Progress collision with Spektr on June 25, the Kits were transferred to the Kristall module. The beetles will remain on Mir for approximately 135 days.
Technical Paper

Development of the Standard Interface Glovebox (SIGB) for use on Shuttle, MIR, and International Space Station

1997-07-01
972310
An innovative design that meets both Shuttle and Space Station requirements for a user-friendly, volume-efficient, portable glovebox system has been developed at Ames Research Center (ARC). The Standard Interface Glovebox (SIGB) has been designed as a two Middeck locker-sized system that mounts in a Middeck Rack Structure (MRS) or in any rack using the Standard Interface Rack (SIR) rail spacing. The MRS provides structural support for the SIGB during all aspects of the mission and is an interface consistent with NASA's desire for commonality of mechanical interfaces, allowing the SIGB to be flown on essentially any manned space platform. The SIGB provides an enclosed work volume which operates at negative pressure relative to ambient, as well as excellent lighting and ample work volume for anticipated life sciences-related experiment operations inflight.
Technical Paper

Accommodating Rodents During Extended Microgravity Missions

1997-07-01
972306
This study examines the current state of the art in rodent habitats as well as the next generation of rodent habitats currently under development at NASAs Ames Research Center. Space Shuttle missions are currently limited in duration to just over two weeks. In contrast to this, future life science missions aboard the Space Station may last months or even years. This will make resource conservation and utilization critical issues in the development of rodent habitats for extended microgravity missions. Emphasis is placed on defining rodent requirements for extended space flights of up to 90 days, and on improving habitability and extending the useful performance life of rodent habitats.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit and Ground Performance of the PGBA Plant Growth Facility

1997-07-01
972366
PGBA, a plant growth facility developed for commercial space biotechnology research, successfully grew a total of 50 plants (6 species) during 10 days aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS-77), and has reflown aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-83 for 4 days and STS-94 for 16 days) with 55 plants and 10 species. The PGBA life support system provides atmospheric, thermal, and humidity control as well as lighting and nutrient supply in a 33 liter microgravity plant growth chamber. The atmosphere treatment system removes ethylene and other hydrocarbons, actively controls CO2 replenishment, and provides passive O2 control. Temperature and humidity are actively controlled.
Technical Paper

Waste Incineration for Resource Recovery in a Bioregenerative Life Support System

1997-07-01
972429
For the last two years, the University of Utah and Reaction Engineering International, in cooperation with NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), have been developing a waste incineration system for regenerative life support systems. The system is designed to burn inedible plant biomass and human waste. The goal is to obtain an exhaust gas clean enough to recycle to either the plant or human habitats. The incineration system, a fluidized bed reactor, has been designed for a 4-person mission. This paper will detail the design of the units. In addition, results will be presented from testing at the University of Utah. Presently, the unit has been shipped to Ames Research Center for more tests prior to delivery to Johnson Space Center for testing in a 90-day, 4-person test.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of Potential Mars Transit Vehicle Water Treatment Systems

1998-07-13
981538
This paper compares four potential water treatment systems in the context of their applicability to a Mars transit vehicle mission. The systems selected for evaluation are the International Space Station system, a JSC bioreactor-based system, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal system, and the direct osmotic concentration system. All systems are evaluated on the basis of their applicability for use in the context of the Mars Reference Mission. Each system is evaluated on the basis of mass equivalency. The results of this analysis indicate that there is effectively no difference between the International Space Station system and the JSC bioreactor configurations. However, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal and the direct osmotic concentration systems offer a significantly lower mass equivalency (approximately 1/7 the ISS or bioreactor systems).
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

Reproductive Ontogeny of Wheat Grown on the Mir Space Station

1998-07-13
981552
The reproductive ontogeny of ‘Super-Dwarf’ wheat grown on the space station Mir is chronicled from the vegetative phase through flower' development. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative plhase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of ‘Super Dwarf’ wheat up to the point of anthesis. Filament elongation, which characteristically occurs just prior to anthesis (during floral development stage 4) and moves the anthers through the stigmatic branches thus facilitating pollination, did not occur in the flowers of spikes grown on Mir. While pollen did form in the anthers, no evidence of pollination or fertilization was observed. Analysis of pollen idlentified abnormalities; the presence of only one nucleus in the pollen as opposed to the normal trinucleate condition is likely an important factor in the sterility observed in wheat grown on Mir.
Technical Paper

Space Station Lessons Learned from NASA/Mir Fundamental Biology Research Program

1998-07-13
981606
Ames Research Center's Life Sciences Division was responsible for managing the development of fundamental biology flight experiments during the Phase 1 NASA/Mir Science Program. Beginning with astronaut Norm Thagard's historic March, 1995 Soyuz rendezvous with the Mir station and continuing through Andy Thomas' successful return from Mir onboard STS-91 in June, 1998, the NASA/Mir Science Program has provided scientists with unparalleled long duration research opportunities. In addition, the Phase 1 program has yielded many valuable lessons to program and project management personnel who are managing the development of future International Space Station payload elements. This paper summarizes several of the key space station challenges faced and associated lessons learned by the Ames Research Center Fundamental Biology Research Project.
Technical Paper

Steady-State System Mass Balance for the BIO-Plex

1998-07-13
981747
A steady-state system mass balance calculation was performed to investigate design issues regarding the storage and/or processing of solid waste. In the initial stages of BIO-Plex, only a certain percentage of the food requirement will be satisfied through crop growth. Since some food will be supplied to the system, an equivalent amount of waste will accumulate somewhere in the system. It is a system design choice as to where the mass should accumulate in the system. Here we consider two approaches. One is to let solid waste accumulate in order to reduce the amount of material processing that is needed. The second is to process all of the solid waste to reduce solid waste storage and then either resupply oxygen or add physical/chemical (P/C) processors to recover oxygen from the excess carbon dioxide and water that is produced by the solid waste processor.
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.
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