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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

Spacelab Neurovestibular Hardware

1991-07-01
911566
A set of devices for measurement of human balance orientation and eye movements in weightlessness was developed for neurovestibular experiments on Spacelab. The experiments involve astronaut motion, limb position changes, and moving visual fields, measurements are made of eye movements, muscular activity and orientation perception. This joint US/Canadian research program represent a group of closely related experiments designed to investigate space motion sickness, any associated changes in otolith-mediated responses occurring during weightlessness, and the continuation of changes to postflight conditions. The otoliths are a component of the vestibular apparatus which is located in the middle ear. It is responsible for maintaining the body's balance. Gravitational pull on the otoliths causes them to constantly appraise the nervous system of the position of the head with respect to the direction of gravity.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Blood Flow Characteristics Leading to EVA Hand Injury

2009-07-12
2009-01-2471
The aim of this study was to explore if fingernail delamination injury following EMU glove use may be caused by compression-induced blood flow occlusion in the finger. During compression tests, finger blood flow decreased more than 60%, however this occurred more rapidly for finger pad compression (4 N) than for fingertips (10 N). A pressure bulb compression test resulted in 50% and 45% decreased blood flow at 100 mmHg and 200 mmHg, respectively. These results indicate that the finger pad pressure required to articulate stiff gloves is more likely to contribute to injury than the fingertip pressure associated with tight fitting gloves.
Technical Paper

The Anatomy of Knock

2016-04-05
2016-01-0704
The combustion process after auto-ignition is investigated. Depending on the non-uniformity of the end gas, auto-ignition could initiate a flame, produce pressure waves that excite the engine structure (acoustic knock), or result in detonation (normal or developing). For the “acoustic knock” mode, a knock intensity (KI) is defined as the pressure oscillation amplitude. The KI values over different cycles under a fixed operating condition are observed to have a log-normal distribution. When the operating condition is changed (over different values of λ, EGR, and spark timing), the mean (μ) of log (KI/GIMEP) decreases linearly with the correlation-based ignition delay calculated using the knock-point end gas condition of the mean cycle. The standard deviation σ of log(KI/GIMEP) is approximately a constant, at 0.63. The values of μ and σ thus allow a statistical description of knock from the deterministic calculation of the ignition delay using the mean cycle properties
Technical Paper

Observed Differences in Lane Departure Warning Responses during Single-Task and Dual-Task Driving: A Secondary Analysis of Field Driving Data

2016-04-05
2016-01-1425
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are an increasingly common feature of modern vehicles. The influence of such systems on driver behavior, particularly in regards to the effects of intermittent warning systems, is sparsely studied to date. This paper examines dynamic changes in physiological and operational behavior during lane departure warnings (LDW) in two commercial automotive systems utilizing on-road data. Alerts from the systems, one using auditory and the other haptic LDWs, were monitored during highway driving conditions. LDW events were monitored during periods of single-task driving and dual-task driving. Dual-task periods consisted of the driver interacting with the vehicle’s factory infotainment system or a smartphone to perform secondary visual-manual (e.g., radio tuning, contact dialing, etc.) or auditory-vocal (e.g. destination address entry, contact dialing, etc.) tasks.
Technical Paper

Additional Findings on the Multi-Modal Demands of “Voice-Command” Interfaces

2016-04-05
2016-01-1428
This paper presents the results of a study of how people interacted with a production voice-command based interface while driving on public roadways. Tasks included phone contact calling, full address destination entry, and point-of-interest (POI) selection. Baseline driving and driving while engaging in multiple-levels of an auditory-vocal cognitive reference task and manual radio tuning were used as comparison points. Measures included self-reported workload, task performance, physiological arousal, glance behavior, and vehicle control for an analysis sample of 48 participants (gender balanced across ages 21-68). Task analysis and glance measures confirm earlier findings that voice-command interfaces do not always allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, as some assume.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Space Suit: Physiological Implications for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

2000-07-10
2000-01-2257
Extravehicular activity (EVA) is investigated through experiments testing an actual extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) performing several EVA tasks in the laboratory, and a dynamic model of the EMU space suit is developed. Building directly on earlier work in EVA simulation, the space suit model was created from mass, inertia, and performance data to augment the unsuited 12-segment human model used in previous studies. A modified Preisach model was used to mathematically describe the hysteretic torque characteristics of joints in a pressurized space suit, and implemented numerically based on observed suit parameters. Computational simulations, based loosely on a 1995 EVA involving manipulation of the Spartan astrophysics payload, were performed to observe the effect of suit constraints on simulated astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Thermal Design Strategies for a Rotating Partial Gravity Spacecraft

2007-07-09
2007-01-3078
A rotating spacecraft which encloses an atmospheric pressure vessel poses unique challenges for thermal control. In any given location, the artificial gravity vector is directed from the center to the periphery of the vehicle. Its local magnitude is determined by the mathematics of centripetal acceleration and is directly proportional to the radius at which the measurement is taken. Accordingly, we have a system with cylindrical symmetry, featuring microgravity at its core and increasingly strong gravity toward the periphery. The tendency for heat to move by convection toward the center of the craft is one consequence which must be addressed. In addition, fluid flow and thermal transfer is markedly different in this unique environment. Our strategy for thermal control represents a novel approach to address these constraints. We present data to theoretically and experimentally justify design decisions behind the Mars Gravity Biosatellite's proposed payload thermal control subassembly.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Atmospheric Reconditioning Strategies for Extended-Duration Rodent Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3224
We present results which verify the design parameters and suggest performance capabilities/limitations of the Mars Gravity Biosatellite's proposed atmospherics control subassembly. Using a combination of benchtop prototype testing and analytic techniques, we derive control requirements for ammonia. Further, we demonstrate the dehumidification performance of our proposed partial gravity condensing heat exchanger. Ammonia production is of particular concern in rodent habitats. The contaminant is released following chemical degradation of liquid waste products. The rate of production is linked to humidity levels and to the design of habitat modules in terms of bedding substrate, air flow rates, choice of structural materials, and other complex factors. Ammonia buildup can rapidly lead to rodent health concerns and can negatively impact scientific return.
Technical Paper

Bio-Suit Development: Viable Options for Mechanical Counter Pressure

2004-07-19
2004-01-2294
Human explorers of planetary surfaces would benefit greatly from a spacesuit design that facilitates locomotion. To aid in the development of such an extravehicular activity suit, a design effort incorporating the concept of mechanical counter pressure (MCP) was undertaken. Three-dimensional laser scanning of the human body was used to identify the main effects of knee flexion angle on the size and shape of the leg. This laser scanning quantified the changes in shape that must be supported by an MCP garment and the tension that must be developed to produce even MCP. Evaluation of a hybrid-MCP concept using inextensible materials demonstrated strong agreement between experimental data and a mathematical model with rigid cylinder geometry. Testing of a form-fitting garment on the right lower leg of a subject demonstrated successful pressure production. Further research is required to evaluate how evenly pressure can be distributed using the hybrid-MCP concept.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Innovations in Murine Motion Analysis and Life Support

2005-07-11
2005-01-2788
The MIT-based Mars Gravity Biosatellite payload engineering team has been engaged in designing and prototyping sensor and control systems for deployment within the rodent housing zone of the satellite, including novel video processing and atmospheric management tools. The video module will be a fully autonomous real-time analysis system that takes raw video footage of the specimen mice as input and distills those parameters which are of primary physiological importance from a scientific research perspective. Such signals include activity level, average velocity and rearing behavior, all of which will serve as indicators of animal health and vestibular function within the artificial gravity environment. Unlike raw video, these parameters require minimal storage space and can be readily transmitted to earth over a radio link of very low bandwidth.
Technical Paper

Analyzing the Limitations of the Rider and Electric Motorcycle at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race

2019-04-02
2019-01-1125
This paper describes a post-race analysis of team KOMMIT EVT’s electric motorcycle data collected during the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). The motorcycle consumed approximately 4 kWh of battery energy with an average and maximum speed of 107 km/h and 149 km/h, respectively. It was the second fastest electric motorcycle with a finishing time of 11:10.480. Data was logged of the motorcycle’s speed, acceleration, motor speed, power, currents, voltages, temperatures, throttle position, GPS position, rider’s heart rate and the ambient environment (air temperature, pressure and humidity). The data was used to understand the following factors that may have prevented a faster time: physical fitness of the rider, thermal limits of the motor and controller, available battery energy and the sprocket ratio between the motor and rear wheel.
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