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Technical Paper

Inverse Method for Measuring Weld Temperatures during Resistance Spot Welding

2001-03-05
2001-01-0437
A new monitoring system predicts the progression of welding temperature fields during resistance spot welding. The system captures welding voltages and currents to predict contact diameters and simulate temperature fields. The system accurately predicts fusion lines and heat-affected zones. Accuracy holds even for electrode tips used for a few thousand welds of zinc coated steels.
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

Piston Fuel Film Observations in an Optical Access GDI Engine

2001-05-07
2001-01-2022
A gasoline direct injection fuel spray was observed using a fired, optical access, square cross-section single cylinder research engine and high-speed video imaging. Spray interaction with the piston is described qualitatively, and the results are compared with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation results using KIVA-3V version 2. CFD simulations predicted that within the operating window for stratified charge operation, between 1% and 4% of the injected fuel would remain on the piston as a liquid film, dependent primarily on piston temperature. The experimental results support the CFD simulations qualitatively, but the amount of fuel film remaining on the piston appears to be under-predicted. High-speed video footage shows a vigorous spray impingement on the piston crown, resulting in vapor production.
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

A New Design for Automotive Alternators

2000-11-01
2000-01-C084
This paper introduces a new design for alternator systems that provides dramatic increases in peak and average power output from a conventional Lundell alternator, along with substantial improvements in efficiency. Experimental results demonstrate these capability improvements. Additional performance and functionality improvements of particular value for high-voltage (e.g., 42 V) alternators are also demonstrated. Tight load-dump transient suppression can be achieved using this new design and the alternator system can be used to implement jump charging (the charging of the high-voltage system battery from a low-voltage source). Dual-output extensions of the technique (e.g., 42/14 V) are also introduced. The new technology preserves the simplicity and low cost of conventional alternator designs, and can be implemented within the existing manufacturing infrastructure.
Technical Paper

Modeling NO Formation in Spark Ignition Engines with a Layered Adiabatic Core and Combustion Inefficiency Routine

2001-03-05
2001-01-1011
A thermodynamic based cycle simulation which uses a thermal boundary layer, either, a fully mixed or layered adiabatic core, and a crevice combustion inefficiency routine has been used to explore the sensitivity of NO concentration predictions to critical physical modeling assumptions. An experimental database, which included measurements of residual gas fraction, was obtained from a 2.0 liter Nissan engine while firing on propane. A model calibration methodology was developed to ensure accurate predictions of in-cylinder pressure and burned gas temperature. Comparisons with experimental NO data then showed that accounting for temperature stratification during combustion with a layered adiabatic core and including a crevice/combustion inefficiency routine, improved the match of modeling predictions to data, in comparison to a fully mixed adiabatic core.
Technical Paper

Prediction of the Knock Limit and Viable Operating Range for a Homogeneous-Charge Compression-Ignition (HCCI) Engine

2003-03-03
2003-01-1092
A method is presented for predicting the viable operating range of homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. A fundamental criterion for predicting HCCI knock is described and used to predict the minimum air/fuel ratio (and hence maximum torque) available from the engine. The lean (misfire) limit is computed using a modification of the multi-zone method of Aceves et al. [1]. Numerical improvements are described which allow even very complex fuel chemistry to be rapidly modeled on a standard PC. The viable operating range for an HCCI engine burning a primary reference fuel (PRF 95) is predicted and compared with literature experimental data. The new ability to accurately predict the operating range for any given HCCI engine/fuel combination should considerably simplify the tasks of designing a robust engine and identifying suitable fuels for HCCI.
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

Time-Resolved, Speciated Emissions from an SI Engine During Starting and Warm-Up

1996-10-01
961955
A sampling system was developed to measure the evolution of the speciated hydrocarbon emissions from a single-cylinder SI engine in a simulated starting and warm-up procedure. A sequence of exhaust samples was drawn and stored for gas chromatograph analysis. The individual sampling aperture was set at 0.13 s which corresponds to ∼ 1 cycle at 900 rpm. The positions of the apertures (in time) were controlled by a computer and were spaced appropriately to capture the warm-up process. The time resolution was of the order of 1 to 2 cycles (at 900 rpm). Results for four different fuels are reported: n-pentane/iso-octane mixture at volume ratio of 20/80 to study the effect of a light fuel component in the mixture; n-decane/iso-octane mixture at 10/90 to study the effect of a heavy fuel component in the mixture; m-xylene and iso-octane at 25/75 to study the effect of an aromatics in the mixture; and a calibration gasoline.
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

Numerical Simulation of Post-Flame Oxidation of Hydrocarbons in Spark Ignition Engines

1997-02-24
970886
About 50-90 percent of the hydrocarbons that escape combustion during flame passage in spark-ignition engine operation are oxidized in the cylinder before leaving the system. The process involves the transport of unreacted fuel from cold walls towards the hotter burned gas regions and subsequent reaction. In order to understand controlling factors in the process, a transient one-dimensional reactive-diffusive model has been formulated for simulating the oxidation processes taking place in the reactive layer between hot burned gases and cold unreacted air/fuel mixture, with initial and boundary conditions provided by the emergence of hydrocarbons from the piston top land crevice. Energy and species conservation equations are solved for the entire process, using a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for propane.
Technical Paper

Liquid Fuel Transport Mechanisms into the Cylinder of a Firing Port-Injected SI Engine During Start Up

1997-02-24
970865
The occurrence of liquid fuel in the cylinder of automotive internal combustion engines is believed to be an important source of exhaust hydrocarbon (HC) emissions, especially during the warm-up process following an engine start up. In this study a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) has been used in a transparent flow visualization combustion engine in order to investigate the phenomena which govern the transport of liquid fuel into the cylinder during a simulated engine start up process. Using indolene fuel, the engine was started up from room temperature and run for 90 sec on each start up simulation. The size and velocity of the liquid fuel droplets entering the cylinder were measured as a function of time and crank angle position during these start up processes. The square-piston transparent engine used gave full optical access to the cylinder head region, so that these droplet characteristics could be measured in the immediate vicinity of the intake valve.
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