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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.
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

Spacesuit Cooling on the Moon and Mars

2009-07-12
2009-01-2418
NASA is planning to return to the moon and then explore Mars. A permanent base at the south pole of the moon will be the test bed for Mars. At the moon base, two crewmembers are expected to conduct Extravehicular Activity (EVA) six days every week. Current spacesuits are cooled by the sublimation of water ice into vacuum. A single 7 hour EVA near the lunar equator in daylight can expend up to 5 kilograms of water. Because of the high cost of transporting spacesuit cooling water to the moon, the water for one EVA could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lunar south pole and Mars have low surface temperatures that make cooling much easier than at the lunar equator. Alternate cooling methods and staying in cool environments can reduce or eliminate the use of water for spacesuit cooling. If cooling water is not needed, a recycling life support system can provide all the required crew water and oxygen without transporting additional water from Earth.
Technical Paper

The Dynamic Impact of EVA on Lunar Outpost Life Support

2008-06-29
2008-01-2017
Dynamic simulation of the Lunar Outpost habitat life support was undertaken to investigate the impact of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The preparatory static analysis and some supporting data are reported in another paper. (Jones, 2008-01-2184) Dynamic simulation is useful in understanding systems interactions, buffer needs, control approaches, and responses to failures and changes. A simulation of the Lunar outpost habitat life support was developed in MATLAB/Simulink™. The simulation is modular and reconfigurable, and the components are reusable to model other physicochemical (P/C) based recycling systems. EVA impacts the Lunar Outpost life support system design by requiring a significant increase in the direct supply mass of oxygen and water and by reducing the net mass savings of using dehydrated food. The mass cost of EVA depends on the amount and difficulty of the EVA scheduled.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Bioregenerative and Physical/Chemical Life Support Systems

2006-07-17
2006-01-2082
Popular depictions of space exploration as well as government life support research programs have long assumed that future planetary bases would rely on small scale, closed ecological systems with crop plants producing food, water, and oxygen and with bioreactors recycling waste. In actuality, even the most advanced anticipated human life support systems will use physical/ chemical systems to recycle water and oxygen and will depend on food from Earth. This paper compares bioregenerative and physical/chemical life support systems using Equivalent System Mass (ESM), which gauges the relative cost of hardware based on its mass, volume, power, and cooling requirements. Bioregenerative systems are more feasible for longer missions, since they avoid the cost of continually supplying food.
Technical Paper

A Simple Project Process Model for Estimating and Controlling Cost and Schedule

2006-07-17
2006-01-2189
This work presents a simple and useful project process model. The project model directly shows how a few basic parameters determine project duration and cost and how changes in these parameters can improve them. Project cost and duration can be traded-off by adjusting the work rate and staffing level. A project's duration and cost can be computed on the back of an envelope, with an engineering calculator, or in a computer spreadsheet. The project model can be simulated dynamically for further insight. The project model shows how and why projects can greatly exceed their expected duration and cost. Delays and rework requirements may create work feedback loops that increase cost and schedule in non-proportional and non-intuitive ways.
Technical Paper

Air and Water Recycling System Development for a Long Duration Lunar Base

2006-07-17
2006-01-2191
Stored air and water will be sufficient for Crew Exploration Vehicle visits to the International Space Station and for brief missions to the moon, but an air and water recycling system will be needed to reduce cost for a long duration lunar base and for exploration of Mars. The air and water recycling system developed for the International Space Station is substantially adequate but it has not yet been used in operations and it was not designed for the much higher launch costs and reliability requirements of moon and Mars missions. Significant time and development effort, including long duration testing, is needed to provide a flawless air and water recycling system for a long duration lunar base. It would be beneficial to demonstrate air and water recycling as early as the initial lunar surface missions.
Technical Paper

Top-Level Crop Models for Advanced Life Support Analysis

2000-07-10
2000-01-2261
We have developed top-level crop models for analysis of Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems that use plants to grow food. The crops modeled are candidates for ALS use: bean (dry), lettuce, peanut, potato (white), rice, soybean, sweet potato, tomato, and wheat. The crop models are modified versions of the energy cascade crop growth model originally developed for wheat by Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler. The models now simulate the effects of temperature, carbon dioxide level, planting density, and relative humidity on canopy gas exchange, in addition to the effects of light level and photoperiod included in the original model. The energy cascade model has also been extended to predict the times of canopy closure, grain setting (senescence), and maturity (harvest) as functions of the environmental conditions.
Technical Paper

Integrated Systems Testing of Spacecraft

2007-07-09
2007-01-3144
How much integrated system level test should be performed on a spacecraft before it is launched? Although sometimes system test is minimized, experience shows that systems level testing should be thorough and complete. Reducing subsystem testing is a less dangerous way to save cost, since it risks finding problems later in system test, while cutting systems test risks finding them even later on orbit. Human-rated spacecraft test planning is informal, subjective, and inconsistent, and its extent is often determined by the decision maker's risk tolerance, decision-making style, and long-term or short-term view. Decisions on what to test should be guided by an overall mission cost-benefit analysis, similar to the risk analysis used to guide development efforts.
Technical Paper

Mars Transit Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3160
This paper considers the design of a life support system for transit to Mars and return to Earth. Because of the extremely high cost of launching mass to Mars, the Mars transit life support system must minimize the amount of oxygen, water, and food transported. The three basic ways to provide life support are to directly supply all oxygen and water, or to recycle them using physicochemical equipment, or to produce them incidentally while growing food using crop plants. Comparing the costs of these three approaches shows that physicochemical recycling of oxygen and water is least costly for a Mars transit mission. The long mission duration also requires that the Mars transit life support system have high reliability and maintainability. Mars transit life support cannot make use of planetary resources or gravity. It should be tested in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
Technical Paper

Breakeven Mission Durations for Physicochemical Recycling to Replace Direct Supply Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3221
The least expensive life support for brief human missions is direct supply of all water and oxygen from Earth without any recycling. The currently most advanced human life support system was designed for the International Space Station (ISS) and will use physicochemical systems to recycle water and oxygen. This paper compares physicochemical to direct supply air and water life support systems using Equivalent Mass (EM). EM breakeven dates and EM ratios show that physicochemical systems are more cost effective for longer mission durations.
Technical Paper

Innovative Concepts for Planetary EVA Access

2007-07-09
2007-01-3245
This study introduces several new concepts for suited EVA astronaut ingress/egress (departure and return) from a pressurized planetary surface habitat, based on use of a rear-entry suit and a suit lock or suitport. We provide insight into key operational aspects and integration issues, as well as the results of a requirements analysis and risk assessment of the concepts. The risk assessment included hazard analysis, hazard mitigation techniques, failure mode assessment, and operational risk assessment. Also included are performance and mass estimates for the egress concepts, and concepts for integration of the egress concepts with potential planetary habitat designs.
Technical Paper

Design Rules for Space Life Support Systems

2003-07-07
2003-01-2356
This paper describes engineering rules of thumb for life support system design. One general design rule is that the longer the mission, the more the life support system should use regenerable technologies and recycling. A more specific rule is that, if plants supply more than about half the food, the plants will provide all the oxygen needed by the crew. There are many such design rules that can help in planning the analysis of life support systems or in assessing design concepts. These rules typically describe the results of steady state, “back of the envelope,” trade-off calculations. They are useful in suggesting plausible candidate life support system designs or approaches. Life support system engineers should consider the basic design rules and make quick steady state calculations as a guide before doing detailed design.
Technical Paper

Crop Models for Varying Environmental Conditions

2002-07-15
2002-01-2520
New variable environment Modified Energy Cascade (MEC) crop models were developed for all the Advanced Life Support (ALS) candidate crops and implemented in SIMULINK. The MEC models are based on the Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler Energy Cascade (EC) model and are derived from more recent Top-Level Energy Cascade (TLEC) models. The MEC models were developed to simulate crop plant responses to day-to-day changes in photosynthetic photon flux, photoperiod, carbon dioxide level, temperature, and relative humidity. The original EC model allowed only changes in light energy and used a less accurate linear approximation. For constant nominal environmental conditions, the simulation outputs of the new MEC models are very similar to those of earlier EC models that use parameters produced by the TLEC models. There are a few differences. The new MEC models allow setting the time for seed emergence, have more realistic exponential canopy growth, and have corrected harvest dates for potato and tomato.
Technical Paper

Modeling Separate and Combined Atmospheres in BIO-Plex

2001-07-09
2001-01-2361
We modeled BIO-Plex designs with separate or combined atmospheres and then simulated controlling the atmosphere composition. The BIO-Plex is the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex, a large regenerative life support test facility under development at NASA Johnson Space Center. Although plants grow better at above-normal carbon dioxide levels, humans can tolerate even higher carbon dioxide levels. Incinerator exhaust has very high levels of carbon dioxide. An elaborate BIO-Plex design would maintain different atmospheres in the crew and plant chambers and isolate the incinerator exhaust in the airlock. This design option easily controls the crew and plant carbon dioxide levels but it uses many gas processors, buffers, and controllers. If all the crew’s food is grown inside BIO-Plex, all the carbon dioxide required by the plants can be supplied by crew respiration and the incineration of plant and food waste.
Technical Paper

Equivalent Mass (EM), Life Cycle Mass (LCM), and Mass (M) Metrics Compared in Advanced Life Support (ALS) Analysis

2004-07-19
2004-01-2363
The Advanced Life Support (ALS) project uses Equivalent Mass (EM) to report ALS progress and in technology selection. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is much more widely used. We develop a new metric, Life Cycle Mass (LCM), from EM and a mass-based LCC model. EM, LCM and Mass (M) alone are compared for technology ranking and progress reporting. These metrics are usually highly correlated and typically produce similar technology rankings and ALS progress metrics. Since M is much simpler than EM or LCM, ALS analysis could use M (Mass) alone for initial technology ranking and for ALS metric reporting.
Technical Paper

Risk Management for Space Human Support Research and Technology

2005-07-11
2005-01-3009
NASA requires continuous risk management for all programs and projects. The risk management process identifies risks, analyzes their impact, prioritizes them, develops and carries out plans to mitigate or accept them, tracks risks and mitigation plans, and communicates and documents risk information. Project risk management is driven by the project goal and is performed by the entire team. Risk management begins early in the formulation phase with initial risk identification and development of a risk management plan and continues throughout the project life cycle. This paper describes a risk management approach that is suggested for use in NASA's Human Support Research and Technology (HSRT).
Technical Paper

Project Selection for NASA's R&D Programs

2005-07-11
2005-01-2916
The purpose of NASA's Research and Development (R&D) programs is to provide advanced human support technologies for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). The new technologies must be sufficiently attractive and proven to be selectable for future missions. This requires identifying promising candidate technologies and advancing them in technology readiness until they are likely options for flight. The R&D programs must select an array of technology development projects, manage them, and either terminate or continue them, so as to maximize the delivered number of potentially usable advanced human support technologies. This paper proposes an effective project selection methodology to help manage NASA R&D project portfolios.
Technical Paper

Air and Water System (AWS) Design and Technology Selection for the Vision for Space Exploration

2005-07-11
2005-01-2810
This paper considers system design and technology selection for the crew air and water recycling systems to be used in long duration human space exploration. The ultimate objective is to identify the air and water technologies likely to be used for the vision for space exploration and to suggest alternate technologies that should be developed. The approach is to conduct a preliminary systems engineering analysis, beginning with the Air and Water System (AWS) requirements and the system mass balance, and then to define the functional architecture, review the current International Space Station (ISS) technologies, and suggest alternate technologies.
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