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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

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

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.
Technical Paper

VEVI: A Virtual Environment Teleoperations Interface for Planetary Exploration

1995-07-01
951517
Remotely operating complex robotic mechanisms in unstructured natural environments is difficult at best. When the communications time delay is large, as for a Mars exploration rover operated from Earth, the difficulties become enormous. Conventional approaches, such as rate control of the rover actuators, are too inefficient and risky. The Intelligent Mechanisms Laboratory at the NASA Ames Research Center has developed over the past four years an architecture for operating science exploration robots in the presence of large communications time delays. The operator interface of this system is called the Virtual Environment Vehicle Interface (VEVI), and draws heavily on Virtual Environment (or Virtual Reality) technology. This paper describes the current operational version of VEVI, which we refer to as version 2.0. In this paper we will describe the VEVI design philosophy and implementation, and will describe some past examples of its use in field science exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Category A One-Engine-Inoperative Procedures and Pilot Aids for Multi-Engine Civil Rotorcraft

1996-10-01
965616
This paper summarizes the results to date of an on-going research program being conducted by NASA in conjunction with the FAA vertical flight program office. The goal of the program is to reduce pilot workload and increase safety for rotorcraft category A terminal area procedures. Two piloted simulations were conducted on the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator to examine the benefits of optimal procedures, cockpit displays, and alternate cueing methods. Measures of performance, handling qualities ratings and pilot comments indicate that such enhancements can greatly assist a pilot in handling an engine failure in the terminal area.
Technical Paper

Test Techniques for STOVL Large-Scale Powered Models

1996-11-18
962251
Predicting and testing for hover performance, both in and out of ground effect, and transition performance, from jet- to wing-borne flight and back, for vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) configurations can be a difficult task. Large-scale testing of these configurations can provide for a better representation of the flow physics than small-scale testing. This paper will discuss some of the advantages in testing at large-scale and some test techniques and issues involved with testing large-scale STOVL models. The two premier test facilities for testing large- to full-scale STOVL configurations are the Outdoor Aerodynamic Research Facility (OARF) and the 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC). Other items of discussion will include force and moment measurements, jet efflux decay, wall effects, tunnel flow breakdown, strut interference, and flow visualization options.
Technical Paper

Boundary-Layer Transition and Global Skin Friction Measurement with an Oil-Fringe Imaging Technique

1993-09-01
932550
A new oil-fringe imaging skin friction (FISF) technique to measure skin friction on wind tunnel models is presented. In the method used to demonstrate the technique, lines of oil are applied on surfaces that connect the intended sets of measurement points, and then a wind tunnel is run so that the oil thins and forms interference fringes that are spaced proportional to local skin friction. After a run the fringe spacings are imaged with a CCD-array digital camera and measured on a computer. Skin friction and transition measurements on a two-dimensional wing are presented and compared with computational predictions.
Technical Paper

Engineering a Visual System for Seeing Through Fog

1992-07-01
921130
We examine the requirements for on-board aircraft sensor systems that would allow pilots to “see through” poor weather, especially fog, and land and rollout aircraft under conditions that currently cause flight cancellations and airport closures. Three visual aspects of landing and rollout are distinguished: guidance, hazard detection and hazard recognition. The visual features which support the tasks are discussed. Three broad categories of sensor technology are examined: passive millimeter wave (PMMW), imaging radar, and passive infrared (IR). PMMW and imaging radar exhibit good weather penetration, but poor spatial and temporal resolution. Imaging radar exhibits good weather penetration, but typically relies on a flat-earth assumption which can lead to interpretive errors. PMMW systems have a narrow field of view. IR has poorer weather penetration but good spatial resolution.
Technical Paper

The General Purpose Work Station, A Spacious Microgravity Workbench

1992-07-01
921394
The General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) is a laboratory multi-use facility, as demonstrated during the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1) flight. The unit provided particulate containment under varying conditions, served as an effective work space for manipulating live animals, e.g., rats, served as a containment facility for fixatives, and was proposed for use to conduct in-flight maintenance during connector pin repair. The cabinet has a front door large enough to allow installation of a full-size microscope in-flight and is outfitted with a side window to allow delivery of items into the cabinet without exposure to the spacelab atmosphere. Additional support subsystems include inside cabinet mounting, surgical glove fine manipulations capability, and alternating or direct current power supply for experiment equipment, as will be demonstrated during Spacelab J.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Cognitive Abilities in Simulated Space Ascent Environments

2009-07-12
2009-01-2425
The cognitive abilities of some astronauts are affected during spaceflight. We investigated whether a simulated space flight ascent environment, including vibration and 3.8 Gx ascent forces, would result in cognitive deficits detectable by the WinSCAT test battery. Eleven participants were administered the computerized cognitive test battery, a workload rating questionnaire and a subjective state questionnaire before and after a combination of acceleration plus vibration conditions. The acceleration plus vibration exposure resulted in significant self-reports of physical discomfort but did not significantly affect cognitive test battery scores. We discuss ways in which a cognitive assessment tool could be made more sensitive to subtle cognitive changes relevant to astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Analysis of the Elytron 2S Experimental Tiltwing Aircraft

2016-09-20
2016-01-2008
The Elytron 2S is a prototype aircraft concept to allow VTOL capabilities together with fixed wing aircraft performance. It has a box wing design with a centrally mounted tilt-wing supporting two rotors. This paper explores the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft using computational fluid dynamics in hover and low speed forward flight, as well as analyzing the unique control system in place for hover. The results are then used to build an input set for NASA Design and Analysis if Rotorcraft software allowing trim and flight stability and control estimations to be made with SIMPLI-FLYD.
Technical Paper

Protein-based Sensors for Environmental Monitoring

2006-07-17
2006-01-2177
Biomolecules exhibit specific binding and high affinity for their ligands. These properties can be exploited to produce sensitive, specific, real-time sensors for analytes that cannot be readily monitored by other methods. Several technologies for environmental monitoring using proteins are currently being developed. We discuss specific challenges to practical application of a family of protein-based sensors derived from bacterial periplasmic binding proteins. We also present recent work to address these challenges.
Technical Paper

NASA's On-line Project Information System (OPIS) Attributes and Implementation

2006-07-17
2006-01-2190
The On-line Project Information System (OPIS) is a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) system being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to improve Agency information transfer and data availability, largely for improvement of system analysis and engineering. The tool will enable users to investigate NASA technology development efforts, connect with experts, and access technology development data. OPIS is currently being developed for NASA's Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project. Within OPIS, NASA ELS Managers assign projects to Principal Investigators (PI), track responsible individuals and institutions, and designate reporting assignments. Each PI populates a “Project Page” with a project overview, team member information, files, citations, and images. PI's may also delegate on-line report viewing and editing privileges to specific team members. Users can browse or search for project and member information.
Technical Paper

Atmosphere Composition Control of Spaceflight Plant Growth Growth Chambers

2000-07-10
2000-01-2232
Spaceflight plant growth chambers require an atmosphere control system to maintain adequate levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as to limit trace gas components, for optimum or reproducible scientific performance. Recent atmosphere control anomalies of a spaceflight plant chamber, resulting in unstable CO2 control, have been analyzed. An activated carbon filter, designed to absorb trace gas contaminants, has proven detrimental to the atmosphere control system due to its large buffer capacity for CO2. The latest plant chamber redesign addresses the control anomalies and introduces a new approach to atmosphere control (low leakage rate chamber, regenerative control of CO2, O2, and ethylene).
Technical Paper

Microgravity Root Zone Hydration Systems

2000-07-10
2000-01-2510
Accurate root zone moisture control in microgravity plant growth systems is problematic. With gravity, excess water drains along a vertical gradient, and water recovery is easily accomplished. In microgravity, the distribution of water is less predictable and can easily lead to flooding, as well as anoxia. Microgravity water delivery systems range from solidified agar, water-saturated foams, soils and hydroponics soil surrogates including matrix-free porous tube delivery systems. Surface tension and wetting along the root substrate provides the means for adequate and uniform water distribution. Reliable active soil moisture sensors for an automated microgravity water delivery system currently do not exist. Surrogate parameters such as water delivery pressure have been less successful.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of a Breadboard Compactor for Advanced Waste Management Designs

2007-07-09
2007-01-3267
Waste management is a vital function of spacecraft life support systems as it is necessary to meet crew health and safety and quality of life requirements. Depending on the specific mission requirements, waste management operations can include waste collection, segregation, containment, processing, storage and disposal. For the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), addressing volume and mass constraints is paramount. Reducing the volume of trash prior to storage is a viable means to recover habitable volume, and is therefore a particularly desirable waste management function to implement in the CEV, and potentially in other spacecraft as well. Research is currently being performed at NASA Ames Research Center to develop waste compaction systems that can provide both volume and mass savings for the CEV and other missions.
Technical Paper

Microphone Array Phased Processing System (MAPPS): Phased Array System for Acoustic Measurements in a Wind Tunnel

1999-10-19
1999-01-5576
A processing system has been developed to meet increasing demands for detailed noise measurement of aircraft in wind tunnels. Phased arrays enable spatial and amplitude measurements of acoustic sources, including low signal-to-noise sources not measurable by conventional measurement techniques. The Microphone Array Phased Processing System (MAPPS) provides processing and visualization of acoustic array measurements made in wind tunnels. The system uses networked parallel computers to provide noise maps at selected frequencies in a near real-time testing environment. The system has been successfully used in two subsonic, hard-walled wind tunnels, the NASA Ames 7- by 10-Foot Wind Tunnel and the NASA Ames 12-Foot Wind Tunnel. Low level airframe noise that can not be measured with traditional techniques was measured in both tests.
Technical Paper

A Prototype Pyrolysis / Oxidation System for Solid Waste Processing

2005-07-11
2005-01-3083
Pyrolysis is a very versatile waste processing technology which can be tailored to produce a variety of solid liquid and/or gaseous products. The main disadvantages of pyrolysis processing are: (1) the product stream is more complex than for many of the alternative treatments; (2) the product gases cannot be vented directly into the cabin without further treatment because of the high CO concentrations. One possible solution is to combine a pyrolysis step with catalytic oxidation (combustion) of the effluent gases. This integration takes advantage of the best features of each process, which is insensitivity to product mix, no O2 consumption, and batch processing, in the case of pyrolysis, and simplicity of the product effluent stream in the case of oxidation. In addition, this hybrid process has the potential to result in a significant reduction in Equivalent System Mass (ESM) and system complexity.
Technical Paper

Enabling Strategic Flight Deck Route Re-Planning Within A Modified ATC Environment: The Display of 4-D Intent Information on a CSD

2000-10-10
2000-01-5574
The concept of free flight introduces many challenges for both air and ground aviation operations. Of considerable concern has been the issue of moving from centralized control and responsibility to decentralized control and distributed responsibility for aircraft separation. Data from capacity studies suggest that we will reach our capacity limits with ATC centralized control within the next 2 decades, if not sooner. Based on these predictions, research on distributed air-ground concepts was under taken by NASA Advanced Air Transportation Technologies Program to identify and develop air-ground concepts in support of free-flight operations. This paper will present the results of a full mission air-ground simulation conducted in the NASA Crew Vehicle Systems Research Facility. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of advanced displays with “intent” (4-D flight plans) information on flight crew and ATC performance during limited free-flight operations.
Technical Paper

Component-based Control System for the Rotating-Disk Analytical System (R-DAS)

2003-07-07
2003-01-2529
The Rotating Disk Analytical System (R-DAS) is an in-situ, bio-analytical technology, which utilizes a micro-fluidic disk with similar form factor as an audio compact disc to enhance and augment microgravity-based cellular and molecular biology research. The current micro-fluidic assay performs live cell/dead cell analysis using fluorescent microscopy. Image acquisition and analysis are performed for each of the selected microscope slide windows. All images are stored for later download and possible further post analysis. The flight version of the R-DAS will occupy a double mid-deck shuttle locker or one quarter of an ISS rack. The control system for the R-DAS consists of a set of interactive software components. These components interact with one another to control disk rotation, vertical and horizontal stage motion, sample incubation, image acquisition and analysis, and human interface.
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