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Technical Paper

Test Techniques for STOVL Large-Scale Powered Models

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

The NASA Ames Controlled Environment Research Chamber - Present Status

The Controlled Environment Research Chamber (CERC) at the NASA Ames Research Center was created for early-on investigation of promising new technologies for life support of advanced space exploration missions. The CERC facility is being used to address the advanced technology requirements necessary to implement an integrated working and living environment for a planetary habitat. The CERC, along with a human-powered centrifuge, a planetary terrain simulator, advanced displays, and a virtual reality capability, is able to develop and demonstrate applicable technologies for future planetary exploration. There will be several robotic mechanisms performing exploration tasks external to the habitat that will be controlled through the virtual environment to provide representative workloads for the crew.
Technical Paper

Space Simulation in the Neutral Buoyancy Test Facility

Various methods have been used to simulate reduced gravity environments for space systems research and development. Neutral buoyancy has been the most universally used simulation of zero-g. This paper describes the facilities, personnel and experimental work that are associated with the Neutral Buoyancy Test Facility (NBTF) at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC). This facility provides a unique underwater environment for the researcher to simulate reduced gravity activities and evaluate the performance of space-related equipment. The NBTF's small size gives it several advantages over larger water facilities. First, a smaller crew ensures a lower overhead. Second, the facility is used for research purposes only, eliminating any scheduling conflicts with astronaut training. Lastly, the small volume of water allows the researcher to more easily vary the water temperature. This feature is ideal for investigations of astronaut thermal comfort and regulation.
Technical Paper

Fecal Simulant Delivery Systems for Parabolic Flight Testing of the Flexible Membrane Commode

The Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) is an alternative waste management system designed to address the severe mass restrictions on the Orion vehicle. The concept includes a deployable seat and single use, three layer bags that employ air flow to draw solids away from the body and safely contain them in disposable bags.1 Simulated microgravity testing of the system was performed during two separate parabolic flight campaigns in July and August of 2008. Experimental objectives included verifying the waste fill procedures in reduced gravity, characterizing waste behavior during the filling process, and comparison of the results with model predictions. In addition the operational procedure for bag installation, removal, and sealing were assessed. 2 A difficult operational requirement concerns the delivery of the fecal waste simulant into the upper area of the bag in a manner that faithfully simulates human defecation.
Technical Paper

Development of a Reduced Gravity Test Rig for Waste Management

The space environment presents many challenges to the operation and functioning of life support systems. These challenges include reduced gravity, near vacuum ambient, extreme temperatures, and radiation. Proper testing and modeling of system components to account for these factors will be important for their verification. This paper describes the modeling and design of a reduced gravity test rig for waste management studies. The first investigation planned relate to the functioning of components of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) currently under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The planned reduced gravity tests will be carried out in NASA's C'9 aircraft which provides approximately 25 seconds of reduced gravity per parabolic trajectory. The filling of the commode bag under the influence of a directed air flow will be studied. Simulated waste will be injected and cabin air will be used for directing the waste into the bag.
Technical Paper

Reactive Carbon from Life Support Wastes for Incinerator Flue Gas Cleanup

This paper presents the results from a joint research initiative between NASA Ames Research Center and Lawrence Berkeley National lab. The objective of the research is to produce activated carbon from life support wastes and to use the activated carbon to adsorb and chemically reduce the NOx and SO2 contained in incinerator flue gas. Inedible biomass waste from food production is the primary waste considered for conversion to activated carbon. Results to date show adsorption of both NOx and SO2 in activated carbon made from biomass. Conversion of adsorbed NOx to nitrogen has also been observed.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility

The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) technology has been previously discussed as a viable option for the Exploration Water Recovery System. This technology integrates a phase change process with catalytic oxidation in the vapor phase to produce potable water from exploration mission wastewaters. A developmental prototype VPCAR was designed, built and tested under funding provided by a National Research Announcement (NRA) project. The core technology, a Wiped Film Rotating Device (WFRD) was provided by Water Reuse Technologies under the NRA, whereas Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International performed the hardware integration and acceptance test of the system. Personnel at the Ames Research Center performed initial systems test of the VPCAR using ersatz solutions. To assess the viability of this hardware for Exploration Life Support (ELS) applications, the hardware has been modified and tested at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility.