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Technical Paper

NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing Project: Generation N+3 Technology Portfolio

Commercial aviation relies almost entirely on subsonic fixed wing aircraft to constantly move people and goods from one place to another across the globe. While air travel is an effective means of transportation providing an unmatched combination of speed and range, future subsonic aircraft must improve substantially to meet efficiency and environmental targets. The NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project addresses the comprehensive challenge of enabling revolutionary energy-efficiency improvements in subsonic transport aircraft combined with dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and perceived noise to facilitate sustained growth of the air transportation system. Advanced technologies, and the development of unconventional aircraft systems, offer the potential to achieve these improvements.
Technical Paper

Lunar Dust Cloud Characterization in a Gravitational Settling Chamber Experiencing Zero, Lunar, Earth and 1.8-g Levels

In order to study dust propagation and mitigation techniques, an inertial separation and gravitational settling experiment rig was constructed and used for experimental work in reduced gravity aircraft flights. The first experimental objective was to test dust filtration by a cyclone separator in lunar gravity. The second objective was to characterize dust flow and settling in lunar gravity in order to devise more comprehensive dust mitigation strategies. A settling channel provided a flow length over which particles settled out of the air flow stream. The experimental data provides particle quantity and size distribution, and a means of verifying numerical predictions.
Technical Paper

Results and Analysis from Reduced Gravity Experiments of the Flexible Membrane Commode Apparatus

Two separate experimental rigs used in tests on NASA and Zero-G Corporation aircrafts flying low-gravity trajectories, and in the NASA 2.2 Second Drop Tower have been developed to test the functioning of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) concept under reduced gravity conditions. The first rig incorporates the flexible, optically opaque membrane bag and the second rig incorporates a transparent chamber with a funnel assembly for evacuation that approximates the size of the membrane bag. Different waste dispensers have been used including a caulking gun and flexible hose assembly, and an injection syringe. Waste separation mechanisms include a pair of wire cutters, an iris mechanism, as well as discrete slug injection. The experimental work is described in a companion paper. This paper focuses on the obtained results and analysis of the data.
Technical Paper

In-flight Icing Hazard Verification with NASA's Icing Remote Sensing System for Development of a NEXRAD Icing Hazard Level Algorithm

From November 2010 until May of 2011, NASA's Icing Remote Sensing System was positioned at Platteville, Colorado between the National Science Foundation's S-Pol radar and Colorado State University's CHILL radar (collectively known as FRONT, or ‘Front Range Observational Network Testbed’). This location was also underneath the flight-path of aircraft arriving and departing from Denver's International Airport, which allowed for comparison to pilot reports of in-flight icing. This work outlines how the NASA Icing Remote Sensing System's derived liquid water content and in-flight icing hazard profiles can be used to provide in-flight icing verification and validation during icing and non-icing scenarios with the purpose of comparing these times to profiles of polarized moment data from the two nearby research radars.
Technical Paper

Fluid Dynamics Assessment of the VPCAR Water Recovery System in Partial and Microgravity

The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system is being developed to recycle water for future NASA Exploration Missions. Testing was recently conducted on NASA's C-9B Reduced Gravity Aircraft to determine the microgravity performance of a key component of the VPCAR water recovery system. Six flights were conducted to evaluate the fluid dynamics of the Wiped-Film Rotating Disk (WFRD) distillation component of the VPCAR system in microgravity, focusing on the water delivery method. The experiments utilized a simplified system to study the process of forming a thin film on a disk similar to that in the evaporator section of VPCAR. Fluid issues are present with the current configuration, and the initial alternative configurations were only partial successful in microgravity operation. The underlying causes of these issues are understood, and new alternatives are being designed to rectify the problems.
Technical Paper

Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a 10 kW-hr H2-O2 PEM Fuel Cell Power System for High Altitude Balloon Applications

NASA Glenn Research Center and the Wallops Flight Facility jointly conducted a PEM fuel cell power system development effort for high altitude balloon applications. This was the first phase of NASA efforts to offer higher balloon payload power levels with extended duration mission capabilities for atmospheric science missions. At present, lead-acid batteries typically supply about 100 watts of power to the balloon payload for approximately 8 hours duration. The H2-O2 PEM fuel cell demonstration system developed for this effort can supply at least 200 watts for 48 hours duration. The system was designed and fabricated, then tested in ambient ground environments as well as in a thermal vacuum chamber to simulate operation at 75 kft. altitude. Initially, this program was planned to culminate with a demonstration flight test but no flight has been scheduled, thus far.
Technical Paper

Flying Qualities Evaluation of a Commuter Aircraft with an Ice Contaminated Tailplane

During the NASA/FAA Tailplane Icing Program, pilot evaluations of aircraft flying qualities were conducted with various ice shapes attached to the horizontal tailplane of the NASA Twin Otter Icing Research Aircraft. Initially, only NASA pilots conducted these evaluations, assessing the differences in longitudinal flight characteristics between the baseline or clean aircraft, and the aircraft configured with an Ice Contaminated Tailplane (ICT). Longitudinal tests included Constant Airspeed Flap Transitions, Constant Airspeed Thrust Transitions, zero-G Pushovers, Repeat Elevator Doublets, and, Simulated Approach and Go-Around tasks. Later in the program, guest pilots from government and industry were invited to fly the NASAT win Otter configured with a single full-span artificial ice shape attached to the leading edge of the horizontal tailplane.
Technical Paper

Ground-Based and Airborne Remote Sensing of Inflight Aircraft Icing Conditions

NASA, the FAA, DoD, and NOAA have teamed with industry and academia to develop a capability to detect icing conditions ahead of aircraft using onboard or ground-based remote sensing systems. The goal of the program is to provide pilots with sufficient information to allow avoidance of icing. Information displayed to the pilot, as a measure of icing potential, will be useful in assessing the risk of entering the sensed conditions. This requires measurement and mapping of cloud microphysical parameters, especially cloud and precipitation liquid water content, droplet size and temperature, with range. Remote measurement of cloud microphysical conditions has been studied for years. However, this is the largest focused program devoted to remotely detect aircraft icing conditions. Primary funding sources are NASA Aerospace Operations Systems, the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program and William J.
Technical Paper

Thin Film Measurement Assessment of the VPCAR Water Recovery System in Partial and Microgravity

The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system is being developed to recycle water for future NASA Exploration Missions [1,2,3,4,5]. Reduced gravity testing of the VPCAR System has been initiated to identify any potential problems with microgravity operation. Two microgravity testing campaigns have been conducted on NASA's C-9B Reduced Gravity Aircraft. These tests focused on the fluid dynamics of the unit's Wiped-Film Rotating Disk (WFRD) evaporator. The experiments used a simplified system to study the process of forming a thin film on a rotating disk. The configuration simulates the application of feed in the VPCAR's WFRD evaporator. The first round of aircraft testing, which was completed in early 2006, indicated that a problem with microgravity operation of the WFRD existed. It was shown that in reduced gravity the VPCAR wiper did not produce a uniform thin film [6]. The film was thicker near the axis of rotation where centrifugal forces are small.
Technical Paper

Development of Icing Condition Remote Sensing Systems and their Implications for Future Flight Operations

NASA and the FAA are funding the development of ground-based remote sensing systems specifically designed to detect and quantify the icing environment aloft. The goal of the NASA activity is to develop a relatively low cost stand-alone system that can provide practical icing information to the flight community. The goal of the FAA activity is to develop more advanced systems that can identify supercooled large drop (SLD) as well as general icing conditions and be integrated into the existing weather information infrastructure. Both activities utilize combinations of sensing technologies including radar, radiometry, and lidar, along with Internet-available external information such as numerical weather model output where it is found to be useful. In all cases the measured data of environment parameters will need to be converted into a measure of icing hazard before it will be of value to the flying community.
Technical Paper

Update On SLD Engineering Tools Development

The airworthiness authorities (FAA, JAA, Transport Canada) will be releasing a draft rule in the 2006 timeframe concerning the operation of aircraft in a Supercooled Large Droplet (SLD) environment aloft. The draft rule will require aircraft manufacturers to demonstrate that their aircraft can operate safely in an SLD environment for a period of time to facilitate a safe exit from the condition. It is anticipated that aircraft manufacturers will require a capability to demonstrate compliance with this rule via experimental means (icing tunnels or tankers) and by analytical means (ice prediction codes). Since existing icing research facilities and analytical codes were not developed to account for SLD conditions, current engineering tools are not adequate to support compliance activities in SLD conditions. Therefore, existing capabilities need to be augmented to include SLD conditions.
Technical Paper

NASA's In-Flight Education and Training Aids for Pilots and Operators

To support NASA's goal to improve aviation safety, the Aircraft Icing Project of the Aviation Safety Program has developed a number of education and training aids for pilots and operators on the hazards of atmospheric icing. A review of aircraft incident and accident investigations has revealed that flight crews have not always understood the effects of ice contamination on their aircraft. To increase this awareness, NASA has partnered with regulatory agencies and pilot trade organizations to assure relevant and practical materials that are focused toward the intended pilot audience. A number of new instructional design approaches and media delivery methods have been introduced to increase the effectiveness of the training materials by enhancing the learning experience, expanding user interactivity and participation, and, hopefully, increasing learner retention rates.
Technical Paper

Iced Aircraft Flight Data for Flight Simulator Validation

NASA is developing and validating technology to incorporate aircraft icing effects into a flight training device concept demonstrator. Flight simulation models of a DHC-6 Twin Otter were developed from wind tunnel data using a subscale, complete aircraft model with and without simulated ice, and from previously acquired flight data. The validation of the simulation models required additional aircraft response time histories of the airplane configured with simulated ice similar to the subscale model testing. Therefore, a flight test was conducted using the NASA Twin Otter Icing Research Aircraft. Over 500 maneuvers of various types were conducted in this flight test. The validation data consisted of aircraft state parameters, pilot inputs, propulsion, weight, center of gravity, and moments of inertia with the airplane configured with different amounts of simulated ice.
Technical Paper

Ice Accretions on a Swept GLC-305 Airfoil

An experiment was conducted in the Icing Research Tunnel (IRT) at NASA Glenn Research Center to obtain castings of ice accretions formed on a 28° swept GLC-305 airfoil that is representative of a modern business aircraft wing. Because of the complexity of the casting process, the airfoil was designed with three removable leading edges covering the whole span. Ice accretions were obtained at six icing conditions. After the ice was accreted, the leading edges were detached from the airfoil and moved to a cold room. Molds of the ice accretions were obtained, and from them, urethane castings were fabricated. This experiment is the icing test of a two-part experiment to study the aerodynamic effects of ice accretions.
Technical Paper

Light Weight Nickel-Alkaline Cells Using Fiber Electrodes

Using a new fiber electrode technology, currently developed and produced by Bekaert Corporation (Bekaert), Electro Energy, Inc., (EEI) Mobile Energy Products Group (formerly, Eagle-Picher Technologies, LLC, Power Systems Department) in Colorado Springs, CO has demonstrated that it is feasible to manufacture flight weight nickel hydrogen cells having about twice the specific energy (80 vs. 40 watt-hr./kg) as state-of-the-art nickel hydrogen cells that are currently flown on geosynchronous communications satellites. Although lithium-ion battery technology has made large in-roads to replace the nickel alkaline technology (nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride), the technology offered here competes with lithium-ion weight and offers alternatives not present in the lithium-ion chemistry such as: ability to undergo a continuous overcharge, reversal on discharge, and sustain rate capability sufficient to start automotive and aircraft engines at subzero temperatures.
Technical Paper

Performance Characterization of a Lithium-Ion Gel Polymer Battery Power Supply System for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are currently under development for NASA missions, earth sciences, aeronautics, the military, and commercial applications. The design of an all electric power and propulsion system for small UAVs was the focus of a detailed study. Currently, many of these small vehicles are powered by primary (nonrechargeable) lithium-based batteries. While this type of battery is capable of satisfying some of the mission needs, a secondary (rechargeable) battery power supply system that can provide the same functionality as the current system at the same or lower system mass and volume is desired. A study of commercially available secondary battery cell technologies that could provide the desired performance characteristics was performed.