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Technical Paper

Ejection Seat Cushions Static Evaluation for Three Different Installation Rail Angles

Jet fighter missions have been known to last extended period of time. The need for a comfortable and safe seat has become paramount considering that fact that uncomfortable seats can lead to numerous health issues. Several health effects like numbness, pressure sore, low back pain, and vein thrombosis have been associated with protracted sitting. The cushion, and of late the installation rail angle are the only components of the ejection seat system that can be modified to reduce these adverse effects. A comprehensive static comfort evaluation study for ejection seats was conducted. It provides comparison between a variety of operational and prototype cushions (baseline cushion, honeycomb and air-cushion) and three different installation rail angles (14°, 18°, and 22°). Three operational cockpit environment mockups with adjustable installation rail angle were built. Ten volunteer subjects, six females and four males, ages 19 to 35, participated in the seat comfort evaluation.
Technical Paper

Verification of Supply Chain Quality for Perishable Tools

Increased emphasis on standardizing processes and controlling variability in production operations includes validating perishable tools used in daily operations. Even though dealing with reputable manufacturers, many factors including communication, custom specifications and personnel turnover can lead to the perpetuation of mistakes if errors are not discovered and corrective action implemented. However, inspection is costly and inspection costs far outweigh many item costs unless considering product defects. A beneficial balance may be obtained by employing statistical sampling techniques similar to ISO 2859 [1] to verify the quality of incoming tools.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Nitrogen System Performance

The Nitrogen System aboard the International Space Station (Station) continues to maintain Station total pressure and support several ongoing scientific and medical tasks. This paper addresses elevated leakage in the Nitrogen System, behavior during events such as nitrogen usage in other parts of the Station, and describes behavioral changes of the nitrogen Regulator/Relief Valve (regulator) since the activation of the Nitrogen System in 2001.
Technical Paper

ISS: On-Board ECLSS Maintenance Activities and Launch Logistics

The ISS U. S. ECLSS contains replaceable component designs to facilitate maintenance. A replaceable component is referred to as an Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU). Total U. S. ECLSS maintenance events that have occurred over the five years (2001-2005) of operations are summarized. A more detailed description is provided for the ECLSS Remove and Replace (R&R) maintenance activities that have occurred during the last two years and the associated logistics that supported these activities. Maintenance activities have replaced failed or degraded ORU's by Corrective Maintenance (CM) and replaced spent expendable ORU's by Preventative Maintenance (PM). Corrective maintenance is performed only when necessary and often on relatively short notice. Preventative maintenance is planned in advance and is normally performed at a specified ORU service time. The paper also describes activities and successful efforts to increase the expendable ORU service life.
Technical Paper

Analysis to Characterize Fresh vs. Aged Shuttle Orbiter Lithium Hydroxide Performance

A recent endeavor has been undertaken to understand the performance of Shuttle Orbiter lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters used during STS-114. During this mission, the crew relied on both fresh LiOH and aged LiOH stored on the International Space Station (ISS). Due to the Space Shuttle being grounded after the Columbia accident, the canisters stored on ISS had passed the certified two-year shelf life and were considered expired. The focus of the analysis was to determine the performance of expired LiOH in relation to fresh LiOH and the accuracy of previous predictions1 regarding the performance of expired LiOH. Understanding the performance of expired LiOH is crucial in enabling the extension of the useful life of LiOH canisters. Extending the shelf life has ramifications not only in the current Shuttle program, but in regard to future exploration missions fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration as well.
Technical Paper

System Software Safety Assessment Process for Certification of Commercial and Military Aircraft

For the next 10 years new world-wide communication, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) requirements are being incrementally imposed upon military aircraft avionics, and upon the Air Traffic Control community, by the Aviation Administrations of most nations, including the FAA and the JAA. These requirements are the result of a decade of study by the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to improve aviation safety and efficiency. In 2001 the USAF mandated compliance to the CNS requirements for its military aircraft, which is called Navigation Safety (NS) GATM by the USAF. By complying with these requirements, the military aircraft can maintain their ability to fly internationally without CNS restrictions. The FAA requires that flight software be assessed, developed and/or verified (proven) with a methodology recommended by the RTCA document called DO-178B for software based systems.
Journal Article

Self-Configuring Hybrid Duct System and Attachment Technologies for Environmental Control Systems

Environmental Control Systems (ECS) ducts on airplanes are primarily fabricated from aluminum or thermoset composites, depending on temperature and pressure requirements. It is imperative to fabricate lightweight, cost effective, durable, and repairable systems with minimal tooling. It is also important that the duct systems are easy to assemble even with alignment issues resulting from structural variations, tolerance accumulation, variation from thermal expansion of different materials, and inherent duct stiffness. These requirements create an opportunity and need for a technology that can address all of these issues, while increasing performance at the same time. This report provides a background on current ECS ducting systems.
Technical Paper

Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) for the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) requires stores of Oxygen (O2) and Nitrogen (N2) to provide for atmosphere replenishment, direct crew member usage, and payload operations. Currently, supplies of N2/O2 are maintained by transfer from the Space Shuttle. Following Space Shuttle retirement in 2010, an alternate means of resupplying N2/O2 to the ISS is needed. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has determined that the optimal method of supplying the ISS with O2/N2 is using tanks of high pressure N2/O2 carried to the station by a cargo vehicle capable of docking with the ISS. This paper will outline the architecture of the system selected by NASA and will discuss some of the design challenges associated with this use of high pressure oxygen and nitrogen storage in the human spaceflight environment.
Technical Paper

Development and Implementation of Sol-Gel Coatings for Aerospace Applications

A family of water-based sol-gel coatings has been developed as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional aerospace finishing materials and processes. The sol-gel hybrid network is based on a reactive mixture of an organo-functionalized silane with a stabilized zirconium complex. Thin films of the material self-assemble on metal surfaces, resulting in a gradient coating that provides durable adhesion for paints, adhesives, and sealants. Use of the novel coating as a surface pretreatment for the exterior of commercial aircraft has enabled environmental, health, and safety benefits due to elimination of hexavalent chromium, and flight test and early fleet survey data support the laboratory observations that the sol gel coating reduces the occurrence of “rivet rash” adhesion failures. Modifications of the basic inorganic/organic hybrid network have yielded multifunctional coatings with promise for applications such as corrosion control and oxidation protection.
Technical Paper

“Fuel Flow Method2” for Estimating Aircraft Emissions

In recent years there has been increasing interest in quantifying the emissions from aircraft in order to generate inventories of emissions for climate models, technology and scenario studies, and inventories of emissions for airline fleets typically presented in environmental reports. The preferred method for calculating aircraft engine emissions of NOx, HC, and CO is the proprietary “P3T3” method. This method relies on proprietary airplane and engine performance models along with proprietary engine emissions characterizations. In response and in order to provide a transparent method for calculating aircraft engine emissions non proprietary fuel flow based methods 1,2,3 have been developed. This paper presents derivation, updates, and clarifications of the fuel flow method methodology known as “Fuel Flow Method 2”.
Technical Paper

The Boeing 777-300/PW4098 Flying Test-Bed Program

The 98,000 lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney PW4098 high-bypass turbofan engine recently completed a flying test-bed program on the Boeing 777-300 airplane. The purpose of the one-month program was to validate engine operability and to gather data that can be used for upcoming engine certification to the standards of Federal Aviation Regulations part 33. Testing included engine transient operation, steady-state performance, in-flight starting, component cooling, and inlet compatibility. When engine certification is complete, an airplane certification program will be conducted for the 777-300/PW4098, a combination of the world's largest twin engine airplane and the world's largest turbofan engine yet to fly.
Technical Paper

A Robust Method of Countersink Inspection Using Machine Vision

An automated system drills the outer moldline holes on a military aircraft wing. Currently, the operator manually checks countersink diameter every ten holes as a process quality check. The manual method of countersink inspection (using a countersink gauge with a dial readout) is prone to errors both in measurement and transcription, and is time consuming since the operator must stop the automated equipment before measuring the hole. Machine vision provides a fast, non-contact method for measuring countersink diameter, however, data from machine vision systems is frequently corrupted by non-gaussian noise which causes traditional model fitting methods, such as least squares, to fail miserably. We present a solution for circle measurement using a statistically robust fitting technique that does an exceptional job of identifying the countersink even in the presence of large amounts of structured and non-structured noise such as tear-out, scratches, surface defects, salt-and-pepper, etc.
Technical Paper

Future Directions Relative to NDE of Composite Structures

One of the key elements of increasing the affordability of major weapons systems is reducing costs associated with manufacturing. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) is a critical element of the manufacturing process and one that cannot be compromised. A key goal associated with NDE research and development is to help reduce the cost associated with quality assurance. In relation to composite structures, this is being approached from several directions, two of which will be discussed. The approach most frequently used for inspection of composite parts is to pull the parts out of the manufacturing cells and route them to a centralized quality assurance area for inspection. This approach leads to accumulation of non-recurring costs for tooling/fixturing to support the inspection and significant additions to production flow time. An alternative would be to develop nondestructive evaluation processes that can be performed in the manufacturing cells.
Technical Paper

Determination of On-Orbit Cabin Air Loss from the International Space Station (ISS)

The International Space Station (ISS) loses cabin atmosphere mass at some rate. Due to oxygen partial pressures fluctuations from metabolic usage, the total pressure is not a good data source for tracking total pressure loss. Using the nitrogen partial pressure is a good data source to determine the total on-orbit cabin atmosphere loss from the ISS, due to no nitrogen addition or losses. There are several important reasons to know the daily average cabin air loss of the ISS including logistics planning for nitrogen and oxygen. The total average daily cabin atmosphere loss was estimated from January 14 to April 9 of 2003. The total average daily cabin atmosphere loss includes structural leakages, Vozdukh losses, Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) losses, and other component losses.
Technical Paper

Autonomous Flight Control Development on the Active Aeroelastic Wing Aircraft

A highly modified F/A-18 aircraft is being used to demonstrate that aeroelastic wing twist can be used to roll a high performance aircraft. A production F/A-18A/B/C/D aircraft uses a combination of aileron deflection, differential horizontal tail deflection and differential leading edge flap deflection to roll the aircraft at various Mach numbers and altitudes. The Active Aeroelastic Wing program is demonstrating that aeroelastic wing twist can be used in lieu of the horizontal tail to provide autonomous roll control at high dynamic pressures. Aerodynamic and loads data have been gathered from the Phase I AAW flight test program. Now control laws have been developed to exploit aeroelastic wing twist and provide autonomous flight control of the AAW aircraft during Phase II. Wing control surfaces are being deflected in non-standard ways to create aeroelastic wing twist and develop the required rolling moments without use of the horizontal tail.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of a Commercial Transport Airplane During Stall and Post-Stall Flight

As part of NASA’s Aviation Safety and Security Program, a simulation study of a twin-jet transport aircraft crew training simulation was conducted to address fidelity for upset or loss-of-control flight conditions. Piloted simulation studies were conducted to compare the baseline crew training simulation model with an enhanced aerodynamic model that was developed for high-angle-of-attack conditions. These studies were conducted in a flaps-up configuration and covered the approach-to-stall, stall and post-stall flight regimes. Qualitative pilot comments and preliminary comparison with flight test data indicate that the enhanced model is a significant improvement over the baseline. Some of the significant unrepresentative characteristics that are predicted by the baseline crew training simulation for flight in the post-stall regime have been identified.
Technical Paper

Oxygen/Nitrogen Supply and Distribution for the United States On-Orbit Segment of the International Space Station

The on-orbit oxygen and nitrogen supply for the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) of the International Space Station (ISS) is provided in tanks mounted on the outside of the Airlock module. Gasses are supplied, for distribution to users within the USOS, via pressure regulators in the Airlock. The on-orbit storage can be replenished with gas that is scavenged from the Space Shuttle, or by direct replacement of the tanks. The supply and distribution system are described in this paper. The users of the gasses are identified. The system architecture is presented. Operational considerations are discussed.
Technical Paper

Post-Flight Sampling and Loading Characterization of Trace Contaminant Control Subassembly Charcoal

Trace chemical contaminants produced by equipment offgassing and human metabolic processes are removed from the atmosphere of the International Space Station's U.S. Segment by a trace contaminant control subassembly (TCCS). The TCCS employs a combination of physical adsorption, thermal catalytic oxidation, and chemical adsorption processes to accomplish its task. A large bed of granular activated charcoal is a primary component of the TCCS. The charcoal contained in this bed, known as the charcoal bed assembly (CBA), is expendable and must be replaced periodically. Pre-flight engineering analyses based upon TCCS performance testing results established a service life estimate of 1 year. After nearly 1 year of cumulative in-flight operations, the first CBA was returned for refurbishment. Charcoal samples were collected and analyzed for loading to determine the best estimate for the CBA's service life.
Technical Paper

Wind-Tunnel Investigation of Commercial Transport Aircraft Aerodynamics at Extreme Flight Conditions

A series of low-speed static and dynamic wind tunnel tests of a commercial transport configuration over an extended angle of attack/sideslip envelope was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center. The test results are intended for use in the development of an aerodynamic simulation database for determining aircraft flight characteristics at extreme and loss-of-control conditions. This database will be used for the development of loss-of-control prevention or mitigation systems, pilot training for recovery from such conditions, and accident investigations. An overview of the wind-tunnel tests is presented and the results of the tests are evaluated with respect to traditional simulation database development techniques for modeling extreme conditions to identify regions where simulation fidelity should be addressed.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Internal Thermal Control System Cold Plate/Fluid-Stability Test - Two Year Update

Operation of the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Cold Plate/Fluid-Stability Test Facility commenced on September 5, 2000. The facility was intended to provide advance indication of potential problems on board the International Space Station (ISS) and was designed: To be materially similar to the flight ITCS. To allow for monitoring during operation. To run continuously for three years. During the first two years of operation the conditions of the coolant and components were remarkably stable. During this same period of time, the conditions of the ISS ITCS significantly diverged from the desired state. Due to this divergence, the test facility has not been providing information useful for predicting the flight ITCS condition. Results of the first two years are compared with flight conditions over the same time period, showing the similarities and divergences.