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Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

Determining the fundamental role of gravity in vital biological systems in space is one of six science and research areas that provides the philosophical underpinning for why NASA exists. The study of cells, tissues, and microorganisms in a spaceflight environment holds the promise of answering multiple intriguing questions about how gravity affects living systems. To enable these studies, specimens must be maintained in an environment similar to that used in a laboratory. Cell culture studies under normal laboratory conditions involve maintaining a highly specialized environment with the necessary temperature, humidity control, nutrient, and gas exchange conditions. These same cell life support conditions must be provided by the International Space Station (ISS) Cell Culture Unit (CCU) in the unique environment of space. The CCU is a perfusion-based system that must function in microgravity, at unit gravity (1g) on earth, and from 0.1g up to 2g aboard the ISS centrifuge rotor.
Technical Paper

Chain Representations of Dimensional Control: A Producibility Input for Concurrent Concept Design

Two critical milestones that must be achieved during concept design are 1) definition of a product architecture that meets performance, producibility, and strategic objectives, and 2) estimation of the integration risk in each candidate concept. This paper addresses these issues by describing the role played by the producibility members of an Integrated Product Team (IPT) during concept design. Our focus is on the execution of the what we call the “chain method”, which illustrates the structure of function delivery in a concept in a simple pictorial way and helps the IPT to understand the advantages or disadvantages of using a modular or an integral product architecture. The producibility members play a central role in capturing and evaluating the chains for different candidate concepts and decompositions.
Technical Paper

Cost Awareness in Design: The Role of Data Commonality

Enhanced information management techniques made available through emerging Information Technology platforms hold a promise of providing significant improvements in both the effectiveness and efficiency of developing complex products. Determining actual management implementations that deliver on this promise has often proven elusive. Work in conjunction with the Lean Aircraft Initiative at MIT has revealed a straight forward use of Information Technology that portends significant cost reductions. By integrating previously separate types of data involved in the process of product development, engineers and designers can make decisions that will significantly reduce ultimate costs. Since the results presented are not specific to particular technologies or manufacturing processes, the conclusions are broadly applicable.
Technical Paper

Development of a Time and Space Resolved Sampling Probe Diagnostic for Engine Exhaust Hydrocarbons

In order to understand how unburned hydrocarbons emerge from SI engines and, in particular, how non-fuel hydrocarbons are formed and oxidized, a new gas sampling technique has been developed. A sampling unit, based on a combination of techniques used in the Fast Flame Ionization Detector (FFID) and wall-mounted sampling valves, was designed and built to capture a sample of exhaust gas during a specific period of the exhaust process and from a specific location within the exhaust port. The sampling unit consists of a transfer tube with one end in the exhaust port and the other connected to a three-way valve that leads, on one side, to a FFID and, on the other, to a vacuum chamber with a high-speed solenoid valve. Exhaust gas, drawn by the pressure drop into the vacuum chamber, impinges on the face of the solenoid valve and flows radially outward.
Technical Paper

Spacelab Neurovestibular Hardware

A set of devices for measurement of human balance orientation and eye movements in weightlessness was developed for neurovestibular experiments on Spacelab. The experiments involve astronaut motion, limb position changes, and moving visual fields, measurements are made of eye movements, muscular activity and orientation perception. This joint US/Canadian research program represent a group of closely related experiments designed to investigate space motion sickness, any associated changes in otolith-mediated responses occurring during weightlessness, and the continuation of changes to postflight conditions. The otoliths are a component of the vestibular apparatus which is located in the middle ear. It is responsible for maintaining the body's balance. Gravitational pull on the otoliths causes them to constantly appraise the nervous system of the position of the head with respect to the direction of gravity.
Technical Paper

A Graphical Workstation Based Part-Task Flight Simulator for Preliminary Rapid Evaluation of Advanced Displays

Advances in avionics and display technology are significantly changing the cockpit environment in current transport aircraft. The MIT Aeronautical Systems Lab (ASL) has developed a part-task flight simulator specifically to study the effects of these new technologies on flight crew situational awareness and performance. The simulator is based on a commercially-available graphics workstation, and can be rapidly reconfigured to meet the varying demands of experimental studies. The simulator has been successfully used to evaluate graphical microburst alerting displays, electronic instrument approach plates, terrain awareness and alerting displays, and ATC routing amendment delivery through digital datalinks.
Technical Paper

Guideways to Airways - Intermodal Access Problem

The airport is but a part of the transportation system of an urban area. While access to the airport is a significant problem faced by millions of travelers and affects a wider spectrum of our population each year, it does not yet command a sufficiently large urban transportation market, as compared to the urban commuter market, to justify the construction of airport-access-only, ground-transportation systems. Dual-mode vehicle systems that combine the advantages of both automobile and transit systems are investigated as potential solutions to the airport access problem. These are particularly interesting because they also show promise of a major solution to the general urban transportation problem. Special consideration of an airport access system as a demonstration site for new urban transportation projects is presented.
Technical Paper

Substitution of Steam for Nitrogen as a Working Fluid in Atmosphere Free Spark Ignition Engines - Theory and Test Results for Steam, Oxygen, and Fuel

This paper summarizes the results of both the preliminary studies and the initial cycle tests of a unique type of IC engine capable of operating in the absence of an atmosphere. This engine has been designed specifically for use in the general space program, and it is intended to satisfy requirements of high power to weight ratio, reliability, compactness, and short development time. The history of the en-engine's development is discussed together with problems encountered in the study. However, primary emphasis is on the recently conducted cycle tests.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Blood Flow Characteristics Leading to EVA Hand Injury

The aim of this study was to explore if fingernail delamination injury following EMU glove use may be caused by compression-induced blood flow occlusion in the finger. During compression tests, finger blood flow decreased more than 60%, however this occurred more rapidly for finger pad compression (4 N) than for fingertips (10 N). A pressure bulb compression test resulted in 50% and 45% decreased blood flow at 100 mmHg and 200 mmHg, respectively. These results indicate that the finger pad pressure required to articulate stiff gloves is more likely to contribute to injury than the fingertip pressure associated with tight fitting gloves.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Structural, Volume and Pressure Components to Space Suit Joint Rigidity

Gas-pressurized space suits are highly resistive to astronaut movement, and this resistance has been previously explained by volume and/or structural effects. This study proposed that an additional effect, pressure effects due to compressing/expanding the internal gas during joint articulation, also inhibits mobility. EMU elbow torque components were quantified through hypobaric testing. Structural effects dominated at low joint angles, and volume effects were found to be the primary torque component at higher angles. Pressure effects were found to be significant only at high joint angles (increased flexion), contributing up to 8.8% of the total torque. These effects are predicted to increase for larger, multi-axis joints. An active regulator system was developed to mitigate pressure effects, and was found to be capable of mitigating repeated pressure spikes caused by volume changes.
Technical Paper

An EVA Mission Planning Tool based on Metabolic Cost Optimization

An extravehicular activity (EVA) path-planning and navigation tool, called the Mission Planner, has been developed to assist with pre-mission planning, scenario simulation, real-time navigation, and contingency replanning during astronaut EVAs, The Mission Planner calculates the most efficient path between user-specified waypoints. Efficiency is based on an exploration cost algorithm, which is a function of the estimated astronaut metabolic rate. Selection of waypoints and visualization of the generated path are realized within a 3D mapping interface through terrain elevation models. The Mission Planner is also capable of computing the most efficient path back home from any point along the path.
Technical Paper

Tool Integration, from Tool to Tool Chain with ISO 26262

The use of innovative power sources in future cars has long-ranging implications on vehicle safety. We studied these implications in the context of the guidance on software tool qualification in the then current ISO 26262 draft, when building an urban concept vehicle to participate in the 2011 Shell Eco-Marathon. While the guidance on tool qualification is detailed, the guidance in regard to tools integrated into tool chains is limited. It only points out that the environment that tools execute in needs to be taken into consideration. In this paper we clarify the implications of tool chains on tool qualification in the context of ISO 26262 by focusing on answering two questions; first, are there parts of the development environment related to tool integration that are likely to fall outside of tool qualification efforts as currently defined by ISO 26262; secondly, can we define if, and -if so- how, tool integration is affected by ensuring functional safety.
Technical Paper

Aircraft In Situ Validation of Hydrometeors and Icing Conditions Inferred by Ground-based NEXRAD Polarimetric Radar

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is tasked by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the use of the NEXRAD polarimetric radars* for the remote sensing of icing conditions hazardous to aircraft. A critical aspect of the investigation concerns validation that has relied upon commercial airline icing pilot reports and a dedicated campaign of in situ flights in winter storms. During the month of February in 2012 and 2013, the Convair-580 aircraft operated by the National Research Council of Canada was used for in situ validation of snowstorm characteristics under simultaneous observation by NEXRAD radars in Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York. The most anisotropic and easily distinguished winter targets to dual pol radar are ice crystals.
Technical Paper

Multi-objective Optimization of a Multifunctional Structure through a MOGA and SOM based Methodology

A Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) problem concerning the thermal control problem of Multifunctional Structures (MFSs) is here addressed. In particular the use of Multi-Objective algorithms from an optimization tool and Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) is proposed for the identification of the optimal topological distribution of the heating components for a multifunctional test panel, the Advanced Bread Board (ABB). MFSs are components that conduct many functions within a single piece of hardware, shading the clearly defined boundaries that identify traditional subsystems. Generally speaking, MFSs have already proved to be a disrupting technology, especially in aeronautics and space application fields. The case study exploited in this paper refers to a demonstrator breadboard called ABB. ABB belongs to a particular subset of an extensive family of MFS, that is, of thermo-structural panels with distributed electronics and a health monitoring network.
Technical Paper

Durable Coating Technology for Lunar Dust Protection and Mitigation

Special coatings are being developed and tested to contend with the effects of dust on the lunar surface. These coatings will have wide applicability ranging from prevention of dust buildup on solar arrays and radiator surfaces to protection of EVA space suit fabrics and visors. They will be required to be durable and functional based on application. We have started preparing abrasion-resistant transparent conductive coatings ∼40 nm thick were formed by co-deposition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and titanium (Ti) on room-temperature glass and polycarbonate substrates using two RF magnetron sputtering sources. By adjusting Ti content, we obtained sheet resistivities in the range 104-1010 ohms/square. We have also started conducting a series of environmental tests that simulate the exposure of coated samples to dust under relevant conditions, beginning with abrasion tests using regolith simulant materials.
Technical Paper

Mission Planning and Re-planning for Planetary Extravehicular Activities: Analysis of Excursions in a Mars-Analog Environment and Apollo Program

Future planetary extravehicular activities (EVAs) will go beyond what was experienced during Apollo. As mission duration becomes longer, inevitably, the astronauts on the surface of the Moon and Mars will actively plan and re-plan their own sorties. To design robust decision support aids for these activities, we have to first characterize all the different types of excursions that are possible. This paper describes a framework that organizes parameters and constraints that define a single planetary EVA. We arrived at this framework through case studies: by reviewing the EVA lessons learned during Apollo, conducting an observational study of excursions in a Mars-analog environment, and applying part of the framework to a prototype path planner for human planetary exploration.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Space Suit: Physiological Implications for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is investigated through experiments testing an actual extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) performing several EVA tasks in the laboratory, and a dynamic model of the EMU space suit is developed. Building directly on earlier work in EVA simulation, the space suit model was created from mass, inertia, and performance data to augment the unsuited 12-segment human model used in previous studies. A modified Preisach model was used to mathematically describe the hysteretic torque characteristics of joints in a pressurized space suit, and implemented numerically based on observed suit parameters. Computational simulations, based loosely on a 1995 EVA involving manipulation of the Spartan astrophysics payload, were performed to observe the effect of suit constraints on simulated astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Thermal Design Strategies for a Rotating Partial Gravity Spacecraft

A rotating spacecraft which encloses an atmospheric pressure vessel poses unique challenges for thermal control. In any given location, the artificial gravity vector is directed from the center to the periphery of the vehicle. Its local magnitude is determined by the mathematics of centripetal acceleration and is directly proportional to the radius at which the measurement is taken. Accordingly, we have a system with cylindrical symmetry, featuring microgravity at its core and increasingly strong gravity toward the periphery. The tendency for heat to move by convection toward the center of the craft is one consequence which must be addressed. In addition, fluid flow and thermal transfer is markedly different in this unique environment. Our strategy for thermal control represents a novel approach to address these constraints. We present data to theoretically and experimentally justify design decisions behind the Mars Gravity Biosatellite's proposed payload thermal control subassembly.
Technical Paper

Recommendations for Real-Time Decision Support Systems for Lunar and Planetary EVAs

Future human space exploration includes returning to the Moon and continuing to Mars. Essential to these missions is each planetary extravehicular activity, or EVA, where astronauts and robotic agents will explore lunar and planetary surfaces. Real-time decision support systems will help these explorers in efficiently planning and re-planning under time pressure sorties. Information and functional requirements for such a system are recommended and are based on on-going human-computer collaboration research.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Atmospheric Reconditioning Strategies for Extended-Duration Rodent Life Support

We present results which verify the design parameters and suggest performance capabilities/limitations of the Mars Gravity Biosatellite's proposed atmospherics control subassembly. Using a combination of benchtop prototype testing and analytic techniques, we derive control requirements for ammonia. Further, we demonstrate the dehumidification performance of our proposed partial gravity condensing heat exchanger. Ammonia production is of particular concern in rodent habitats. The contaminant is released following chemical degradation of liquid waste products. The rate of production is linked to humidity levels and to the design of habitat modules in terms of bedding substrate, air flow rates, choice of structural materials, and other complex factors. Ammonia buildup can rapidly lead to rodent health concerns and can negatively impact scientific return.