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Technical Paper

Operation of Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose on the International Space Station

2009-07-12
2009-01-2522
The Third Generation ENose is an air quality monitor designed to operate in the environment of the US Lab on the International Space Station (ISS). It detects a selected group of analytes at target concentrations in the ppm regime at an environmental temperature range of 18 – 30 °C, relative humidity from 25 – 75% and pressure from 530 to 760 torr. This device was installed and activated on ISS on Dec. 9, 2008 and has been operating continuously since activation. Data are downlinked and analyzed weekly. Results of analysis of ENose monitoring data show the short term presence of low concentration of alcohols, octafluoropropane and formaldehyde as well as frequent short term unknown events.
Journal Article

Design Description and Initial Characterization Testing of an Active Heat Rejection Radiator with Digital Turn-Down Capability

2009-07-12
2009-01-2419
NASA's proposed lunar lander, Altair, will be exposed to vastly different external temperatures following launch till its final destination on the moon. In addition, the heat rejection is lowest at the lowest environmental temperatures (0.5 kW @ 4K) and highest at the highest environmental temperature (4.5 kW @ 215K). This places a severe demand on the radiator design to handle these extreme turn-down requirements. A radiator with digital turn-down capability is currently under study at JPL as a robust means to meet the heat rejection demands and provide freeze protection while minimizing mass and power consumption. Turndown is achieved by independent control of flow branches with isolating latch valves and a gear pump to evacuate the isolated branches. A bench-top test was conducted to characterize the digital radiator concept. Testing focused on the demonstration of proper valve sequencing to achieve turn-down and recharge of flow legs.
Technical Paper

Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mission Flight Thermal Performance

2005-07-11
2005-01-2827
NASA launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 as a part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. MER-A (Spirit) landed on Mars in Gusev Crater at 15 degrees South latitude and 175 degrees East longitude on January 4, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Dec. 2004). MER-B (Opportunity) landed on Mars in Terra Meridiani at 2 degrees South latitude and 354 degrees East longitude on January 25, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Aug. 2004). Both rovers have well exceeded their design lifetime (90 Sols) by more than a factor of 5. Spirit and Opportunity are still healthy and continue to execute their roving science missions at the time of this writing. This paper discusses rover flight thermal performance during the surface missions of both vehicles, covering roughly the time from the MER-A landing in late Southern Summer (aereocentric longitude, Ls = 328, Sol 1A) through the Southern Winter solstice (Ls = 90, Sol 255A) to nearly Southern Vernal equinox (Ls = 160, Sol 398A).
Technical Paper

Extended Temperature Range Studies for Dry Heat Microbial Reduction

2005-07-11
2005-01-3096
Dry heat microbial reduction is an approved method to reduce the microbial bioburden on space-flight hardware prior to launch to meet flight project planetary protection requirements. Microbial bioburden reduction also occurs if a spacecraft enters a planetary atmosphere (e.g., Mars) and is heated by frictional forces. However, without further studies, administrative credit for this reduction cannot be applied. The killing of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores has been examined and lethality data has been collected by placing spores in a vacuum oven or thermal spore exposure vessels (TSEV) in a constant temperature bath. Using this lethality data, a preliminary mathematical model is being developed that can be used to predict spore killing at different temperatures. This paper will present the lethality data that has been collected at this time and the planned future studies.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit Performance of the TES Loop Heat Pipe Heat Rejection System

2008-06-29
2008-01-2000
Launched on NASA's Aura spacecraft on July 15, 2004, JPL's Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) has been operating successfully for over three years in space. TES is an infrared high resolution, imaging fourier transform spectrometer with spectral coverage of 3.3 to 15.4 μm to measure and profile essentially all infrared-active molecules present in the Earth's lower atmosphere. It measures the three-dimensional distribution of ozone and its precursors in the lower atmosphere on a global scale. The Aura spacecraft was successfully placed in a sun-synchronous near-circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 705 km and 98.9 minute orbit period. The observatory is designed for a nominal 5 year mission lifetime. The instrument thermal design features include four temperature zones needed for efficient cryogenic staging to provide cooling at 65 K, 180 K, 230 K and 300 K.
Technical Paper

Thermal Performance Evaluation of a Small Loop Heat Pipe for Space Applications

2003-07-07
2003-01-2688
A Small Loop Heat Pipe (SLHP) featuring a wick of only 1.27 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter has been designed for use in spacecraft thermal control. It has several features to accommodate a wide range of environmental conditions in both operating and non-operating states. These include flexible transport lines to facilitate hardware integration, a radiator capable of sustaining over 100 freeze-thaw cycles using ammonia as a working fluid and a structural integrity to sustain acceleration loads up to 30 g. The small LHP has a maximum heat transport capacity of 120 Watts with thermal conductance ranging from 17 to 21 W/°C. The design incorporates heaters on the compensation chamber to modulate the heat transport from full-on to full-stop conditions. A set of start up heaters are attached to the evaporator body using a specially designed fin to assist the LHP in starting up when it is connected to a large thermal mass.
Technical Paper

Trace Gas Analyzer for Extra-Vehicular Activity

2001-07-09
2001-01-2405
The Trace Gas Analyzer (TGA, Figure 1) is a self-contained, battery-powered mass spectrometer that is designed for use by astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVA) on the International Space Station (ISS). The TGA contains a miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array (QMSA) that determines the partial pressures of ammonia, hydrazines, nitrogen, and oxygen. The QMSA ionizes the ambient gas mixture and analyzes the component species according to their charge-to-mass ratio. The QMSA and its electronics were designed, developed, and tested by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1,2). Oceaneering Space Systems supported JPL in QMSA detector development by performing 3D computer for optimal volumetric integration, and by performing stress and thermal analyses to parameterize environmental performance.
Technical Paper

Capillary Limit in a Loop Heat Pipe with Dual Evaporators

2002-07-15
2002-01-2503
This paper describes a study on the capillary limit of a loop heat pipe (LHP) with two evaporators and two condensers. Both theoretical analysis and experimental investigation are performed. Experimental tests conducted include heat load to one evaporator only, even heat loads to both evaporators, and uneven heat loads to both evaporators. Test results show that after the capillary limit is exceeded, vapor will penetrate through the wick of the weaker evaporator, and the compensation chamber (CC) of that evaporator will control the loop operating temperature regardless of which CC has been in control prior to the event. Because the evaporator can tolerate vapor bubbles, the loop can continue to work after vapor penetration. As the loop operating temperature increases, the system pressure drop actually decreases due to a decrease in liquid and vapor viscosities. Thus, the loop may reach a new steady state at a higher operating temperature after vapor penetration.
Technical Paper

Slow Reversible and Quasi-Reversible Performance Changes in AMTEC Electrodes and Electrolytes

1999-08-02
1999-01-2705
This paper reports several slow reversible and quasi-reversible processes which occur in the porous electrode/solid electrolyte combination at AMTEC operating temperatures. These processes help to elucidate the evolution of the electrode and electrolyte characteristics with time. They also demonstrate that the atomic constituents of the electrode/electrolyte engage in significant dynamic motion. We report the stability of the sodium beta“-alumina phase in low pressure sodium vapor at 1173K up to 3000 hours, and the decomposition of the sodium meta-aluminate (NaAlO2) phase present at about 1% in the BASE ceramic, which gives rise to transient local increases in the solid electrolyte resistivity due to local micro-cracking. We also report slow apparent morphological changes, possibly surface or grain boundary reconstruction, in TiN and RhW electrodes driven by changes in the local sodium activity.
Technical Paper

Sorbent Bed Acquisition and Compression of Carbon Dioxide from the Mars Atmosphere

2000-07-10
2000-01-2237
Human exploration of Mars as well as unmanned sample return missions from Mars can benefit greatly from the use of propellants produced from the resources available from the atmosphere of Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production (ISPP) system is to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Mars atmosphere and compress it for further chemical processing. One system that performs this step is called a Mars Atmosphere Acquisition and Compression (MAAC) unit. A simple prototype MAAC was developed by JPL as part of the Mars ISPP Precursor (MIP) experiment package for inclusion on the Mars 2001 Surveyor Lander. The MAAC consists of a valved enclosure packed with a sorbent material which selectively adsorbs CO2 from the Mars atmosphere (valves open), desorbs and compresses the acquired CO2 by heating (valves closed) and then delivers the pressurized CO2 to an oxygen generating system where the CO2 is electrolyzed to produce oxygen.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design and Flight Experience of the Mars Exploration Rover Spacecraft Computer-Controlled, Propulsion Line Heaters

2004-07-19
2004-01-2412
As part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 and successfully landed both of them on Mars in January of 2004. The cruise stage of each spacecraft (S/C) housed most of the hardware needed to complete the cruise from Earth to Mars, including the propulsion system. Propulsion lines brought hydrazine propellant from tanks under the cruise stage to attitude-control thrusters located on the periphery of the cruise stage. Hydrazine will freeze in the propellant lines if it reaches temperatures below 1.7°C. Thermal control of the propulsion lines was a mission critical function of the thermal subsystem; a frozen propellant line could have resulted in loss of attitude control and complete loss of the S/C.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop for Space Applications –Working Fluid Selection

2004-07-19
2004-01-2415
Mechanically pumped single-phase fluid loops are well suited for transporting and rejecting large amounts of waste heat from spacecraft electronics and power supplies. While past implementations of such loops on spacecraft have used moderate operating temperatures (less than 60ºC), higher operating temperatures would allow equivalent heat loads to be rejected by smaller and less massive radiators. A high temperature (100 to 150ºC) mechanically pumped fluid loop is currently being investigated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for use on future Mars missions. This paper details the trade study used to select the high temperature working fluid for the system and the initial development testing of loop components.
Technical Paper

Mars Exploration Rover Thermal Test Program Overview

2004-07-19
2004-01-2310
In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landed on the surface of Mars to begin their mission as robotic geologists. A year prior to these historic landings, both rovers and the spacecraft that delivered them to Mars, were completing a series of environmental tests in facilities at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This paper describes the test program undertaken to validate the thermal design and verify the workmanship integrity of both rovers and the spacecraft. The spacecraft, which contained the rover within the aeroshell, were tested in a 7.5 m diameter thermal vacuum chamber. Thermal balance was performed for the near earth (hot case) condition and for the near Mars (cold case) condition. A solar simulator was used to provide the solar boundary condition on the solar array. IR lamps were used to simulate the solar heat load on the aeroshell for the off-sun attitudes experienced by the spacecraft during its cruise to Mars.
Technical Paper

Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Technologies for Thermal Control of Future Mars Rovers

2006-07-17
2006-01-2035
Future planetary science missions planned for Mars are expected to be more complex and thermally challenging than any of the previous missions. For future rovers, the operational parameters such as landing site latitudes, mission life, distance traversed, and rover thermal energy to be managed will be significantly higher (two to five times) than the previous missions. It is a very challenging problem to provide an effective thermal control for the future rovers using traditional passive thermal control technologies. Recent investigations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have shown that mechanical pump based fluid loops provide a robust and effective thermal control system needed for these future rovers. Mechanical pump based fluid loop (MPFL) technologies are currently being developed at JPL for use on such rovers. These fluid loops are planned for use during spacecraft cruise from earth to Mars and also on the Martian surface operations.
Technical Paper

Physical and Environmental Effects on the Energy Dissipating Characteristics of Balsa Wood

1966-02-01
660657
This paper presents the results of a developmental program designed to determine physical and environmental effects on the response of balsa wood as an energy dissipator. Specifically, the effects of moisture content, density, temperature, and pressure on the energy dissipating characteristics of balsa wood are presented. It is shown that the response of balsa wood is critically dependent on physical and environmental conditions, and that the energy dissipating capacity of the material increases significantly under certain combinations of these conditions.
Journal Article

Start-Up Characteristics and Gravity Effects on a Medium/High-Lift Heat Pump using Advanced Hybrid Loop Technology

2008-06-29
2008-01-1959
Thermal characterization was performed on a vapor compression heat pump using a novel, hybrid two phase loop design. Previous work on this technology has demonstrated its ability to provide passive phase separation and flow control based on capillary action. This provides high quality vapor to the compressor without relying on gravity-based phase separation or other active devices. This paper describes the subsequent work done to characterize evaporator performance under various startup scenarios, tilt angles, and heat loads. The use of a thermal expansion valve as a method to regulate operation was investigated. The effect of past history of use on startup behavior was also studied. Testing under various tilt angles showed evaporator performance to be affected by both adverse and favorable tilts for the given compressor. And depending on the distribution of liquid in the system upon startup, markedly different performance can result for the same system settings and heat loads.
Journal Article

Ground Validation of the Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose

2008-06-29
2008-01-2044
The Third Generation ENose is an air quality monitor designed to operate in the environment of the US Lab on the International Space Station. It detects a selected group of analytes at target concentrations in the ppm regime at an environmental temperature range of 18 - 30 °C, relative humidity from 25 - 75% and pressure from 530 to 760 torr. The abilities of the device to detect ten analytes, to reject confounders as “unknown” and to deconvolute mixtures of two analytes under varying environmental conditions has been tested extensively in the laboratory. Results of ground testing showed an overall success rate for detection, identification and quantification of analytes of 87% under nominal temperature and humidity conditions and 83% over all conditions.
Journal Article

Development of Passively Actuated Thermal Control Valves for Passive Control of Mechanically Pumped Single-Phase Fluid Loops for Space Applications

2008-06-29
2008-01-2002
Passively activated thermal control valves were developed for use in a mechanically pumped single-phase fluid liquid loop (MPFL) of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. A key approach to the thermal control of the rover with the fluid loop is to control the flow through the rover's heat generating or heat rejecting components. This is achieved by either splitting or mixing the fluid stream coming from different branches of the system at different temperatures; actively or passively controlled flow valves are typically used for such purposes. To meet the thermal control requirements of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, a splitting and a mixing thermal control valves with gradual control capabilities using a linear thermal actuator and a spool was developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The key feature of these control valves is the balancing of the flow through the various branches of the fluid loop in order to balance the heat loads of the whole thermal system.
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