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Technical Paper

A Pilot Scale System for Low Temperature Solid Waste Oxidation and Recovery of Water

2009-07-12
2009-01-2365
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The goals outlined in this document include extending the human presence in the solar system, culminating in the exploration of Mars. A key requirement for this effort is to identify a safe and effective method to process waste. Methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis, drying, and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this work was to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. TDA and NASA Ames Research Center have developed a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system to convert organic waste to CO2 and H2O.
Technical Paper

Starship Life Support

2009-07-12
2009-01-2466
The design and mass cost of a starship and its life support system are investigated. The mission plan for a multigenerationai interstellar voyage to colonize a new planet is used to describe the starship design, including the crew habitat, accommodations, and life support. Cost is reduced if a small crew travels slowly and lands with minimal equipment. The first human interstellar colonization voyage will probably travel about 10 light years and last hundreds of years. The required travel velocity is achievable by nuclear propulsion using near future technology. To minimize mission mass, the entire starship would not decelerate at the destination. Only small descent vehicles would land on the destination planet. The most mass efficient colonization program would use colonizing crews of only a few dozen. Highly reliable life support can be achieved by providing selected spares and full replacement systems.
Technical Paper

Lunar Base Life Support Failure Analysis and Simulation

2009-07-12
2009-01-2482
Dynamic simulation of the lunar outpost habitat life support was undertaken to investigate the impact of life support failures and to investigate possible responses. Some preparatory static analysis for the Lunar Outpost life support model, an earlier version of the model, and an investigation into the impact of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) were reported previously. (Jones, 2008-01-2184, 2008-01-2017) The earlier model was modified to include possible resupply delays, power failures, recycling system failures, and atmosphere and other material storage failures. Most failures impact the lunar outpost water balance and can be mitigated by reducing water usage. Food solids and nitrogen can be obtained only by resupply from Earth. The most time urgent failure is a loss of carbon dioxide removal capability. Life support failures might be survivable if effective operational solutions are provided in the system design.
Technical Paper

Planning Dynamic Simulation of Space Life Support

2009-07-12
2009-01-2493
Dynamic modeling and simulation of recycling space life support is necessary to determine processing rates, buffer sizes, controls, and other aspects of systems design. A common approach is to develop an overall inclusive model that reflects nominal system operation. A full dynamic simulation of space life support represents many system elements in an inclusive model, but it cannot and should not include everything possible. A model is a simplified, partial, mathematical representation of reality. Including unnecessary elements makes the model complex, costly, and confusing. Models are built to help understand a system and to make predictions and decisions about it. The best and most useful models are developed to answer specific important questions. There are many possible questions about life support design and performance. Different questions are best answered by different models. Static spreadsheet analysis is a good starting point.
Technical Paper

Heat Transfer Characteristics of the Concentric Disk inside the WFRD Evaporator for the VPCAR Water Recovery System

2009-07-12
2009-01-2487
We consider the heat transfer characteristics of an ideal concentric disk used in the Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator for the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) water recovery system. A mathematical model is derived to predict the radial temperature distribution and its average over the surface of the disk as a function of system parameters. The model shows self-similarity of the temperature distribution and the existence of a dimensionless parameter S (ratio of heat flux to convection) that can be used as a criterion to optimize the thermal characteristics of the disk in order to approach uniform surface temperature. Comparison of the model to experimental data using global (infrared imager) and local (resistive temperature devices) measurements shows that agreement with the model depends on the ambient condition denoted by the local heat transfer coefficient.
Journal Article

Testing of a Plastic Melt Waste Compactor Designed for Human Space Exploration Missions

2009-07-12
2009-01-2363
Significant progress has been made at NASA Ames Research Center in the development of a heat melt compaction device called the Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (PMWC). The PMWC was designed to process wet and dry wastes generated on human space exploration missions. The wastes have a plastic content typically greater than twenty percent. The PMWC removes the water from the waste, reduces the volume, and encapsulates it by melting the plastic constituent of the waste. The PMWC is capable of large volume reductions. The final product is compacted waste disk that is easy to manage and requires minimal crew handling. This paper describes the results of tests conducted using the PMWC with a wet and dry waste composite that was representative of the waste types expected to be encountered on long duration human space exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Boundary-Layer Transition and Global Skin Friction Measurement with an Oil-Fringe Imaging Technique

1993-09-01
932550
A new oil-fringe imaging skin friction (FISF) technique to measure skin friction on wind tunnel models is presented. In the method used to demonstrate the technique, lines of oil are applied on surfaces that connect the intended sets of measurement points, and then a wind tunnel is run so that the oil thins and forms interference fringes that are spaced proportional to local skin friction. After a run the fringe spacings are imaged with a CCD-array digital camera and measured on a computer. Skin friction and transition measurements on a two-dimensional wing are presented and compared with computational predictions.
Technical Paper

Space Simulation in the Neutral Buoyancy Test Facility

1993-09-01
932554
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

Aerodynamic Tailoring of the Learjet Model 60 Wing

1993-09-01
932534
The wing of the Learjet Model 60 was tailored for improved aerodynamic characteristics using the TRANAIR transonic full-potential CFD code. A root leading edge glove and wing tip fairing were shaped to reduce shock strength, improve cruise drag and extend the buffet limit. The aerodynamic design was validated by wind tunnel test and flight test data.
Technical Paper

Planner-Based Control of Advanced Life Support Systems

2005-07-11
2005-01-2961
The paper describes an approach to the integration of qualitative and quantitative modeling techniques for advanced life support (ALS) systems. Developing reliable control strategies that scale up to fully integrated life support systems requires augmenting quantitative models and control algorithms with the abstractions provided by qualitative, symbolic models and their associated high-level control strategies. This will allow for effective management of the combinatorics due to the integration of a large number of ALS subsystems. By focusing control actions at different levels of detail and reactivity we can use faster, simpler responses at the lowest level and predictive but complex responses at the higher levels of abstraction. In particular, methods from model-based planning and scheduling can provide effective resource management over long time periods.
Technical Paper

The Dynamic Impact of EVA on Lunar Outpost Life Support

2008-06-29
2008-01-2017
Dynamic simulation of the Lunar Outpost habitat life support was undertaken to investigate the impact of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The preparatory static analysis and some supporting data are reported in another paper. (Jones, 2008-01-2184) Dynamic simulation is useful in understanding systems interactions, buffer needs, control approaches, and responses to failures and changes. A simulation of the Lunar outpost habitat life support was developed in MATLAB/Simulink™. The simulation is modular and reconfigurable, and the components are reusable to model other physicochemical (P/C) based recycling systems. EVA impacts the Lunar Outpost life support system design by requiring a significant increase in the direct supply mass of oxygen and water and by reducing the net mass savings of using dehydrated food. The mass cost of EVA depends on the amount and difficulty of the EVA scheduled.
Technical Paper

Integrated Use of Data Mining and Statistical Analysis Methods to Analyze Air Traffic Delays

2007-09-17
2007-01-3836
Linear regression is the primary data analysis method used in the development of air traffic delay models. When the data being studied does indeed have an underlying linear model, this approach would produce the best-fitting model as expected. However, it has been argued by ATM researchers [Wieland2005, Evans2004] that the underlying delay models are primarily non-linear. Furthermore, the delays being modeled often depend not only on the observable independent variables being studied but also on other variables not being considered. The traditional regression approach alone may not be best suited to study these type of problems. In this paper, we propose an alternate methodology based on partitioning the data using statistical and decision tree learning methods. We then show the utility of this model in a variety of different ATM modeling problems.
Technical Paper

Idealized Modeling and Analysis of the Shuttle Orbiter Wing Leading Edge Impact Data

2007-09-17
2007-01-3882
Some selected segments of the ascent and the on-orbit data from the Space Shuttle flight, STS114, as well as some selected laboratory test article data have been analyzed using wavelets, power spectrum and autocorrelation function. Additionally, a simple approximate noise test was performed on these data segments to confirm the presence or absence of white noise behavior in the data. This study was initially directed at characterizing the on-orbit background against which a signature due to an impact during on-orbit operation could be identified. The laboratory data analyzed here mimic low velocity impact that the Orbiter may be subjected to during the very initial stages of ascent.
Technical Paper

Innovative Concepts for Planetary EVA Access

2007-07-09
2007-01-3245
This study introduces several new concepts for suited EVA astronaut ingress/egress (departure and return) from a pressurized planetary surface habitat, based on use of a rear-entry suit and a suit lock or suitport. We provide insight into key operational aspects and integration issues, as well as the results of a requirements analysis and risk assessment of the concepts. The risk assessment included hazard analysis, hazard mitigation techniques, failure mode assessment, and operational risk assessment. Also included are performance and mass estimates for the egress concepts, and concepts for integration of the egress concepts with potential planetary habitat designs.
Technical Paper

Progress in Reducing Aerodynamic Drag for Higher Efficiency of Heavy Duty Trucks (Class 7-8)

1999-04-26
1999-01-2238
This paper describes research and development for reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles by demonstrating new approaches for the numerical simulation and analysis of aerodynamic flow. In addition, greater use of newly developed computational tools holds promise for reducing the number of prototype tests, for cutting manufacturing costs, and for reducing overall time to market. Experimental verification and validation of new computational fluid dynamics methods are also an important part of this approach. Experiments on a model of an integrated tractor-trailer are underway at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Southern California. Companion computer simulations are being performed by Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and California Institute of Technology using state-of- the-art techniques, with the intention of implementing more complex methods in the future.
Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

2001-07-09
2001-01-2229
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

Propulsion System Sizing For Powered Lift And Mechanical Flap Quiet Aircraft

1974-02-01
740455
Propulsion system sizing for mechanical flap and externally blown flap aircraft is demonstrated. Included in this study is the effect of various levels of noise suppression on the aircraft final design characteristics. Both aircraft are sized to operate from a 3000 ft runway and perform the same mission. For each aircraft concept, propulsion system sizing is demonstrated for two different engine cycles-one having a fan pressure ratio of 1.5 and a bypass ratio of 9 and the other having a fan pressure ratio of 1.25 and a bypass ratio of 17.8. The results presented include the required thrust to weight ratio, wing loading, resulting gross weight and direct operating costs as functions of the engine noise level for each combination of engine cycle and aircraft concept.
Technical Paper

Compressing Aviation Data in XML Format

2003-09-08
2003-01-3011
Design, operations and maintenance activities in aviation involve analysis of variety of aviation data. This data is typically in disparate formats making it difficult to use with different software packages. Use of a self-describing and extensible standard called XML provides a solution to this interoperability problem. While self-describing nature of XML makes it easy to reuse, it also increases the size of data significantly. A natural solution to the problem is to compress the data using suitable algorithm and transfer it in the compressed form. We found that XML-specific compressors such as Xmill and XMLPPM generally outperform traditional compressors. However, optimal use of Xmill requires of discovery of optimal options to use while running Xmill. Manual discovery of optimal setting can require an engineer to experiment for weeks.
Technical Paper

Development Status of the VPCAR Water Processor Assembly

2003-07-07
2003-01-2626
The purification of waste water is a critical element of any long-duration space mission. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system offers the promise of a technology requiring low quantities of expendable material that is suitable for exploration missions. NASA has funded an effort to produce an engineering development unit specifically targeted for integration into the NASA Johnson Space Center's Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility (INTEGRITY) formally known in part as the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Test Complex (Bio-Plex) and the Advanced Water Recovery System Development Facility. The system includes a Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator redesigned with micro-gravity operation enhancements, which evaporates wastewater and produces water vapor with only volatile components as contaminants. Volatile contaminants, including organics and ammonia, are oxidized in a catalytic reactor while they are in the vapor phase.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Mission Location on Mission Costs and Equivalent System Mass

2003-07-07
2003-01-2633
Equivalent System Mass (ESM) is used by the Advanced Life Support (ALS) community to quantify mission costs of technologies for space applications (Drysdale et al, 1999, Levri et al, 2000). Mass is used as a cost measure because the mass of an object determines propulsion (acceleration) cost (i.e. amount of fuel needed), and costs relating to propulsion dominate mission cost. Mission location drives mission cost because acceleration is typically required to initiate and complete a change in location. Total mission costs may be reduced by minimizing the mass of materials that must be propelled to each distinct location. In order to minimize fuel requirements for missions beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO), the hardware and astronauts may not all go to the same location. For example, on a Lunar or Mars mission, some of the hardware or astronauts may stay in orbit while the rest of the hardware and astronauts descend to the planetary surface.
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