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Technical Paper

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

2009-07-12
2009-01-2344
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

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

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

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

Integrated Systems Testing of Spacecraft

2007-07-09
2007-01-3144
How much integrated system level test should be performed on a spacecraft before it is launched? Although sometimes system test is minimized, experience shows that systems level testing should be thorough and complete. Reducing subsystem testing is a less dangerous way to save cost, since it risks finding problems later in system test, while cutting systems test risks finding them even later on orbit. Human-rated spacecraft test planning is informal, subjective, and inconsistent, and its extent is often determined by the decision maker's risk tolerance, decision-making style, and long-term or short-term view. Decisions on what to test should be guided by an overall mission cost-benefit analysis, similar to the risk analysis used to guide development efforts.
Technical Paper

Development of Waste Bag Air Flow and Drying Models for Solid Waste Management

2007-07-09
2007-01-3263
NASA is developing a novel waste bag concept for filling, storing and drying astronaut fecal material. The three-layer bag is lined with a membrane that is impermeable to solid and liquid matter but permeable to gases. The air flow provided by a blower assists in containing the waste in the bag. After use, the bag is sealed and then connected to a vacuum manifold for drying the waste. This paper describes the development of theoretical models for analyzing the air flow patterns in the bag during the filling process as well as the parameters governing the drying rate. The models will be used to support the design and testing of the waste bag.
Technical Paper

Waste Compaction Technology Development for Human Space Exploration Missions

2007-07-09
2007-01-3265
Waste management is a critical component of life support systems for manned space exploration. Human occupied spacecraft and extraterrestrial habitats must be able to effectively manage the waste generated throughout the entire mission duration. The requirements for waste systems may vary according to specific mission scenarios but all waste management operations must allow for the effective collection, containment, processing, and storage of unwanted materials. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle usually referred to as the CEV, will have limited volume for equipment and crew. Technologies that reduce waste storage volume free up valuable space for other equipment. Waste storage volume is a major driver for the Orion waste compactor design. Current efforts at NASA Ames Research Center involve the development of two different prototype compactors designed to minimize trash storage space.
Technical Paper

Control of Effluent Gases from Solid Waste Processing Using Impregnated Carbon Nanotubes

2005-07-11
2005-01-2946
One of the major problems associated with solid waste processing technologies is effluent contaminants that are released in gaseous forms from the processes. This is a concern in both biological as well as physicochemical solid waste processing. Carbon dioxide (CO2), the major gas released, does not present a serious problem and there are currently in place a number of flight-qualified technologies for CO2 removal. However, a number of other gases, in particular NOx, SO2, NH3, and various hydrocarbons (e.g. CH4) do present health hazards to the crew members in space habitats. In the present configuration of solid waste processing in the International Space Station (ISS), some of these gases are removed by the Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS), demands a major resupply. Reduction of the resupply can be effective by using catalyst impregnated carbon nanotubes. For example, NO decomposition to N2 and O2 is thermodynamically favored.
Technical Paper

Lyophilization for Water Recovery III, System Design

2005-07-11
2005-01-3084
Mixed liquid/solid wastes, including feces, water processor effluents, and food waste, can be lyophilized (freeze-dried) to recover the water they contain and stabilize the solids that remain. Our previous research has demonstrated the potential benefits of using thermoelectric heat pumps to build a lyophilizer for processing waste in microgravity. These results were used to build a working prototype suitable for ground-based human testing. This paper describes the prototype design and presents results of functional and performance tests.
Technical Paper

Risk Management for Space Human Support Research and Technology

2005-07-11
2005-01-3009
NASA requires continuous risk management for all programs and projects. The risk management process identifies risks, analyzes their impact, prioritizes them, develops and carries out plans to mitigate or accept them, tracks risks and mitigation plans, and communicates and documents risk information. Project risk management is driven by the project goal and is performed by the entire team. Risk management begins early in the formulation phase with initial risk identification and development of a risk management plan and continues throughout the project life cycle. This paper describes a risk management approach that is suggested for use in NASA's Human Support Research and Technology (HSRT).
Technical Paper

Project Selection for NASA's R&D Programs

2005-07-11
2005-01-2916
The purpose of NASA's Research and Development (R&D) programs is to provide advanced human support technologies for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). The new technologies must be sufficiently attractive and proven to be selectable for future missions. This requires identifying promising candidate technologies and advancing them in technology readiness until they are likely options for flight. The R&D programs must select an array of technology development projects, manage them, and either terminate or continue them, so as to maximize the delivered number of potentially usable advanced human support technologies. This paper proposes an effective project selection methodology to help manage NASA R&D project portfolios.
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

Assessment of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility

2007-07-09
2007-01-3036
The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) technology has been previously discussed as a viable option for the Exploration Water Recovery System. This technology integrates a phase change process with catalytic oxidation in the vapor phase to produce potable water from exploration mission wastewaters. A developmental prototype VPCAR was designed, built and tested under funding provided by a National Research Announcement (NRA) project. The core technology, a Wiped Film Rotating Device (WFRD) was provided by Water Reuse Technologies under the NRA, whereas Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International performed the hardware integration and acceptance test of the system. Personnel at the Ames Research Center performed initial systems test of the VPCAR using ersatz solutions. To assess the viability of this hardware for Exploration Life Support (ELS) applications, the hardware has been modified and tested at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility.
Technical Paper

Development of a Pilot Scale Apparatus for Control of Solid Waste Using Low Temperature Oxidation

2007-07-09
2007-01-3135
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The important goals outlined in this document include extending human presence in the solar system culminating in the exploration of Mars. Unprocessed waste poses a biological hazard to crew health and morale. The waste processing methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis 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 project is to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. In the Phase I project, TDA Research, Inc. demonstrated the potential of a low temperature oxidation process using ozone. In the current Phase II project, TDA and NASA Ames Research Center are developing a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Ammonia Sorbents and Carbon Monoxide Oxidation Catalysts

2008-06-29
2008-01-2097
Designers of future space vehicles envision simplifying the Atmosphere Revitalization (AR) system by combining the functions of trace contaminant (TC) control and carbon dioxide removal into one swing-bed system. Flow rates and bed sizes of the TC and CO2 systems have historically been very different. There is uncertainty about the ability of trace contaminant sorbents to adsorb adequately in a high-flow or short bed length configurations, and to desorb adequately during short vacuum exposures. This paper describes preliminary results of a comparative experimental investigation into adsorbents for trace contaminant control. Ammonia sorbents and low temperature catalysts for CO oxidation are the foci. The data will be useful to designers of AR systems for Constellation. Plans for extended and repeated vacuum exposure of ammonia sorbents are also presented.
Technical Paper

Development Status of a Low-Power CO2 Removal and Compression System for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization

2008-06-29
2008-01-2095
The “low power-CO2 removal (LPCOR) system” is an advanced air revitalization system that is under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The LPCOR utilizes the fundamental design features of the ‘four bed molecular sieve’ (4BMS) CO2 removal technology of the International Space Station (ISS). LPCOR improves power efficiency by replacing the desiccant beds of the 4BMS with a membrane dryer and a state-of-the-art, structured adsorbent device that collectively require 25% of the thermal energy required by the 4BMS desiccant beds for regeneration. Compared to the 4BMS technology, it has the added functionality to deliver pure, compressed CO2 for oxygen recovery. The CO2 removal and recovery functions are performed in a two-stage adsorption compressor. CO2 is removed from the cabin air and partially compressed in the first stage. The second stage performs further compression and delivers the compressed CO2 to a reduction unit such as a Sabatier reactor for oxygen recovery.
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

Incineration of Inedible Biomass in a Regenerative Life Support System - Update of Development Activities at ARC

2001-07-09
2001-01-2344
Of the many competing technologies for resource recovery from solid wastes for long duration manned missions such as a lunar or Mars base, incineration technology is one of the most promising and certainly the most well developed in a terrestrial sense. Various factors are involved in the design of an optimum fluidized bed incinerator for inedible biomass. The factors include variability of moisture in the biomass, the ash content, and the amount of fuel nitrogen in the biomass. The crop mixture in the waste will vary; consequently the nature of the waste, the nitrogen content, and the biomass heating values will vary as well. Variation in feed will result in variation in the amount of contaminants such as nitrogen oxides that are produced in the combustion part of the incinerator. The incinerator must be robust enough to handle this variability. Research at NASA Ames Research Center using the fluidized bed incinerator has yielded valuable data on system parameters and variables.
Technical Paper

An On-line Technology Information System (OTIS) for Advanced Life Support

2003-07-07
2003-01-2636
An On-line Technology Information System (OTIS) is currently being developed for the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Program. This paper describes the preliminary development of OTIS, which is a system designed to provide centralized collection and organization of technology information. The lack of thorough, reliable and easily understood technology information is a major obstacle in effective assessment of technology development progress, trade studies, metric calculations, and technology selection for integrated testing. OTIS will provide a formalized, well-organized protocol to communicate thorough, accurate, current and relevant technology information between the hands-on technology developer and the ALS Community. The need for this type of information transfer system within the Solid Waste Management (SWM) element was recently identified and addressed.
Technical Paper

Development of Next-Generation Membrane-Integrated Adsorption Processor for CO2 Removal and Compression for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization and Analysis of Desiccating Membrane

2003-07-07
2003-01-2367
The current CO2 removal technology of NASA is very energy intensive and contains many non-optimized subsystems. This paper discusses the concept of a next-generation, membrane-integrated, adsorption processor for CO2 removal and compression in closed-loop air revitalization systems. The membrane module removes water from the feed, passing it directly into the processor's exhaust stream; it replaces the desiccant beds in the current four-bed molecular sieve system, which must be thermally regenerated. Moreover, in the new processor, CO2 is removed and compressed in a single two-stage unit. This processor will use much less power than NASA's current CO2 removal technology and will be capable of maintaining a lower CO2 concentration in the cabin than that can be achieved by the existing CO2 removal systems.
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