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Technical Paper

Development of a Test Facility for Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation

2007-07-09
2007-01-3161
Development of new air revitalization system (ARS) technology can initially be performed in a subscale laboratory environment, but in order to advance the maturity level, the technology must be tested in an end-to-end integrated environment. The Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF) at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) serves as a ground test bed for evaluating emerging ARS technologies in an environment representative of spacecraft atmospheres. At the center of the ARTEF is a hypobaric chamber which serves as a sealed atmospheric chamber for closed loop testing. A Human Metabolic Simulator (HMS) was custom-built to simulate the consumption of oxygen, and production of carbon dioxide, moisture and heat by up to eight persons. A variety of gas analyzers and dew point sensors are used to monitor the chamber atmosphere and the process flow upstream and downstream of a test article. A robust vacuum system is needed to simulate the vacuum of space.
Technical Paper

Space Suit Radiator Performance in Lunar and Mars Environments

2007-07-09
2007-01-3275
During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment and the load from the electrical components. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Last year we reported on the design and initial operational assessment tests of a novel radiator designated the Radiator And Freeze Tolerant heat eXchanger (RAFT-X).
Technical Paper

Human and Robotic Enabling Performance System Development and Testing

2005-07-11
2005-01-2969
With a renewed focus on manned exploration, NASA is beginning to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. Future manned missions will require a symbiosis of human and robotic infrastructure. As a step towards understanding the roles of humans and robots in future planetary exploration, NASA headquarters funded ILC Dover and the University of Maryland to perform research in the area of human and robotic interfaces. The research focused on development and testing of communication components, robotic command and control interfaces, electronic displays, EVA navigation software and hardware, and EVA lighting. The funded research was a 12-month effort culminating in a field test with NASA personnel.
Technical Paper

Advanced Extravehicular Activity Education Outreach in Support of the Vision for Space Exploration

2005-07-11
2005-01-3100
The Vision for Space Exploration outlines NASA's goals to return to the Moon, and travel on to Mars. The exploration activities associated with these endeavors will include both space and surface extravehicular activities (EVAs). This paper describes the plans for education outreach activities and products related to the technological developments and challenges similar to those being addressed by the Advanced EVA (AEVA) team. Efforts to involve and coordinate educational research projects with the AEVA team will also be discussed. The proposed activities and products will provide hands-on, interactive exercises through workshops, presentations, and demonstrations to allow students of all levels to learn about and experience the design challenges similar to what NASA deals with everyday in developing EVA systems.
Technical Paper

An Environmental Sensor Technology Selection Process for Exploration

2005-07-11
2005-01-2872
In planning for Exploration missions and developing the required suite of environmental monitors, the difficulty lies in down-selecting a multitude of technology options to a few candidates with exceptional potential. Technology selection criteria include conventional analytical parameters (e.g., range, sensitivity, selectivity), operational factors (degree of automation, portability, required level of crew training, maintenance), logistical factors (size, mass, power, consumables, waste generation) and engineering factors such as complexity and reliability. Other more subtle considerations include crew interfaces, data readout and degree of autonomy from the ground control center. We anticipate that technology demonstrations designed toward these goals will be carried out on the International Space Station, the end result of which is a suite of techniques well positioned for deployment during Exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Debris/Contamination

1992-07-01
921345
Debris in the Orbiter crew compartment of early Shuttle missions created crew health concerns and physiological discomfort, and was the cause of some equipment malfunctions. Debris from Orbiters during flight and processing was analyzed, quantized, and evaluated to determine its source. Records were kept on the amount of debris vacuumed by the crew during on-orbit cleaning and the amount found on air-cooled avionics boxes during ground turnaround. After ground turnaround operations at Kennedy Space Center and Palmdale were reviewed from a facility, materials use, and materials control standpoint, the following remedial steps were taken.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

2007-07-09
2007-01-3248
This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Technical Paper

Digital Learning Network Education Events for the Desert Research and Technology Studies

2007-07-09
2007-01-3063
NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN) reaches out to thousands of students each year through video conferencing and webcasting. As part of NASA's Strategic Plan to reach the next generation of space explorers, the DLN develops and delivers educational programs that reinforce principles in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The DLN has created a series of live education videoconferences connecting the Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) field test to students across the United States. The programs are also extended to students around the world via live webcasting. The primary focus of the events is the Vision for Space Exploration. During the programs, Desert RATS engineers and scientists inform and inspire students about the importance of exploration and share the importance of the field test as it correlates with plans to return to the Moon and explore Mars. This paper describes the events that took place in September 2006.
Technical Paper

Digital Learning Network Education Events of 2006 NASA's Extreme Environments Mission Operations

2007-07-09
2007-01-3064
NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN) reaches out to thousands of students each year through video conferencing and webcasting. The DLN has created a series of live education videoconferences connecting NASA's Extreme Environment Missions Operations (NEEMO) team to students across the United States. Programs are also extended to students around the world via live webcasting. The primary focus of the events is the vision for space exploration. During the programs, NEEMO crewmembers, including NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists, inform and inspire students about the importance of exploration and share the importance of the project as it correlates with plans to return to the moon and explore the planet Mars. These events highlight interactivity. Students talk live with the aquanauts in Aquarius, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's underwater laboratory located 4.5 kilometers off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Technical Paper

Education Payload Operations Kit C: A Miniature, Low ESM Hobby Garden for Space-Based Educational Activities

2007-07-09
2007-01-3067
The wonder of space exploration is a sure way to catch the attention of students of all ages, and space biology is one of many sciences critical to understanding the spaceflight environment. Many systems used in the past for space-to-classroom biology activities have required extensive crew time and material resources, making space-linked education logistically and financially difficult. The new Education Payload Operations Kit C (EPO Kit C) aims to overcome obstacles to space-linked education and outreach by dramatically reducing the resources required for educational activities in plant space biology that have a true spaceflight component. EPO Kit C is expected to be flown from STS-118 to the International Space Station in June 2007. NASA and several other organizations are currently planning an outreach program to complement the flight of EPO Kit C.
Technical Paper

Reconfigurable Control System Design for Future Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-1976
A reconfigurable control system is an intelligent control system that detects faults within the system and adjusts its performance automatically to avoid mission failure, save lives, and reduce system maintenance costs. The concept was first successfully demonstrated by NASA between December 1989 and March 1990 on the F-15 flight control system (SRFCS), where software was integrated into the aircraft's digital flight control system to compensate for component loss by reconfiguring the remaining control loop. This was later adopted in the Boeing X-33. Other applications include modular robotics, reconfigurable computing structure, and reconfigurable helicopters. The motivation of this work is to test such control system designs for future long term space missions, more explicitly, the automation of life support systems.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Equivalent System Mass (ESM) of Yeast and Flat Bread Systems

2003-07-07
2003-01-2618
The Equivalent System Mass (ESM) metric developed by NASA describes and compares individual system impact on a closed system in terms of a single parameter, mass. The food system of a Mars mission may encompass a large percentage of total mission ESM, and decreasing this ESM would be beneficial. Yeast breads were made using three methods (hand & oven, bread machine, mixer with dough hook attachment & oven). Flat breads were made using four methods (hand & oven, hand & griddle, mixer with dough hook attachment & oven, mixer with dough hook attachment & griddle). Two formulations were used for each bread system (scratch ingredients, commercial mix). ESM was calculated for each of these scenarios. The objective of this study was to compare the ESM of yeast and flat bread production for a Martian surface outpost. Method (equipment) for both types of bread production was demonstrated to be the most significant influence of ESM when one equipment use was assumed.
Technical Paper

Early Results of an Integrated Water Recovery System Test

2001-07-09
2001-01-2210
The work presented in this paper summarizes the early results of an integrated advanced water recovery system test conducted by the Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) at NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC). The system design and the results of the first two months of operation are presented. The overall objective of this test is to demonstrate the capability of an integrated advanced water recovery system to produce potable quality water for at least six months. Each subsystem is designed for operation in microgravity. The primary treatment system consists of a biological system for organic carbon and ammonia removal. Dissolved solids are removed by reverse osmosis and air evaporation systems. Finally, ion exchange technology in combination with photolysis or photocatalysis is used for polishing of the effluent water stream. The wastewater stream consists of urine and urine flush water, hygiene wastewater and a simulated humidity condensate.
Technical Paper

Food System Trade Study for an Early Mars Mission

2001-07-09
2001-01-2364
In preparation for future planetary exploration, the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex) is currently being built at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The BIO-Plex facility will allow for closed chamber Earth-based tests. Various prepackaged food systems are being considered for the first 120-day BIO-Plex test. These food systems will be based on the Shuttle Training Menu and the International Space Station (ISS) Assembly Complete food systems. This paper evaluates several prepackaged food system options for the surface portion of an early Mars mission, based on plans for the first BIO-Plex test. The five systems considered are listed in Table 1. The food system options are assessed using equivalent system mass (ESM), which evaluates each option based upon the mass, volume, power, cooling and crewtime requirements.
Technical Paper

Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex: Facility Description and Testing Objectives

1997-07-01
972342
As a key component in its ground test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has been developing a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated bioregenerative life support systems with human test crews. This facility, the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex), is currently under development at the Johnson Space Center. The BIO-Plex is comprised of a set of interconnected test chambers with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting test crews of four individuals for periods exceeding one year. The life support systems to be tested will consist of both biological and physicochemical technologies and will perform all required air revitalization, water recovery, biomass production, food processing, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated command and control functions.
Technical Paper

Extravehicular Activity Metabolic Profile Development Based on Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle Missions

1997-07-01
972502
The importance of being able to determine the usage rate of life support subsystem consumables was recognized well before the first Apollo Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Since that time, metabolic activity levels have been evaluated and recorded for each EVA crew member. Throughout the history of the United States space program, EVA metabolic rates have been shown to be variable depending upon the mission scenario and the equipment used. Knowing this historic information is invaluable for current EVA planning activities, as well as for the design of future Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) systems. This paper presents an overview of historic metabolic expenditures for Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle missions, along with a discussion of the types of EVA crew member activities which lead to various metabolic rate levels, and a discussion on how this data is being used to develop advanced EMU systems.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Chamber-Grown Crops in Menu Planning

1998-07-13
981559
NASA-JSC is evaluating planetary mission scenarios where plants will provide the majority of the diet for the crew. The requirements of both plants and crew diet need to be integrated in the development of the final food system. Plant growth has limitations in type and quantity of crops to be produced while diets must meet palatability and nutritional requirements as well as limited processing labor, equipment and power. A plan is presented for the development of a food system based heavily on grown crops. Although the steps taken in the development are applicable to the design of any long duration flight food system. The process begins with the development of a food list, followed by preliminary menu design, nutritional analysis and finally menu testing.
Technical Paper

Testing of an Integrated Air Revitalization System

1995-07-01
951661
Long-duration missions in space will require regenerative air revitalization processes. Human testing of these regenerative processes is necessary to provide focus to the system development process and to provide realistic metabolic and hygiene inputs. To this end, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), under the sponsorship of NASA Headquarters Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, is implementing an Early Human Testing (EHT) Project. As part of this project, an integrated physicochemical Air Revitalization System (ARS) is being developed and tested in JSC's Life Support Systems Integration Facility (LSSIF). The components of the ARS include a Four-Bed Molecular Sieve (4BMS) Subsystem for carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, a Sabatier CO2 Reduction Subsystem (CRS), and a Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE)™ Oxygen Generation Subsystem (OGS). A Trace Contaminant Control Subsystem (TCCS) will be incorporated at a later date.
Technical Paper

Innovative Schematic Concept Analysis for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

2006-07-17
2006-01-2201
Conceptual designs for a space suit Personal Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) were developed and assessed to determine if upgrading the system using new, emerging, or projected technologies to fulfill basic functions would result in mass, volume, or performance improvements. Technologies were identified to satisfy each of the functions of the PLSS in three environments (zero-g, Lunar, and Martian) and in three time frames (2006, 2010, and 2020). The viability of candidate technologies was evaluated using evaluation criteria such as safety, technology readiness, and reliability. System concepts (schematics) were developed for combinations of time frame and environment by assigning specific technologies to each of four key functions of the PLSS -- oxygen supply, waste removal, thermal control, and power. The PLSS concepts were evaluated using the ExtraVehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool, software created by NASA to analyze integrated system mass, volume, power and thermal loads.
Technical Paper

EVA Operational Enhancements and ASEM

1992-07-01
921341
Among the many firsts which will occur on STS-49, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a Space Station Freedom (SSF) experiment entitled Assembly of Station by Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Methods (ASEM) promises to test the boundaries of EVA operational capabilities. Should the results be favorable, station and other major users of EVA stand to benefit from increased capabilities. Even the preparation for the ASEM experiment is serving as a pathfinder for complex SSF operations. This paper reviews the major tasks planned for ASEM and discusses the operational analogies investigators are attempting to draw between ASEM and SSF. How these findings may be applied to simplify station assembly and maintenance will also be discussed.
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