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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.
Journal Article

Oil Transport Cycle Model for Rotary Engine Oil Seals

The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. A model of the oil seals is developed to calculate internal oil consumption (oil leakage from the crankcase through the oil seals) as a function of engine geometry and operating conditions. The deformation of the oil seals trying to conform to housing distortion is calculated to balance spring force, O-ring and groove friction, and asperity contact and hydrodynamic pressure at the interface. A control volume approach is used to track the oil over a cycle on the seals, the rotor and the housing as the seals are moving following the eccentric rotation of the rotor. The dominant cause of internal oil consumption is the non-conformability of the oil seals to the housing distortion generating net outward scraping, particularly next to the intake and exhaust port where the housing distortion valleys are deep and narrow.
Journal Article

Visualization of the Rotary Engine Oil Transport Mechanisms

The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. In order to better understand oil transport, a laser induced fluorescence technique is used to visualize oil motion on the side of the rotor during engine operation. Oil transport from both metered oil and internal oil is observed. Starting from inside, oil accumulates in the rotor land during inward motion of the rotor created by its eccentric motion. Oil seals are then scraping the oil outward due to seal-housing clearance asymmetry between inward and outward motion. Cut-off seal does not provide an additional barrier to internal oil consumption. Internal oil then mixes with metered oil brought to the side of the rotor by gas leakage. Oil is finally pushed outward by centrifugal force, passes the side seals, and is thrown off in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Windage Tray Blockage Effect on Aeration in the Oil Sump

The windage tray effect on aeration in the engine sump was assessed by replacing much of the windage tray materials with wire meshes of various blockages. The mesh was to prevent direct impact of the oil drops spinning off the crank shaft onto the sump oil, and simultaneously, to provide sufficient drainage so that there was no significant build up of windage tray oil film that would interact with these droplets. Aeration at the oil pump inlet was measured by X-ray absorption in a production V-6 SI engine motoring at 2000 to 6000 rpm. Within experimental uncertainty, these windage tray changes had no effect on aeration. Thus activities in the sump such as the interaction of the oil drops spun from the crank shaft with the sump oil or with the windage tray, and the agitation of the sump oil by the crank case gas, were not major contributors to aeration at the pump inlet.
Technical Paper

Performance Characterization of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization Based on Integrated Tests with Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reduction Assemblies

CO2 removal, recovery and reduction are essential processes for a closed loop air revitalization system in a crewed spacecraft. Typically, a compressor is required to recover the low pressure CO2 that is being removed from the spacecraft in a swing bed adsorption system. This paper describes integrated tests of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor (TSAC) with high-fidelity systems for carbon dioxide removal and reduction assemblies (CDRA and Sabatier reactor). It also provides details of the TSAC operation at various CO2 loadings. The TSAC is a solid-state compressor that has the capability to remove CO2 from a low-pressure source, and subsequently store, compress, and deliver it at a higher pressure. TSAC utilizes the principle of temperature-swing adsorption compression and has no rapidly moving parts.
Technical Paper

Lyophilization for Water Recovery III, System Design

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

Machine Learning for Detecting and Locating Damage in a Rotating Gear

This paper describes a multi-disciplinary damage detection methodology that can aid in detecting and diagnosing a damage in a given structural system, not limited to the example of a rotating gear presented here. Damage detection is performed on the gear stress data corresponding to the steady state conditions. The normal and damage data are generated by a finite-difference solution of elastodynamic equations of velocity and stress in generalized coordinates1. The elastodynamic solution provides a knowledge of the stress distribution over the gear such as locations of stress extrema, which in turn can lead to an optimal placement of appropriate sensors over the gear to detect a potential damage. The damage detection is performed by a multi-function optimization that incorporates Tikhonov kernel regularization reinforced by an added Laplacian regularization term as used in semi-supervised machine learning. Damage is mimicked by reducing the rigidity of one of the gear teeth.
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

Advanced Development of the Direct Osmotic Concentration System

Direct osmotic concentration (DOC) is an integrated membrane treatment process designed for the reclamation of spacecraft wastewater. The system includes forward osmosis (FO), membrane evaporation, reverse osmosis (RO) and an aqueous phase catalytic oxidation (APCO) post-treatment unit. This document describes progress in the third year of a four year project to advance hardware maturity of this technology to a level appropriate for human rated testing. The current status of construction and testing of the final deliverable is covered and preliminary calculations of equivalent system mass are funished.
Technical Paper

Current and Planned Modifications to the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology in Response to the MSFC ECLS Long Duration Test Results

The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology has undergone long duration testing at MSFC. The results of this testing revealed several areas in which the VPCAR Technology could be improved and those improvements are summarized here. These improvements include the replacement of several parts with units that are more durable, redesign of several pieces which proved to have mechanical weaknesses, and incorporation of some new designs in order to prevent other potential problems.
Technical Paper

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

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

Liquid Fuel Visualization Using Laser-Induced Fluoresence During Cold Start

The presence of liquid fuel inside the engine cylinder is believed to be a strong contributor to the high levels of hydrocarbon emissions from spark ignition (SI) engines during the warm-up period. Quantifying and determining the fate of the liquid fuel that enters the cylinder is the first step in understanding the process of emissions formation. This work uses planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) to visualize the liquid fuel present in the cylinder. The fluorescing compounds in indolene, and mixtures of iso-octane with dopants of different boiling points (acetone and 3-pentanone) were used to trace the behavior of different volatility components. Images were taken of three different planes through the engine intersecting the intake valve region. A closed valve fuel injection strategy was used, as this is the strategy most commonly used in practice. Background subtraction and masking were both performed to reduce the effect of any spurious fluorescence.
Technical Paper

Lyophilization for Water Recovery II, Model Validation

This paper presents results of research on a solid waste dryer, based of the process of lyophilization, which recovers water and stabilizes solid waste. A lyophilizer has been developed and tested that uses thermoelectric heat pumps (TECs) to recycle heat during drying. The properties of TECs facilitate direct measurement of heat flow rates, and heat flow data are used to evaluate a heat and mass transfer model of the thermoelectric lyophilizer. Data are consistent with the theoretical model in most respects. Practical problems such as insulation and vacuum maintenance are minor in this system. However, the model’s assumption of a uniformly retreating ice layer during drying is valid only for the first 30% of water removed. Beyond this point, a shrinking core or lens model is more appropriate. Heat transfer to the shrinking core surrounded by dried material is slow.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of a Prototype Dry Pyrolysis System for Destruction of Solid Wastes

Pyrolysis is a technology that can be used on future space missions to convert wastes to an inert char, water, and gases. The gases can be easily vented overboard on near term missions. For far term missions the gases could be directed to a combustor or recycled. The conversion to char and gases as well as the absence of a need for resupply materials are advantages of pyrolysis. A major disadvantage of pyrolysis is that it can produce tars that are difficult to handle and can cause plugging of the processing hardware. By controlling the heating rate of primary pyrolysis, the secondary (cracking) bed temperature, and residence time, it is possible that tar formation can be minimized for most biomass materials. This paper describes an experimental evaluation of two versions of pyrolysis reactors that were delivered to the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) as the end products of a Phase II and a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project.
Technical Paper

The Development of the Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk Evaporator for the Reclamation of Water at Microgravity

This project is a Phase III SBIR contract between NASA and Water Reuse Technology (WRT). It covers the redesign, modification, and construction of the Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator for use in microgravity and its integration into a Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system. VPCAR is a water processor technology for long duration space exploration applications. The system is designed as an engineering development unit specifically aimed at being integrated into NASA Johnson Space Center's Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Test Complex (BIO-Plex). The WFRD evaporator and the compressor are being designed and built by WRT. The balance of the VPCAR system and the integrated package are being designed and built by Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International, Inc. (HSSSI) under a subcontract with WRT. This paper provides a description of the VPCAR technology and the advances that are being incorporated into the unit.
Technical Paper

Rotary Valve Revolution

Rotary valves should pose a credible threat to other mechanical valve systems-such as poppet valves-but they have been unable to infiltrate the automotive market. Using Axiomatic Design we have identified significant design problems with existing rotary valves which have prevented their wide-spread use. In addition, we have proposed an innovative solution which removes some couplings in existing rotary valve systems and could potentially be used in automotive applications, although further work must still be performed.
Technical Paper

Development of Insect Habitat System for Studying Long Duration Circadian Rhythm Changes on Mir Space Station

A habitat for housing up to 32 Tenebrionid, black body beetles (Trigonoscelis gigas Reitter) has been developed at Ames Research Center for conducting studies to evaluate the effects of long duration spaceflight upon insect circadian timing systems. This habitat, identified as the Beetle Kit, provides an automatically controlled lighting system and activity and temperature recording devices, as well as individual beetle enclosures. Each of the 32 enclosures in a Beetle Kit allows for ad lib movement of the beetle as well as ventilation of the beetle enclosure via an externally operated hand pump. Two Beetle Kits were launched on STS-84 (Shuttle-Mir Mission-06) on May 15, 1997 and were transferred to the Priroda module of the Russian Mir space station on May 18 as part of the NASA/Mir Phase 1 Science Program. Following the Progress collision with Spektr on June 25, the Kits were transferred to the Kristall module. The beetles will remain on Mir for approximately 135 days.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

Compressing Aviation Data in XML Format

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.