Refine Your Search



Search Results

Technical Paper

Recent Developments of Experimental Techniques and Their Applications at NASA Langley Research Center

The need for highly accurate measurements of velocity, temperature, pressure and density has required the development of new experimental techniques. While the majority of these development efforts at NASA Langley are focused toward applications for aeronautical programs such as the High-Speed Civil Transport, Advanced Subsonic Transport, and the National Aero-Space Plane, a number are applicable to other fields. The intent of this paper is to review recent instrumentation developments and applications at NASA Langley Research Center that may have applications in automotive testing. Five experimental techniques are described along with recent results obtained in NASA facilities.
Technical Paper

Light Aircraft Crash Safety Program

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have joined forces in a General Aviation Crashworthiness Program. This paper describes the research and development tasks of the program which are the responsibility of NASA. NASA is embarked upon research and development tasks aimed at providing the general aviation industry with a reliable crashworthy airframe design technology. The goals of the NASA program are: reliable analytical techniques for predicting the nonlinear behavior of structures; significant design improvements of airframes; and simulated full-scale crash test data. The analytical tools will include both simplified procedures for estimating energy absorption characteristics and more complex computer programs for analysis of general airframe structures under crash loading conditions.
Technical Paper

The All Electric Airplane - Benefits and Challenges

A brief definition of an “All Electric Airplane” will be presented. Several NASA and DOD studies have examined the application of advanced electric/electronic technologies. The benefits identified in these studies will be summarized. The state-of-the-art in all electric airplane technology will be described. A NASA program has been proposed to develop the necessary technology base for industry application. The elements of this proposed program will be discussed.
Technical Paper

Flight Investigation of Natural Laminar Flow on the Bellanca Skyrocket II

Two major concerns have inhibited the use of natural laminar flow (NLF) for viscous drag reduction on production aircraft. These are the concerns of achieveability of NLF on practical airframe surfaces, and maintainability in operating environments. Previous research in this area left a mixture of positive and negative conclusions regarding these concerns. While early (pre-1950) airframe construction methods could not achieve NLF criteria for waviness, several modern construction methods (composites for example) can achieve the required smoothness. This paper presents flight experiment data on the achieveability and maintainability of NLF on a high-performance, single-propeller, composite airplane, the Bellanca Skyrocket II. The significant contribution of laminar flow to the performance of this airplane was measured. Observations of laminar flow in the propeller slipstream are discussed, as are the effects of insect contamination on the wing.
Technical Paper

The Laminar Separation Sensor: An Advanced Transition Measurement Method for Use in Wind Tunnels and Flight

Current viscous drag reduction research explores the limits of practical applications of natural laminar flow (NLF) for airplane drag reduction. To better understand these limits, advanced measurement techniques are required to study the characteristics of laminar to turbulent boundary-layer transition. Recent NASA research indicates that the transition mode which involves laminar separation can be detected using arrayed hot-film laminar separation sensor concepts. These surface-mounted sensors can provide information on the location of the laminar separation bubble as well as bubble length. This paper presents two different laminar separation sensor configurations developed in the NASA program and presents results of wind-tunnel and flight evaluations of the sensors as tools to detect boundary-layer transition.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Propulsion-Induced Aerodynamic Characteristics on a Wing-Afterbody Configuration with Thrust Vectoring

Aerodynamic effects induced from vectoring an exhaust jet are investigated using a well established thin-layer Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes code. This multiple block code has been modified to allow for the specification of jet properties at a block face. The applicability of the resulting code for thrust vectoring applications is verified by comparing numerically and experimentally determined pressure coefficient distributions for a jet-wing afterbody configuration with a thrust-vectoring 2-D nozzle. Induced effects on the body and nearby wing from thrust vectoring are graphically illustrated.
Technical Paper

Numerical Uncertainty Quantification for Radiation Analysis Tools

Recently a new emphasis has been placed on engineering applications of space radiation analyses and thus a systematic effort of Verification, Validation and Uncertainty Quantification (VV&UQ) of the tools commonly used for radiation analysis for vehicle design and mission planning has begun. There are two sources of uncertainty in geometric discretization addressed in this paper that need to be quantified in order to understand the total uncertainty in estimating space radiation exposures. One source of uncertainty is in ray tracing, as the number of rays increase the associated uncertainty decreases, but the computational expense increases. Thus, a cost benefit analysis optimizing computational time versus uncertainty is needed and is addressed in this paper. The second source of uncertainty results from the interpolation over the dose vs. depth curves that is needed to determine the radiation exposure.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic-Performance Planform and Camber Optimization of a Supersonic Transport Wing

This paper describes recent research in integrated aerodynamic-performance design optimization applied to a supersonic transport wing. The subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics are modeled with linear theory and the aircraft performance is evaluated by using a complete mission analysis. The goal of the optimization problem is to either maximize the aircraft range or minimize the take-off gross weight while constraining the total fuel load and approach speed. A major difficulty encountered during this study was the inability to obtain accurate derivatives of the aerodynamic models with respect to the planform shape. This work addresses this problem and provides one solution for the derivative difficulties. Additional optimization studies reveal the impact of camber design on the global optimization problem. In these studies, the plan-form optimization is first conducted on a flat plate wing and camber optimization is performed on the resulting planform.
Technical Paper

Langley Research Center Resources and Needs for Manned Space Operations Simulation

Over the past three decades, the application of simulation facilities to manned space flight projects has increased chances of successful mission completion by revealing the capabilities and limitations of both man and machine. The Space Station era, which implies on-orbit assembly, heightened system complexity, and great diversity of operations and equipment, will require increased dependence on simulation studies to validate the tools and techniques being proposed. For this reason the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) undertook a survey of both the facilities available for and the research requiring such simulations. This paper was written to provide LaRC input to the SAE survey of simulation needs and resources. The paper provides a brief historial sketch of early Langley Research Center simulators, and the circumstances are described which resulted in a de-emphasis of manned simulation in 1971.
Technical Paper


This paper discusses a project for adapting advanced technology, much of it borrowed from the jet transport, to general aviation design practice. The NASA funded portion of the work began in 1969 at the University of Kansas and resulted in a smaller, experimental wing with spoilers and powerful flap systems for a Cessna Cardinal airplane. The objective was to obtain increased cruise performance and improved ride quality while maintaining the take-off and landing speeds of the unmodified airplane. Some flight data and research pilot comments are presented. The project was expanded in 1972 to include a light twin-engine airplane. For the twin there was the added incentive of a potential increase in single-engine climb performance. The expanded project is a joint effort involving the University of Kansas, Piper Aircraft Company, Robertson Aircraft Company, and Wichita State University. The use of a new high-lift Whitcomb airfoil is planned for both the wing and the propellers.
Technical Paper

Biologically Inspired Micro-Flight Research

Natural fliers demonstrate a diverse array of flight capabilities, many of which are poorly understood. NASA has established a research project to explore and exploit flight technologies inspired by biological systems. One part of this project focuses on dynamic modeling and control of micro aerial vehicles that incorporate flexible wing structures inspired by natural fliers such as insects, hummingbirds and bats. With a vast number of potential civil and military applications, micro aerial vehicles represent an emerging sector of the aerospace market. This paper describes an ongoing research activity in which mechanization and control concepts for biologically inspired micro aerial vehicles are being explored. Research activities focusing on a flexible fixed-wing micro aerial vehicle design and a flapping-based micro aerial vehicle concept are presented.
Technical Paper

Solutions to the Low Energy Neutron Boltzmann Equation for Space Applications

One goal of space radiation research is to reduce the computational time and increase the accuracy of various radiation calculations to aid in their use in a collaborative engineering environment. For example, a fast turn around time is a feature needed for comparison of radiation shielding effects associated with various design configurations of the International Space Station. Research toward this effort has been conducted on various forms of the low energy neutron Boltzmann equation. Simplified models involving the straight ahead approximation, which have fast computational speeds, have been developed at NASA Langley Research Center during the late 1980's as part of a larger high energy ion transport code. Various modifications to improve the accuracy of these computer codes have been an ongoing project. The goal to increase the accuracy of low energy neutron transport without effecting the fast computational times has been a successful ongoing research effort.
Technical Paper

The Efficacy of Using Synthetic Vision Terrain-Textured Images to Improve Pilot Situation Awareness

The General Aviation Element of the Aviation Safety Program's Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) Project is developing technology to eliminate low visibility induced General Aviation (GA) accidents. SVS displays present computer generated 3-dimensional imagery of the surrounding terrain on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) to greatly enhance pilot's situation awareness (SA), reducing or eliminating Controlled Flight into Terrain, as well as Low-Visibility Loss of Control accidents. SVS-conducted research is facilitating development of display concepts that provide the pilot with an unobstructed view of the outside terrain, regardless of weather conditions and time of day. A critical component of SVS displays is the appropriate presentation of terrain to the pilot. An experimental study is being conducted at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) to explore and quantify the relationship between the realism of the terrain presentation and resulting enhancements of pilot SA and performance.
Technical Paper

Performance Automotive Applications of Pressure-Sensitive Paint in the Langley Full Scale Tunnel

Recently, there has been a strong emphasis on aerodynamic and aeroacoustic wind tunnel testing of automobiles. While significant level resources have been spent on investigating aerodynamics, the methodology has not changed appreciably since the beginning of aerodynamics as a science. Over the past decade, a number of global flow diagnostic techniques have been developed that drastically increase the quality and quantity of data from wind tunnel testing. One of these technologies is the use of pressure sensitive luminescent coatings, known as pressure-sensitive paint, a method which has matured considerably since its inception and is now used extensively in aerospace applications with good results. The goal of this research is to implement this technology in the full scale testing of high performance automotive vehicles. This paper discusses the details of a preliminary test, such as technique, paint formulation, camera and lighting hardware, and data reduction and analysis.
Technical Paper

Air Transport Flight Parameter Measurements Program – Concepts and Benefits

A program is described in which statistical flight loads and operating practice data for airline transports in current operations are obtained from existing onboard digital flight data recorders. These data, primarily intended for use by manufacturers in updating design criteria, were obtained from narrow-body and wide-body jets. Unique procedures developed for editing and processing the data are discussed and differences from previous NACA/NASA VGH analog data are noted. The program is being expanded to include control surface and ground-operational parameters. Efforts to develop an onboard data processing system to derive direct statistical aircraft operating parameters are reviewed.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of a Commercial Transport Airplane During Stall and Post-Stall Flight

As part of NASA’s Aviation Safety and Security Program, a simulation study of a twin-jet transport aircraft crew training simulation was conducted to address fidelity for upset or loss-of-control flight conditions. Piloted simulation studies were conducted to compare the baseline crew training simulation model with an enhanced aerodynamic model that was developed for high-angle-of-attack conditions. These studies were conducted in a flaps-up configuration and covered the approach-to-stall, stall and post-stall flight regimes. Qualitative pilot comments and preliminary comparison with flight test data indicate that the enhanced model is a significant improvement over the baseline. Some of the significant unrepresentative characteristics that are predicted by the baseline crew training simulation for flight in the post-stall regime have been identified.
Technical Paper

Fifty Years of Laminar Flow Flight Testing

Laminar flow flight experiments conducted over the past fifty years will be reviewed. The emphasis will be on flight testing conducted under the NASA Laminar Flow Control Program which has been directed towards the most challenging technology application- the high subsonic speed transport. The F111/TACT NLF Glove Flight Test, the F-14 Variable Sweep Transition Flight Experiment, the 757 Wing Noise Survey and NLF Glove Flight Test, the NASA Jetstar Leading Edge Flight Test Program, and the recently initiated Hybrid Laminar Flow Control Flight Experiment will be discussed. To place these recent experiences in perspective, earlier important flight tests will first be reviewed to recall the lessons learned at that time.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Orbit Analysis Program for Spacecraft Thermal Design

This paper presents a simplified orbit analysis program developed to calculate orbital parameters for the thermal analysis of spacecraft and space-flight instruments. The program calculates orbit data for inclined and sunsynchronous earth orbits. Traditional orbit analyses require extensive knowledge of orbital mechanics to produce a simplified set of data for thermal engineers. This program was created to perform orbital analyses with minimal input and provides the necessary output for thermal analysis codes. Engineers will find the program to be a valuable analysis tool for fast and simple orbit calculations. A description of the program inputs and outputs is included. An overview of orbital mechanics for inclined and Sun-synchronous orbits is also presented. Finally, several sample cases are presented to illustrate the thermal analysis applications of the program.
Technical Paper

Orbiter Post-Tire Failure and Skid Testing Results

An investigation was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) to define the post-tire failure drag characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main tire and wheel assembly. Skid tests on various materials were also conducted to define their friction and wear rate characteristics under higher speed and bearing pressures than any previous tests. The skid tests were conducted to support a feasibility study of adding a skid to the orbiter strut between the main tires to protect an intact tire from failure due to overload should one of the tires fail. Roll-on-rim tests were conducted to define the ability of a standard and a modified orbiter main wheel to roll without a tire. Results of the investigation are combined into a generic model of strut drag versus time under failure conditions for inclusion into rollout simulators used to train the shuttle astronauts.
Technical Paper

NASA Personal Air Transportation Technologies

The ability to personalize air travel through the use of an on-demand, highly distributed air transportation system will provide the degree of freedom and control that Americans enjoy in other aspects of their life. This new capability, of traveling when, where, and how we want with greatly enhanced mobility, accessibility, and speed requires vehicle and airspace technologies to provide the equivalent of an internet PC ubiquity, to an air transportation system that now exists as a centralized hub and spoke mainframe NASA airspace related research in this new category of aviation has been conducted through the Small Aircraft Transportation (SATS) project, while the vehicle technology efforts have been conducted in the Personal Air Vehicle sector of the Vehicle Systems Program.