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Technical Paper

The Thermal Design Evolution of the Phoenix Robotic Arm

2006-07-17
2006-01-2033
Phoenix, NASA's first Mars Scouts mission, will be launched in 2007 and will soft-land inside the Martian Arctic Circle, between north 65° and 72° North latitude, in 2008 to study the water history and to search for habitable zones. Similar to the IDD (Instrument Deployment Device) on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Phoenix has a Robotic Arm (RA) which is equipped with a scoop to dig into the icy soil and to deliver the soil samples to instruments for scientific observations and measurements. As with MER, the actuators and the bearings of the Phoenix RA in a non-operating condition can survive the cold Martian night without any electrical power or any thermal insulation. The RA actuators have a minimum operating allowable flight temperature (AFT) limit of -55°C, so, warm-up heaters are required to bring the temperatures of all the RA actuators above the operating AFT limit prior to early morning operation.
Technical Paper

The Potential for Low-Cost Electricity from Concentrating Solar Power Systems

1999-08-02
1999-01-2668
Concern over the possibility of global climate change as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere is resulting in increased interest in renewable energy technologies. The World Bank recently sponsored a study to determine whether solar thermal power plants can achieve cost parity with conventional power plants. The paper reviews the conclusions of that study.
Technical Paper

Technology Improvement Pathways to Cost-effective Vehicle Electrification

2010-04-12
2010-01-0824
Electrifying transportation can reduce or eliminate dependence on foreign fuels, emission of green house gases, and emission of pollutants. One challenge is finding a pathway for vehicles that gains wide market acceptance to achieve a meaningful benefit. This paper evaluates several approaches aimed at making plug-in electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) cost-effective including opportunity charging, replacing the battery over the vehicle life, improving battery life, reducing battery cost, and providing electric power directly to the vehicle during a portion of its travel. Many combinations of PHEV electric range and battery power are included. For each case, the model accounts for battery cycle life and the national distribution of driving distances to size the battery optimally. Using the current estimates of battery life and cost, only the dynamically plugged-in pathway was cost-effective to the consumer.
Technical Paper

Reduction in Vehicle Temperatures and Fuel Use from Cabin Ventilation, Solar-Reflective Paint, and a New Solar-Reflective Glazing

2007-04-16
2007-01-1194
A new type of solar-reflective glass that improves reflection of the near-infrared (NIR) portion of the solar spectrum has been developed. Also developed was a prototype solar-reflective paint that increases the NIR reflection of opaque vehicle surfaces while maintaining desired colors in the visible portion of the spectrum. Both of these technologies, as well as solar-powered parked car ventilation, were tested on a Cadillac STS as part of the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning Cooperative Research Program (I-MAC). Significant reductions in interior and vehicle skin temperatures were measured. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed an analysis to determine the impact of reducing the thermal load on the vehicle. A simplified cabin thermal/fluid model was run to predict the potential reduction in A/C system capacity. The potential reduction in fuel use was calculated using a vehicle simulation tool developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Journal Article

Minimizing EVA Airlock Time and Depress Gas Losses

2008-06-29
2008-01-2030
This paper describes the need and solution for minimizing EVA airlock time and depress gas losses using a new method that minimizes EVA out-the-door time for a suited astronaut and reclaims most of the airlock depress gas. This method consists of one or more related concepts that use an evacuated reservoir tank to store and reclaim the airlock depress gas. The evacuated tank can be an inflatable tank, a spent fuel tank from a lunar lander descent stage, or a backup airlock. During EVA airlock operations, the airlock and reservoir would be equalized at some low pressure, and through proper selection of reservoir size, most of the depress gas would be stored in the reservoir for later reclamation. The benefit of this method is directly applicable to long duration lunar and Mars missions that require multiple EVA missions (up to 100, two-person lunar EVAs) and conservation of consumables, including depress pump power and depress gas.
Technical Paper

Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Control Architecture

2005-07-11
2005-01-2828
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL1) mission to land a large rover on Mars is being planned for Launch in 2009. As currently conceived, the rover would use a Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to generate about 110 W of electrical power for use in the rover and the science payload. Usage of an MMRTG allows for a large amount of nearly constant electrical power to be generated day and night for all seasons (year around) and latitudes. This offers a large advantage over solar arrays. The MMRTG by its nature dissipates about 2000 W of waste heat. The basic architecture of the thermal system utilizes this waste heat on the surface of Mars to maintain the rover's temperatures within their limits under all conditions. In addition, during cruise, this waste heat needs to be dissipated safely to protect sensitive components in the spacecraft and the rover.
Journal Article

Mars Science Laboratory Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop for Thermal Control - Design, Implementation, and Testing

2009-07-12
2009-01-2437
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to land a large rover on Mars is being prepared for Launch in 2011. A Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) on the rover provides an electrical power of 110 W for use in the rover and the science payload. Unlike the solar arrays, MMRTG provides a constant electrical power during both day and night for all seasons (year around) and latitudes. The MMRTG dissipates about 2000 W of waste heat to produce the desired electrical power. One of the challenges for MSL Rover is the thermal management of the large amount of MMRTG waste heat. During operations on the surface of Mars this heat can be harnessed to maintain the rover and the science payload within their allowable limits during nights and winters without the use of electrical survival heaters. A mechanically pumped fluid loop heat rejection and recovery system (HRS) is used to pick up some of this waste heat and supply it to the rover and payload.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Lift Heat Pump Refrigerant and Thermodynamic Cycle Selection

1994-06-01
941272
This paper describes the process and analysis used to select a refrigerant and thermodynamic cycle as the basis of a vapor compression heat pump requiring a high temperature lift. Use of a vapor compression heat pump versus other types was based on prior work performed for the Electric Power Research Institute. A high lift heat pump is needed to enable a thermal control system to remove heat down to 275K from a habitable volume when the external thermal environment is severe. For example, a long term habitat will reject heat from a space radiator to a 325K environment. The first step in the selection process was to perform an optimization trade study, quantifying the effect of radiator operating temperature and heat pump efficiency on total system mass; then, select the radiator operating temperature corresponding to the lowest system mass. Total system mass included radiators, all heat pump components and the power supply system.
Technical Paper

Example of a Prototype Lightweight Solar Array and the Three Promising Technologies It Incorporates: Copper Indium DiSelenide (CIS) Thin-Film Photovoltaics, Smart Mechanisms Employing Shape Memory, and Multifunctional Structures

1999-08-02
1999-01-2550
As the size of spacecraft decreases, the contribution of the power subsystem to the overall spacecraft weight significantly increases. This paper will focus on describing a prototype solar array utilizing three promising technologies to significantly reduce weight, deploy with low shock, and increase packaging efficiency of the solar power system. These technologies are: Copper Indium DiSelenide (CIS) Thin-Film Photovoltaics, Smart Mechanisms Employing Shape Memory, and Multifunctional Structures. Recent advances in shape memory alloy devices, ultralight composites, along with thin-film copper indium diselenide (CIS or CuInSe2) photovoltaics (PV), have shown the potential of providing solar array systems with overall array specific power of >100 W/kg. This results in solar arrays that are a factor of 5 lighter than the current state-of-the-practice, and a factor of 3 lighter than the state-of-the-art.
Technical Paper

Energy Management Strategies for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

2007-04-16
2007-01-0290
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ from hybrid vehicles (HEVs) with their ability to use off-board electricity generation to recharge their energy storage systems. In addition to possessing charge-sustaining HEV operation capability, PHEVs use the stored electrical energy during a charge-depleting operating period to displace a significant amount of petroleum consumption. The particular operating strategy employed during the charge-depleting mode will significantly influence the component attributes and the value of the PHEV technology. This paper summarizes three potential energy management strategies, and compares the implications of selecting one strategy over another in the context of the aggressiveness and distance of the duty cycle over which the vehicle will likely operate.
Technical Paper

Design of a Water Electrolysis Flight Experiment

1993-07-01
932087
Supply of oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) by electrolyzing water in space will play an important role in meeting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) needs and goals for future space missions. Both O2 and H2 are envisioned to be used in a variety of processes including crew life support, spacecraft propulsion, extravehicular activity, electrical power generation/storage as well as in scientific experiment and manufacturing processes. Life Systems, Inc., in conjunction with NASA, has been developing an alkaline-based Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE). During the development of the water electrolysis technology over the past 23 years, an extensive engineering and scientific data base has been assembled.
Technical Paper

Cost Comparison of Wind Energy Delivered as Electricity or Hydrogen for Vehicles

2013-04-08
2013-01-1038
A simple cost analysis framework compares hydrogen and electricity as energy carriers delivering wind energy to light-duty vehicles (LDVs). We compare four wind energy pathways within a 2040-2050 timeframe and at large scale: a dedicated electricity transmission pathway and three distinct wind-hydrogen delivery pathways. Our results suggest that wind-hydrogen pathways will tend to be more costly than pure electricity transmission pathways on a per-mile driven cost basis ($/mile), but to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the pathway. The additional cost could be warranted to the degree that the hydrogen pathway adds value to consumers through full performance fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) compared to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), or through reduced variability in wind energy supply. If these benefits add value beyond the incremental costs suggested by our simple cost framework, some shift toward co-production or even dedicated hydrogen wind farms may be warranted.
Technical Paper

Continuously Regenerable Freeze-Out CO2 Control Technology

2007-07-09
2007-01-3270
Carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology development for portable life support systems (PLSS) has traditionally concentrated in the areas of solid and liquid chemical sorbents and semi-permeable membranes. Most of these systems are too heavy in gravity environments, require prohibitive amounts of consumables for operation on long term planetary missions, or are inoperable on the surface of Mars due to the presence of a CO2 atmosphere. This paper describes the effort performed to mature an innovative CO2 removal technology that meets NASA's planetary mission needs while adhering to the important guiding principles of simplicity, reliability, and operability. A breadboard cryogenic carbon dioxide scrubber for an ejector-based cryogenic PLSS was developed, designed, and tested. The scrubber freezes CO2 and other trace contaminants out of expired ventilation loop gas using cooling available from a liquid oxygen (LOX) based PLSS.
Technical Paper

Co-Simulation of Electrical and Propulsion Systems

2001-08-20
2001-01-2533
One of the challenges of analyzing vehicular electrical systems is the co-dependence of the electrical system and the propulsion system. Even in traditional vehicles where the electrical power budget is very low, the electrical system analysis for macro power utilization over a drive cycle requires knowledge of the generator shaft rpm profile during the drive cycle. This co-dependence increases as the electrical power budget increases, and the integration of the two systems becomes complete when hybridization is chosen. Last year at this conference, the authors presented a paper entitled “Dual Voltage Electrical System Simulations.” That paper established validation for a suite of electrical component models and demonstrated the ability to predict system performance both on a macro power flow (entire drive cycle) level and a detailed transient-event level. The techniques were applicable to 12V, 42V, dual voltage, and/or elevated voltage systems.
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