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Technical Paper

Toward Human-Robot Interface Standards: Use of Standardization and Intelligent Subsystems for Advancing Human-Robotic Competency in Space Exploration

NASA's plans to implement the Vision for Space Exploration include extensive human-robot cooperation across an enterprise spanning multiple missions, systems, and decades. To make this practical, strong enterprise-level interface standards (data, power, communication, interaction, autonomy, and physical) will be required early in the systems and technology development cycle. Such standards should affect both the engineer and operator roles that humans adopt in their interactions with robots. For the engineer role, standards will result in reduced development lead-times, lower cost, and greater efficiency in deploying such systems. For the operator role, standards will result in common autonomy and interaction modes that reduce operator training, minimize workload, and apply to many different robotic platforms. Reduced quantities of spare hardware could also be a benefit of standardization.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Prototype Plant Research Unit Subsystems

The Plant Research Unit (PRU) is currently under development by the Space Station Biological Research Project (SSBRP) team at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) with a scheduled launch in 2001. The goal of the project is to provide a controlled environment that can support seed-to-seed and other plant experiments for up to 90 days. This paper describes testing conducted on the major PRU prototype subsystems. Preliminary test results indicate that the prototype subsystem hardware can meet most of the SSBRP science requirements within the Space Station mass, volume, power and heat rejection constraints.
Technical Paper

Terrestrial EVA Suit = FireFighter's Protective Clothing

Firefighters want to go to work, do their job well, and go home alive and uninjured. For their most important job, saving lives, firefighters want protective equipment that will allow more extended and effective time at fire scenes in order to perform victim search and rescue. A team, including engineers at NASA JSC and firefighters from Houston, has developed a list of problem areas for which NASA technology and know-how can recommend improvements for firefighter suits and gear. Prototypes for solutions have been developed and are being evaluated. This effort will spin back to NASA as improvements for lunar and planetary suits.
Technical Paper

Smoke Detection for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) requires a smoke detector for the detection of particulate smoke products as part of the Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS) system. The smoke detector described in this paper is an adaptation of a mature commercial aircraft design for manned spaceflight. Changes made to the original design include upgrading the materials and electronics to space-qualified components, and modifying the mechanical design to withstand launch and landing loads. The results of laboratory characterization of the response of the new design to test particles are presented.
Technical Paper

Guidance for Trade Studies of Flight-Equivalent Hardware

Spacecraft hardware trade studies compare options primarily on mass while considering impacts to cost, risk, and schedule. Historically, other factors have been considered in these studies, such as reliability, technology readiness level (TRL), volume and crew time. In most cases, past trades compared two or more technologies across functional and TRL boundaries, which is an uneven comparison of the technologies. For example, low TRL technologies with low mass were traded directly against flight-proven hardware without consideration for requirements and the derived architecture. To provide for even comparisons of spacecraft hardware, trades need to consider functionality, mission constraints, integer vs. real number of flight hardware units, and mass growth allowances by TRL.
Journal Article

Electrical Energy Storage to Meet Evolving Aircraft Needs

The value of “ultracapacitors” (also referred to as “supercapacitors” or “electric double layer capacitors” in some literature) as an augmentation device when placed in parallel with “electrochemical” energy storage (i.e. battery) is presented in this paper. Since ultracapacitors possess unique attributes due to their higher value of energy storage density (or Joules/WattHrs per mass) compared to conventional capacitors while maintaining the peak power providing capability (to some degree) typical of conventional capacitors they may provide a near term solution in applications demanding longer battery operating life when placed in parallel. Such demands may be pronounced by the onset of More-Electric-Aircraft peak loads and “cold-crank” Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) electric-starting in demanding cold temperature environments.
Technical Paper

Ejector Design for the Advanced Technology Spacesuit

In this investigation, analytical models were developed to predict the performance characteristics of axisymmetric single jet ejector. The ejector is divided into four parts, jet, mixer, nozzle, and diffuser. Basic flow equations were combined to calculate end to end flow characteristics for each of the four ejector components. Different jets and mixer combination were tested using three jet and three mixers. Characteristics curves have been drawn to predict flow characteristics of the ejector. Different configuration of jet and mixer incorporated different loss coefficient. Hence to get correct flow characteristics of the ejector right loss coefficient should be used.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Thermal Management System Modeling of a More Electric Aircraft

Advancements in electrical, mechanical, and structural design onboard modern more electric aircraft have added significant stress to the thermal management systems (TMS). A thermal management system level analysis tool has been created in MATLAB/Simulink to facilitate rapid system analysis and optimization to meet the growing demands of modern aircraft. It is anticipated that the tracking of thermal energy through numerical integration will lead to more accurate predictions of worst case TMS sizing conditions. In addition, the non-proprietary nature of the tool affords users the ability to modify component models and integrate advanced conceptual designs that can be evaluated over multiple missions to determine the impact at a system level.
Technical Paper

Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly Software Product Improvements

The Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) on board the International Space Station (ISS) has experienced periodic check valve and selector valve failures as a result of a gradual build-up of contamination from particles that have breeched the adsorbent bed seals. The current software that controls CDRA has limitations that make troubleshooting the unit difficult in these situations, in large part due to the fact that valve position telemetry is only available during certain times. There are also situations where it is required to perform operations manually that would benefit from added code logic and commands to facilitate these operations. The software has been reviewed for possible upgrades and changes that will allow engineers to better troubleshoot the unit in the event of various failures and also allow for better operability in degraded states.
Technical Paper

Advances in Testing and Analytical Simulation Methodologies to Support Design and Structural Integrity Assessment of Large Monolithic Parts

Significant system efficiency gains can be achieved in high-performance aircraft via a unitized structure that reduces parts count. For instance, reduced parts count leads to substantial engineering logistic cost savings through higher levels of subsystem and mounting hardware integration. It also creates performance benefits by eliminating structural connections. Residual stress management, however, remains a major obstacle to capturing full benefits and broadening the application of unitized structure solutions. This paper describes how Alcoa and others are developing tools to overcome limitations in current testing, evaluation, and design practices attributed to residual stress effects. The authors present recent advancements in fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth characterization, along with a new, integrated approach for improved accounting of residual stress effects during fracture critical component design, manufacturing planning, and life management.
Technical Paper

Adsorption Modeling with ACM: ISS CDRA Simulation

A dynamic simulation of the ISS CDRA hardware was created using the Aspen Custom Modeler software platform. The dynamic model calculates the material and energy balances that describe the system properties. The model was calibrated by comparison to test data results from a flight-like CDRA at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. While other FORTRAN models of the CDRA already exist, developing an ACM simulation is the first step towards creating a generic tool to simulate larger collections of life support hardware. The ACM tool should make it possible to be very flexible when rearranging these models to simulate possible configurations of the life support subsystems that could be used in the future, especially for advanced life support applications.
Journal Article

1-g Suit Port Concept Evaluator 2008 Test Results

The Lunar Electric Rover (LER), which was formerly called the Small Pressurized Rover (SPR), is currently being carried as an integral part of the lunar surface architectures that are under consideration in the Constellation Program. One element of the LER is the suit port, which is the means by which crew members perform Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). Two suit port deliverables were produced in fiscal year 2008: a 1-g suit port concept evaluator for functional integrated testing with the LER 1-g concept vehicle and a functional and pressurizable Engineering Unit (EU). This paper focuses on the 1-g suit port concept evaluator test results from the Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) October 2008 testing at Black Point Lava Flow (BPLF), Arizona. The 1-g suit port concept evaluator was integrated with the 1-g LER cabin and chassis concepts.