Refine Your Search




Search Results

Technical Paper

Water Reclamation Technology Development for Future Long Range Missions

This paper covers the development of computer simulation models of the Vapor Compression Distillation (VCD) process, the Super Critical Water Oxidation (SCWO) process, and two versions of a Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Reduction (VPCAR) process. These process level models have combined into two Integrated Water Reclamation Systems (IWRS). Results from these integrated models, in conjunction with other data sources, have been used to develop a preliminary comparison of the two systems. Also discussed in this paper is the development of a Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Reduction teststand and the development of a new urine analog for use with the teststand and computer models.
Journal Article

Waste Management Technology and the Drivers for Space Missions

Since the mid 1980s, NASA has developed advanced waste management technologies that collect and process waste. These technologies include incineration, hydrothermal oxidation, pyrolysis, electrochemical oxidation, activated carbon production, brine dewatering, slurry bioreactor oxidation, composting, NOx control, compaction, and waste collection. Some of these technologies recover resources such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon, fuels, and nutrients. Other technologies such as the Waste Collection System (WCS - the commode) collect waste for storage or processing. The need for waste processing varies greatly depending upon the mission scenario. This paper reviews the waste management technology development activities conducted by NASA since the mid 1980s and explores the drivers that determine the application of these technologies to future missions.
Technical Paper

Waste Incineration for Resource Recovery in a Bioregenerative Life Support System

For the last two years, the University of Utah and Reaction Engineering International, in cooperation with NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), have been developing a waste incineration system for regenerative life support systems. The system is designed to burn inedible plant biomass and human waste. The goal is to obtain an exhaust gas clean enough to recycle to either the plant or human habitats. The incineration system, a fluidized bed reactor, has been designed for a 4-person mission. This paper will detail the design of the units. In addition, results will be presented from testing at the University of Utah. Presently, the unit has been shipped to Ames Research Center for more tests prior to delivery to Johnson Space Center for testing in a 90-day, 4-person test.
Technical Paper

Waste Compaction Technology Development for Human Space Exploration Missions

Waste management is a critical component of life support systems for manned space exploration. Human occupied spacecraft and extraterrestrial habitats must be able to effectively manage the waste generated throughout the entire mission duration. The requirements for waste systems may vary according to specific mission scenarios but all waste management operations must allow for the effective collection, containment, processing, and storage of unwanted materials. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle usually referred to as the CEV, will have limited volume for equipment and crew. Technologies that reduce waste storage volume free up valuable space for other equipment. Waste storage volume is a major driver for the Orion waste compactor design. Current efforts at NASA Ames Research Center involve the development of two different prototype compactors designed to minimize trash storage space.
Technical Paper

Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Reduction

This paper discusses the development of a Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Reduction (VPCAR) teststand and the results of an experimental program designed to evaluate the potential of the technology as a water purification process. In the experimental program the technology is evaluated based upon product water purity, water recovery rate, and power consumption. The experimental work demonstrates that the technology produces high purity product water and attains high water recovery rates at a relatively high specific power consumption. The experimental program was conducted in 3 phases. In phase I an Igepon™ soap and water mixture was used to evaluate the performance of an innovative Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk evaporator and associated demister. In phase II a phenol-water solution was used to evaluate the performance of the high temperature catalytic oxidation reactor.
Technical Paper

VEVI: A Virtual Environment Teleoperations Interface for Planetary Exploration

Abstract Remotely operating complex robotic mechanisms in unstructured natural environments is difficult at best. When the communications time delay is large, as for a Mars exploration rover operated from Earth, the difficulties become enormous. Conventional approaches, such as rate control of the rover actuators, are too inefficient and risky. The Intelligent Mechanisms Laboratory at the NASA Ames Research Center has developed over the past four years an architecture for operating science exploration robots in the presence of large communications time delays. The operator interface of this system is called the Virtual Environment Vehicle Interface (VEVI), and draws heavily on Virtual Environment (or Virtual Reality) technology. This paper describes the current operational version of VEVI, which we refer to as version 2.0. In this paper we will describe the VEVI design philosophy and implementation, and will describe some past examples of its use in field science exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Utilization of Virtual Environments for Astronaut Crew Training

The development of virtual environment technology at NASA Ames Research Center and other research institutions has created opportunities for enhancing human performance. The application of this technology to training astronaut flight crews planning to go onboard the International Space Station has already begun at the NASA Johnson Space Center. A unique application of virtual environments to crew training is envisioned at NASA Ames Research Center which combines state of the art technology with haptic feedback to create a method for training crewmembers on critical life sciences operations which require fine motor skills. This paper describes such a concept, known as the Virtual Glovebox, as well as surveys other applications of virtual environments to astronaut crew training.
Technical Paper

Two Stage to Orbit Airbreathing and Rocket System for Low Risk, Affordable Access to Space

The US space program is facing the dilemma of the federal government reducing in size, the Congress asking for lowered costs, and the US market share of commercial launches declining. While several new launch vehicle options have been studied and advocated, a national plan has yet to be adopted. Despite this, there may be compelling solutions that await discovery. This paper suggests a particular TSTO launch system may solve the dilemma, but only if some of the past presumptions and guidelines are viewed as impediments to be overcome instead of “realities”.
Technical Paper

Tubular Membrane Evaporator Development for the Plss

Current NASA space suits use porous metal plate sublimators to reject the metabolic heat generated by the astronaut into space vacuum during EVA. Relying on tubular membranes instead of the flat plate of the sublimator, a proposed alternate unit has the potential to be smaller and lighter. This work outlines the operation of the proposed tubular membrane evaporator and the evaluation of possible membrane materials for the unit.
Technical Paper

Training Pilots for In-flight Icing: Cognitive Foundations for Effective Learning and Operational Application

Aviation training has remained largely untouched by decades of development in cognitive science. In aviation, people must be trained to perform complicated tasks and make good operational decisions in complex dynamic environments. However, traditional approaches to professional aviation training are not well designed to accomplish this goal. Aviation training has been based mainly on relatively rigid classroom teaching of factual information followed by on-the-job mentoring. This approach tends to compartmentalize knowledge. It is not optimal for teaching operational decision-making, and it is costly in time and personnel. The effectiveness of training can be enhanced by designing programs that support the psychological processes involved in learning, retention, retrieval, and application. By building programs that are informed by current work in cognitive science and that utilize modern technological advances, efficient training programs can be created.
Technical Paper

Top-Level Crop Models for Advanced Life Support Analysis

We have developed top-level crop models for analysis of Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems that use plants to grow food. The crops modeled are candidates for ALS use: bean (dry), lettuce, peanut, potato (white), rice, soybean, sweet potato, tomato, and wheat. The crop models are modified versions of the energy cascade crop growth model originally developed for wheat by Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler. The models now simulate the effects of temperature, carbon dioxide level, planting density, and relative humidity on canopy gas exchange, in addition to the effects of light level and photoperiod included in the original model. The energy cascade model has also been extended to predict the times of canopy closure, grain setting (senescence), and maturity (harvest) as functions of the environmental conditions.
Journal Article

Time-Varying Loads of Co-Axial Rotor Blade Crossings

Abstract The blade crossing event of a coaxial counter-rotating rotor is a potential source of noise and impulsive blade loads. Blade crossings occur many times during each rotor revolution. In previous research by the authors, this phenomenon was analyzed by simulating two airfoils passing each other at specified speeds and vertical separation distances, using the compressible Navier-Stokes solver OVERFLOW. The simulations explored mutual aerodynamic interactions associated with thickness, circulation, and compressibility effects. Results revealed the complex nature of the aerodynamic impulses generated by upper/lower airfoil interactions. In this paper, the coaxial rotor system is simulated using two trains of airfoils, vertically offset, and traveling in opposite directions. The simulation represents multiple blade crossings in a rotor revolution by specifying horizontal distances between each airfoil in the train based on the circumferential distance between blade tips.
Technical Paper

The Telescience Support Center at NASA Ames Research Center

NASA is developing a Telescience Support Center (TSC) at the Ames Research Center. The center will be part of the infrastructure needed to conduct research in the Space Station and has been tailored to satisfy the requirements of the fundamental biology research program. The TSC will be developed from existing facilities at the Ames Research Center. Ground facility requirements have been derived from the TSC functional requirements. Most of the facility requirements will be satisfied with minor upgrades and modifications to existing buildings and laboratories. The major new development will be a modern data processing system. The TSC is being developed in three phases which correspond to deliveries of Biological Research Facility equipment to Station. The first phase will provide support for early hardware in flight Utilization Flight −1 (UF-1) in 2001.
Technical Paper

The STOL Performance of a Two-Engine, USB Powered-Lift Aircraft with Cross-Shafted Fans

The short takeoff and landing capabilities that characterize the performance of powered-lift aircraft are dependent on engine thrust and are, therefore, severely affected by loss of an engine. This paper shows that the effects of engine loss on the short takeoff and landing performance of powered-lift aircraft can be effectively mitigated by cross-shafting the engine fans in a twin-engine configuration. Engine-out takeoff and landing performances are compared for three powered-lift aircraft configurations: one with four engines, one with two engines, and one with two engines in which the fans are cross-shafted. The results show that the engine-out takeoff and landing performance of the cross-shafted two-engine configuration is significantly better than that of the two-engine configuration without cross-shafting.
Technical Paper

The NASA Ames Controlled Environment Research Chamber - Present Status

The Controlled Environment Research Chamber (CERC) at the NASA Ames Research Center was created for early-on investigation of promising new technologies for life support of advanced space exploration missions. The CERC facility is being used to address the advanced technology requirements necessary to implement an integrated working and living environment for a planetary habitat. The CERC, along with a human-powered centrifuge, a planetary terrain simulator, advanced displays, and a virtual reality capability, is able to develop and demonstrate applicable technologies for future planetary exploration. There will be several robotic mechanisms performing exploration tasks external to the habitat that will be controlled through the virtual environment to provide representative workloads for the crew.
Technical Paper

The General Purpose Work Station, A Spacious Microgravity Workbench

The General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) is a laboratory multi-use facility, as demonstrated during the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1) flight. The unit provided particulate containment under varying conditions, served as an effective work space for manipulating live animals, e.g., rats, served as a containment facility for fixatives, and was proposed for use to conduct in-flight maintenance during connector pin repair. The cabinet has a front door large enough to allow installation of a full-size microscope in-flight and is outfitted with a side window to allow delivery of items into the cabinet without exposure to the spacelab atmosphere. Additional support subsystems include inside cabinet mounting, surgical glove fine manipulations capability, and alternating or direct current power supply for experiment equipment, as will be demonstrated during Spacelab J.
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

The Dynamic Impact of EVA on Lunar Outpost Life Support

Dynamic simulation of the Lunar Outpost habitat life support was undertaken to investigate the impact of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The preparatory static analysis and some supporting data are reported in another paper. (Jones, 2008-01-2184) Dynamic simulation is useful in understanding systems interactions, buffer needs, control approaches, and responses to failures and changes. A simulation of the Lunar outpost habitat life support was developed in MATLAB/Simulink™. The simulation is modular and reconfigurable, and the components are reusable to model other physicochemical (P/C) based recycling systems. EVA impacts the Lunar Outpost life support system design by requiring a significant increase in the direct supply mass of oxygen and water and by reducing the net mass savings of using dehydrated food. The mass cost of EVA depends on the amount and difficulty of the EVA scheduled.
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

The Development of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Engineering Development Unit

This paper presents the results of a program to develop the next generation Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system. VPCAR is a spacecraft water recycling system designed by NASA and constructed by Water Reuse Technology Inc. The technology has been identified by NASA to be the next generation water recycling system [1]. It is designed specifically for a Mars transit vehicle mission. This paper provides a description of the process and an evaluation of the performance of the new system. The equivalent system mass (ESM) is calculated and compared to the existing state-of-the art. A description of the contracting mechanism used to construct the new system is also provided.