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Technical Paper

Tubular Membrane Evaporator Development for the Plss

1996-07-01
961486
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.
Journal Article

Testing of a Plastic Melt Waste Compactor Designed for Human Space Exploration Missions

2009-07-12
2009-01-2363
Significant progress has been made at NASA Ames Research Center in the development of a heat melt compaction device called the Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (PMWC). The PMWC was designed to process wet and dry wastes generated on human space exploration missions. The wastes have a plastic content typically greater than twenty percent. The PMWC removes the water from the waste, reduces the volume, and encapsulates it by melting the plastic constituent of the waste. The PMWC is capable of large volume reductions. The final product is compacted waste disk that is easy to manage and requires minimal crew handling. This paper describes the results of tests conducted using the PMWC with a wet and dry waste composite that was representative of the waste types expected to be encountered on long duration human space exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Plant Growth and Plant Environmental Monitoring Equipment on the Mir Space Station: Experience and Data from the Greenhouse II Experiment

1996-07-01
961364
A three country effort (U.S., Russia, and Bulgaria) has upgraded the plant growth facilities on the Mir Space Station and used the new facility to grow wheat for 90 days. The Svet plant-growth facility was reactivated and used in an initial experiment as part of the Shuttle/Mir program, August to November, 1995. The Svet system, used first to grow cabbage and radish during a 1990 experiment, was augmented by the addition of a U.S. developed Gas Exchange Measurement System (GEMS) that measures a range of environmental parameters plus transpiration, photosynthesis, and possibly respiration. Environmental parameters include cabin, chamber, root-zones, and leaf temperatures. Light levels, relative humidity, oxygen, and atmospheric pressure are also measured. High-accuracy water-vapor and carbon-dioxide concentrations and differences are measured using specially developed IRGA systems.
Technical Paper

NASA's On-line Project Information System (OPIS) Attributes and Implementation

2006-07-17
2006-01-2190
The On-line Project Information System (OPIS) is a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) system being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to improve Agency information transfer and data availability, largely for improvement of system analysis and engineering. The tool will enable users to investigate NASA technology development efforts, connect with experts, and access technology development data. OPIS is currently being developed for NASA's Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project. Within OPIS, NASA ELS Managers assign projects to Principal Investigators (PI), track responsible individuals and institutions, and designate reporting assignments. Each PI populates a “Project Page” with a project overview, team member information, files, citations, and images. PI's may also delegate on-line report viewing and editing privileges to specific team members. Users can browse or search for project and member information.
Technical Paper

NASA's Aviation System Monitoring and Modeling Project

2003-09-08
2003-01-2975
Within NASA's Aviation Safety Program, the Aviation System Monitoring and Modeling (ASMM) Project addresses the need to provide decision makers with the tools to identify and evaluate predisposing conditions that could lead to accidents. This Project is developing a set of automated tools to facilitate efficient, comprehensive, and accurate analyses of data collected in large, heterogeneous databases throughout the National Aviation System. This report is a brief overview of the ASMM Project as an introduction to the rest of the presentations in this session on one of its key elements---the Performance Data Analysis and Reporting System (PDARS).
Journal Article

NASA System-Level Design, Analysis and Simulation Tools Research on NextGen

2011-10-18
2011-01-2716
A review of the research accomplished in 2009 in the System-Level Design, Analysis and Simulation Tools (SLDAST) of the NASA's Airspace Systems Program is presented. This research thrust focuses on the integrated system-level assessment of component level innovations, concepts and technologies of the Next Generation Air Traffic System (NextGen) under research in the ASP program to enable the development of revolutionary improvements and modernization of the National Airspace System. The review includes the accomplishments on baseline research and the advancements on design studies and system-level assessment, including the cluster analysis as an annualization standard of the air traffic in the U.S. National Airspace, and the ACES-Air MIDAS integration for human-in-the-loop analyzes within the NAS air traffic simulation.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Heat and Mass Transfer in a TEC-Driven Lyophilizer

2006-07-17
2006-01-2185
Dewatering of wet waste during space exploration missions is important for crew safety as it stabilizes the waste. It may also be used to recover water and serve as a preconditioning step for waste compaction. A thermoelectric cooler (TEC)- driven lyophilizer is under development at NASA Ames Research Center for this purpose. It has three major components: (i) an evaporator section where water vapor sublimes from the frozen waste, (ii) a condenser section where this water vapor deposits as ice, and (iii) a TEC section which serves as a heat pump to transfer heat from the condenser to the evaporator. This paper analyses the heat and mass transfer processes in the lyophilizer in an effort to understand the ice formation behavior in the condenser. The analysis is supported by experimental observations of ice formation patterns in two different condenser units.
Technical Paper

Impregnation of Catalytic Metals in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Toxic Gas Conversion in Life Support System

2004-07-19
2004-01-2492
The development and characterization of an innovative approach for the control and elimination of gaseous toxins using single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) promise superior performance over conventional approaches. This is due to the ability of the nanotubes to direct the selective uptake of gaseous species based on their controllable pore size, high adsorptive capacity and their effectiveness as catalyst supports for gaseous conversion. A metal impregnated SWNT material has been proposed and synthesized for removing and converting the toxins in the life support system.
Technical Paper

Identification of Extraterrestrial Microbiology Using Fluorescent Analysis Techniques

1999-07-12
1999-01-2207
One of the key questions addressed in the field of Astrobiology is based upon the assumption that life exists, or at one time existed, in locations throughout the universe. However, this assumption is just that, an assumption. No definitive proof exists. On Earth, life has been found to exist in many diverse environments. We believe that this tendency towards diversity supports the assumption that life could exist wherever environmental conditions are right to support it. There are several locations within our Solar System which might support environments which are conducive to life. However, to conclusively establish the existence of life in such locations we must be capable of sensing generic life forms. This paper provides a summary of several innovative techniques based on the use of fluorescent analysis for the direct detection of extraterrestrial life forms.
Technical Paper

Growth of Super-Dwarf Wheat on the Russian Space Station MIR

1996-07-01
961392
During 1995, we tested instruments and attempted a seed-to-seed experiment with Super-Dwarf wheat in the Russian Space Station Mir. Utah instrumentation included four IR gas analyzers (CO2 and H2O vapor, calculate photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration) and sensors for air and leaf (IR) temperatures, O2, pressure, and substrate moisture (16 probes). Shortly after planting on August 14, three of six fluorescent lamp sets failed; another failed later. Plastic bags, necessary to measure gas exchange, were removed. Hence, gases were measured only in the cabin atmosphere. Other failures led to manual watering, control of lights, and data transmission. The 57 plants were sampled five times plus final harvest at 90 d. Samples and some equipment (including hard drives) were returned to earth on STS-74 (Nov. 20). Plants were disoriented and completely vegetative. Maintaining substrate moisture was challenging, but the moisture probes functioned well.
Technical Paper

Enabling Strategic Flight Deck Route Re-Planning Within A Modified ATC Environment: The Display of 4-D Intent Information on a CSD

2000-10-10
2000-01-5574
The concept of free flight introduces many challenges for both air and ground aviation operations. Of considerable concern has been the issue of moving from centralized control and responsibility to decentralized control and distributed responsibility for aircraft separation. Data from capacity studies suggest that we will reach our capacity limits with ATC centralized control within the next 2 decades, if not sooner. Based on these predictions, research on distributed air-ground concepts was under taken by NASA Advanced Air Transportation Technologies Program to identify and develop air-ground concepts in support of free-flight operations. This paper will present the results of a full mission air-ground simulation conducted in the NASA Crew Vehicle Systems Research Facility. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of advanced displays with “intent” (4-D flight plans) information on flight crew and ATC performance during limited free-flight operations.
Technical Paper

Development and Demonstration of a Prototype Free Flight Cockpit Display of Traffic Information

1997-10-01
975554
Two versions of a prototype Free Flight cockpit situational display (Basic and Enhanced) were examined in a simulation at the NASA Ames Research Center. Both displays presented a display of traffic out to a range of 120 NM, and an alert when the automation detected a substantial danger of losing separation with another aircraft. The task for the crews was to detect and resolve threats to separation posed by intruder aircraft. An Enhanced version of the display was also examined. It incorporated two additional conflict alerting levels and tools to aid in trajectory prediction and path planning. Ten crews from a major airline participated in the study. Performance analyses and pilot debriefings showed that the Enhanced display was preferred, and that minimal separation between the intruder and the ownship was larger with the Enhanced display. In addition, the additional information on the Enhanced display did not lead crews to engage in more maneuvering.
Technical Paper

Developing IVHM Requirements for Aerospace Systems

2013-09-17
2013-01-2333
The term Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) describes a set of capabilities that enable sustainable and safe operation of components and subsystems within aerospace platforms. However, very little guidance exists for the systems engineering aspects of design with IVHM in mind. It is probably because of this that designers have to use knowledge picked up exclusively by experience rather than by established process. This motivated a group of leading IVHM practitioners within the aerospace industry under the aegis of SAE's HM-1 technical committee to author a document that hopes to give working engineers and program managers clear guidance on all the elements of IVHM that they need to consider before designing a system. This proposed recommended practice (ARP6883 [1]) will describe all the steps of requirements generation and management as it applies to IVHM systems, and demonstrate these with a “real-world” example related to designing a landing gear system.
Technical Paper

Control of Effluent Gases from Solid Waste Processing Using Impregnated Carbon Nanotubes

2005-07-11
2005-01-2946
One of the major problems associated with solid waste processing technologies is effluent contaminants that are released in gaseous forms from the processes. This is a concern in both biological as well as physicochemical solid waste processing. Carbon dioxide (CO2), the major gas released, does not present a serious problem and there are currently in place a number of flight-qualified technologies for CO2 removal. However, a number of other gases, in particular NOx, SO2, NH3, and various hydrocarbons (e.g. CH4) do present health hazards to the crew members in space habitats. In the present configuration of solid waste processing in the International Space Station (ISS), some of these gases are removed by the Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS), demands a major resupply. Reduction of the resupply can be effective by using catalyst impregnated carbon nanotubes. For example, NO decomposition to N2 and O2 is thermodynamically favored.
Technical Paper

Compressing Aviation Data in XML Format

2003-09-08
2003-01-3011
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.
Technical Paper

Compaction and Drying in a Low-Volume, Deployable Commode

2007-07-09
2007-01-3264
We present a device for collecting and storing feces in microgravity that is user-friendly yet suitable for spacecraft in which cabin volume and mass are constrained. On Apollo missions, the commode function was served using disposable plastic bags, which proved time-consuming and caused odor problems. On Skylab, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station, toilets have used airflow beneath a seat to control odors and collect feces. We propose to incorporate airflow into a system of self-compacting, self-drying collection and stowage bags, providing the benefits of previous commodes while minimizing mass and volume. Each collection bag consists of an inner layer of hydrophobic membrane that is permeable to air but not liquid or solid waste, an outer layer of impermeable plastic, and a collapsible spacer separating the inner and outer layers. Filled bags are connected to space vacuum, compacting and drying their contents.
Technical Paper

Carbon Production in Space from Pyrolysis of Solid Waste

2006-07-17
2006-01-2183
Pyrolysis processing of solid waste in space will inevitably lead to carbon formation as a primary pyrolysis product. The amount of carbon depends on the composition of the starting materials and the pyrolysis conditions (temperature, heating rate, residence time, pressure). Many paper and plastic materials produce almost no carbon residue upon pyrolysis, while most plant biomass materials or human wastes will yield up to 20-40 weight percent on a dry, as-received basis. In cases where carbon production is significant, it can be stored for later use to produce CO2 for plant growth. Alternatively it can be partly gasified by an oxidizing gas (e.g., CO2, H2O, O2) in order to produce activated carbon. Activated carbons have a unique capability of strongly absorbing a great variety of species, ranging from SO2 and NOx, trace organics, mercury, and other heavy metals.
Technical Paper

A Testbed for the Mars Returned Sample Handling Facility

2001-07-09
2001-01-2412
Samples of Mars surface material will return to Earth in 2014. Prior to curation and distribution to the scientific community the returned samples will be isolated in a special facility until their biological safety has been assessed following protocols established by NASA’s Planetary Protection Office. The primary requirements for the pre-release handling of the Martian samples include protecting the samples from the Earth and protecting the Earth from the sample. A testbed will be established to support the design of such a facility and to test the planetary protection protocols. One design option that is being compared to the conventional Biological Safety Level 4 facility is a double walled differential pressure chamber with airlocks and automated equipment for analyzing samples and transferring them from one instrument to another.
Technical Paper

A Decade of Life Sciences Experiment Unique Equipment Development for Spacelab and Space Station, 1990-1999

1999-07-12
1999-01-2175
Ames Research Center’s Life Sciences Division has developed and flown an extensive array of spaceflight experiment unique equipment (EUE) during the last decade of the twentieth century. Over this ten year span, the EUE developed at ARC supported a vital gravitational biology flight research program executed on several different platforms, including the Space Shuttle, Spacelab, and Space Station Mir. This paper highlights some of the key EUE elements developed at ARC and flown during the period 1990-1999. Resulting lessons learned will be presented that can be applied to the development of similar equipment for the International Space Station.
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