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Technical Paper

Results of an Electrical Power System Fault Study

NASA - Marshall Space Flight Center has implemented fault injection into an electrical power system breadboard to study the reactions of the various control elements of this breadboard. Among the elements studied are the Remote Power Controllers (RPC), the algorithms in the control computers and the artificially intelligent control programs resident in this breadboard. To this end, a study of electrical power system faults was performed to yield a list of the most common power system faults. The results of this study were applied to a multichannel high voltage dc spacecraft power system called the Large Autonomous Spacecraft Electrical Power System Breadboard (LASEPS). The results of the study into the most common electrical power system faults was presented in two papers at this conference during the last two years;* the remainder of the results of this study are to be presented in this paper.
Technical Paper

Nickel Hydrogen Battery Expert System

At present, Nickel Hydrogen batteries are tested at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in support of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) program. In previous years, Nickel Cadmium batteries were tested at MSFC in support of HST. The Nickel Cadmium Battery Expert System-2 (NICBES-2) was employed on the HST six battery test bed to evaluate the performance of the HST Electrical Power System (EPS). With the beginning of testing of the nickel hydrogen six battery test bed, NICBES-2 had to be converted to NICkel Hydrogen Battery Expert System (NICHES). This paper describes the conversion of the NICBES-2 to the NICHES as well as future plans for NICHES.
Technical Paper

Liquid Propulsion Turbomachinery Model Testing

For the past few years an extensive experimental program to understand the fluid dynamics of the Space Shuttle Main Engine hot gas manifold has been in progress at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). This program includes models of the Phase II and II+ manifolds for each of the air and water flow facilities, as well as two different turbine flow paths and two simulated power levels for each manifold. All models are full scale (geometric). The water models are constructed partially of acrylic to allow flow visualization. The intent of this paper is to discuss the concept, including the test objectives, the facilities, and the models, and to summarize the data for an example configuration, including static pressure data, flow visualization, and the solution of a specific flow problem.
Technical Paper

Life Support Requirements and Technology Challenges for NASA's Constellation Program

NASA's Constellation Program, which includes the mission objectives of establishing a permanently-manned lunar Outpost, and the exploration of Mars, poses new and unique challenges for human life support systems that will require solutions beyond the Shuttle and International Space Station state of the art systems. In particular, the requirement to support crews for extended durations at the lunar outpost with limited resource resupply capability will require closed-loop regenerative life support systems with minimal expendables. Planetary environmental conditions such as lunar dust and extreme temperatures, as well as the capability to support frequent and extended-duration Extra-vehicular Activity's (EVA's) will be particularly challenging.
Technical Paper

Large Autonomous Spacecraft Electrical Power System (LASEPS)

NASA - Marshall Space Flight Center is creating a large high voltage electrical power system testbed called LASEPS. This testbed is being developed to simulate an end-to-end power system from power generation and source to loads. When the system is completed it will have several power configurations, which will include several battery configurations. These configurations are: two 120 V batteries, one or two 150 V batteries, and one 250 to 270 V battery. This breadboard encompasses varying levels of autonomy from remote power converters to conventional software control to expert system control of the power system elements. In this paper, the construction and provisions of this breadboard will be discussed.
Technical Paper

Human-rating Automated and Robotic Systems — How HAL Can Work Safely with Astronauts

Long duration human space missions, as planned in the Vision for Space Exploration, will not be possible without applying unprecedented levels of automation to support the human endeavors. The automated and robotic systems must carry the load of routine “housekeeping” for the new generation of explorers, as well as assist their exploration science and engineering work with new precision. Fortunately, the state of automated and robotic systems is sophisticated and sturdy enough to do this work — but the systems themselves have never been human-rated as all other NASA physical systems used in human space flight have. Our intent in this paper is to provide perspective on requirements and architecture for the interfaces and interactions between human beings and the astonishing array of automated systems; and the approach we believe necessary to create human-rated systems and implement them in the space program.
Technical Paper

Hubble Space Telescope Solar Cell Module Thermal Cycle Test

The Hubble space telescope (HST) solar array consists of two identical double roll-out wings designed after the Hughes flexible roll-up solar array (FRUSA) and was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to meet specified HST power output requirements at the end of 2 years, with a functional lifetime of 5 years. The requirement that the HST solar array remain functional both mechanically and electrically during its 5-year lifetime meant that the array must withstand 30,000 low-Earth orbit (LEO) thermal cycles between approximately +100 and -100 °C. In order to evaluate the ability of the array to meet this requirement, an accelerated thermal cycle test in vacuum was conducted at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), using two 128-cell solar array modules which duplicated the flight HST solar array. Several other tests were performed on the modules.
Technical Paper

Hubble Space Telescope Nickel-Hydrogen Battery and Cell Testing - An Update

Nickel-hydrogen (Ni-H2) technology has only recently been utilized in low earth orbit (LEO) applications. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) program, over the past five years, played a key role in developing this application. The HST not only became the first reported, nonexperimental program to fly Ni-H2 batteries in a LEO application, but funded numerous, ongoing tests that served to validate this usage. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been testing HST Ni-H2 batteries and cells for over three years. The major tests include a 6-battery system (SBS) test and a single 22-cell battery (FSB) test. The SBS test has been operating for 34 months and completed approximately 15,200 cycles. The performance of the cells and batteries in this test is nominal. Currently, the batteries are operating at an average end-of-charge (EOC) pressure that indicates an average capacity of approximately 79 ampere-hours (Ah).
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.
Technical Paper

Advanced Fiber-Optic Monitoring System for Space-flight Applications

Researchers at Luna Innovations Inc. and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) are developing an integrated fiber-optic sensor system for real-time monitoring of chemical contaminants and whole-cell bacterial pathogens in water. The system integrates interferometric and evanescent-wave optical fiber-based sensing methodologies to provide versatile measurement capability for both micro- and nano-scale analytes. Sensors can be multiplexed in an array format and embedded in a totally self-contained laboratory card for use with an automated microfluidics platform.