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Technical Paper

Water and Energy Transport for Crops under Different Lighting Conditions

When high-intensity discharge (HID) electric lamps are used for plant growth, system inefficiencies occur due to an inability to effectively target light to all photosynthetic tissues of a growing crop stand, especially when it is closed with respect to light penetration. To maintain acceptable crop productivity, light levels typically are increased thus increasing heat loads on the plants. Evapotranspiration (ET) or transparent thermal barrier systems are subsequently required to maintain thermal balance, and power-intensive condensers are used to recover the evaporated water for reuse in closed systems. By accurately targeting light to plant tissues, electric lamps can be operated at lower power settings and produce less heat. With lower power and heat loads, less energy is used for plant growth, and possibly less water is evapotranspired. By combining these effects, a considerable energy savings is possible.
Technical Paper

Urine Processing for Water Recovery via Freeze Concentration

Resource recovery, including that of urine water extraction, is one of the most crucial aspects of long-term life support in interplanetary space travel. This paper will consequently examine an innovative approach to processing raw, undiluted urine based on low-temperature freezing. This strategy is uniquely different from NASA's current emphasis on either ‘integrated’ (co-treatment of mixed urine, grey, and condensate waters) or ‘high-temperature’ (i.e., VCD [vapor compression distillation] or VPCAR [vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal]) processing strategies, whereby this liquid freeze-thaw (LiFT) procedure would avoid both chemical and microbial cross-contamination concerns while at the same time securing highly desirable reductions in likely ESM levels.
Technical Paper

Truck Ride — A Mathematical and Empirical Study

“Truck Ride” in this study refers to some vehicle ride parameters involved in tractor-trailer combinations. For the study, a mathematical model of a tractor-trailer vehicle as a vibrating system was developed. Principles of vibration theory were applied to the model while a digital computer was employed to investigate the complex system. To parallel the analytical investigation of the tractor-trailer vehicle, vehicle studies were conducted using a magnetic tape recorder and associated instrumentation installed in the tractor. Parameters studied included coupler position on the tractor, laden weight of trailer, spring rates of the different axles of the combination, damping capacity associated with each spring rate, vehicle speed, and “tar strip” spacing of the highway and cab mountings. The mathematical results were used as a basis for empirical study. A comparison of calculated and empirical data are reported.
Technical Paper

Thermal Interface Materials Based on Anchored Carbon Nanotubes

The new devices and missions to achieve the aims of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) are creating increasingly demanding thermal environments and applications. In particular, the low conductance of metal-to-metal interfaces used in the thermal switches lengthen the cool-down phase and resource usage for spacecraft instruments. During this work, we developed and tested a vacuum-compatible, durable, heat-conduction interface that employs carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays directly anchored on the mating metal surfaces via microwave plasma-enhanced, chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). We demonstrated that CNT-based thermal interface materials have the potential to exceed the performance of currently available options for thermal switches and other applications.
Technical Paper

The Computed Structure of a Combusting Transient Jet Under Diesel Conditions

Numerical computations of combusting transient jets are performed under diesel-like conditions. Discussions of the structure of such jets are presented from global and detailed points of view. From a global point of view, we show that the computed flame heights agree with deductions from theory and that integrated soot mass and heat release rates are consistent with expected trends. We present results of several paramaters which characterise the details of the jet structure. These are fuel mass fractions, temperature, heat release rates, soot and NO. Some of these parameters are compared with the structure of a combusting diesel spray as deduced from measurements and reported in the literature. The heat release rate contours show that the region of chemical reactions is confined to a thin sheet as expected for a diffusion flame. The soot contour plots appear to agree qualitatively with the experimental observations.
Technical Paper

Surrogate-Based Global Optimization of Composite Material Parts under Dynamic Loading

This work presents the implementation of the Efficient Global Optimization (EGO) approach for the design of composite materials under dynamic loading conditions. The optimization algorithm is based on design and analysis of computer experiments (DACE) in which smart sampling and continuous metamodel enhancement drive the design towards a global optimum. An expected improvement function is maximized during each iteration to locate the designs that update the metamodel until convergence. The algorithm solves single and multi-objective optimization problems. In the first case, the penetration of an armor plate is minimized by finding the optimal fiber orientations. Multi-objective formulation is used to minimize the intrusion and impact acceleration of a composite tube. The design variables include the fiber orientations and the size of zones that control the tube collapse.
Technical Paper

Surfactant Biodegradation for Application to Advanced Life Support Water Recycling Systems

Complete reuse of graywater will be essential during long duration human space missions. The highest loaded and most important component to remove from graywater is surfactant, the active ingredient in soaps and detergents. When considering a biological treatment system for processing of graywater, surfactant biodegradability becomes a very important consideration. Surfactants should be chosen that are degraded at a fast rate and yield inconsequential degradation byproducts. Experiments conducted for this research examined the biodegradation of the surfactants in Pert Plus for Kids, disodium cocoamphodiacetate (DSCADA) and sodium laureth-3 sulfate (SLES), using respirometry. Rates of CO2 production, or ultimate degradation, are reported. DSCADA was found to be toxic to bacteria when present at 270 ppm whereas no toxicity was observed during experiments with SLES.
Technical Paper

Structural Damping by the Use of Fibrous Materials

Because of the increasing concern with vehicle weight, there is an interest in lightweight materials that can serve several functions at once. Here we consider the vibration damping performance provided by an “acoustical” material (i.e., a fibrous layer that would normally be used for airborne noise control). It has been previously established that the vibration of panel structures creates a non-propagating nearfield in the region close to the panel. In that region, there is an oscillatory, incompressible fluid flow parallel to the panel whose strength decays exponentially with distance from the panel. When a fibrous medium is placed close to the panel in the region where the oscillatory nearfield is significant, energy is dissipated by the viscous interaction of the flow and the fibers, and hence the panel vibration is damped. The degree of panel damping is then proportional to the energy removed from the nearfield by the viscous interaction with the fibrous medium.
Technical Paper

Sound Transmission Through Elastomeric Sealing Systems

The sound barrier performance of elastomeric vehicle weather seals was investigated. Experiments were performed for one bulb seal specimen following a reverberation room method. The seal wall vibration was measured using a laser Doppler vibrometer. The acoustic pressure near the seal surface was measured simultaneously, allowing the sound intensities on both side of the seal, and the sound transmission loss to be evaluated. The vibration response of the bulb seal and its sound transmission loss were then computed using the finite element method. Model predictions for the same seal geometry were found to be in excellent agreement with the experimental data within the frequency range of interest, comprised between 500 Hz and 4000 Hz.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Biodegradation of a Two-Phase Fluid: Discolored Biofilm Issues

Three replicate aerobic-heterotrophic biotrickling filters were designed to promote the simultaneous biodegradation of graywater and a waste gas containing NH3, H2S and CO2. Upon visual observation of discolored solids, it was originally hypothesized that gas-phase CO2 concentrations were excessive, causing regions of anoxic zones to form within the biotrickling filters. Observed discolored (black) biofilm of this nature is typically assumed to be either lysed bacterial cells or anaerobic regions, implying alteration of operational conditions. Solid (biofilm) samples were collected in the presence and absence of gas-phase wastestream(s) to determine if the gas-phase contaminants were contributing to the solid-phase discoloration. Two sets of experiments (shaker flask and solids characterization) were conduced to determine the nature of the discolored solids. Results indicated that the discolored solids were neither anaerobic bacteria nor lysed cells.
Technical Paper

Predictions of On-Engine Efficiency for the Radial Turbine of a Pulse Turbocharged Engine

Modern pulse-turbocharged systems produce a turbine operating environment that is dominated by unsteady flow. Effective utilization of the unsteady exhaust gas energy content at the turbine inlet is critical to achieving optimum system efficiency. This work presents predictions for turbocharger unsteady performance from a model based on the Euler equations with source terms (EEST). This approach allows the time-accurate performance of the turbine to be determined, allowing comparisons of actual energy utilization and that estimated from steady flow performance maps.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Metalcasting Design

Design optimization for functionality, and manufacturability was virtually impossible in the past. However, recent standardization of file storing formats resulted in seamless data transfer from one software package to another; thus, allowing integration of all facets of product design optimization. This paper describes a metalcasting design optimization process. It focuses on the design of cast parts according to functional requirements while optimizing shape with respect to structural integrity, while ascertaining that the part can be manufactured (cast) without defects.
Technical Paper

Numerical Modeling of the Damping Effect of Fibrous Acoustical Treatments

The damping effect that is observed when a fibrous acoustical treatment is applied to a thin metal panel typical of automotive structures has been modeled by using three independent techniques. In the first two methods the fibrous treatment was modeled by using the limp frame formulation proposed by Bolton et al., while the third method makes use of a general poro-elastic model based on the Biot theory. All three methods have been found to provide consistent predictions that are in excellent agreement with one another. An examination of the numerical results shows that the structural damping effect results primarily from the suppression of the nearfield acoustical motion within the fibrous treatment, that motion being closely coupled with the vibration of the base panel. The observed damping effect is similar in magnitude to that provided by constrained layer dampers having the same mass per unit area as the fibrous layer.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Multi-objective Optimization Tool for Noise Reduction in Axial Piston Machines

Noise generation in axial piston machines can be attributed to two main sources; fluid borne and structure borne. Any attempt towards noise reduction in axial piston machines should focus on simultaneous reduction of these two sources. A multi-parameter multi-objective optimization approach to design valve plates to reduce both sources of noise for pumps which operate in a wide range of operating conditions has been detailed in a previous work (Seeniraj and Ivantysynova, 2008). The focus of this paper is to explain the background and to demonstrate the functionality and usefulness of the methodology for pump design.
Technical Paper

Multi-Material Topology Optimization for Crashworthiness Using Hybrid Cellular Automata

Structures with multiple materials have now become one of the perceived necessities for automotive industry to address vehicle design requirements such as light-weight, safety, and cost. The objective of this study is to develop a design methodology for multi-material structures accountable for vehicle crash durability. The heuristic topology synthesis approach of Hybrid Cellular Automaton (HCA) framework is implemented to generate multi-material structures with the constraint on the volume fraction of the final design. The HCA framework is integrated with ordered-SIMP (solid isotropic material with penalization) interpolation, artificial material library, as well as statistical analysis of material distribution data to ensure a smooth transition between multiple practical materials during the topology synthesis.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Nonlinear Elastomeric Mounts. Part 2: Comparing Numerical Model and Test Results

This paper presents the continuation of the modeling work described in a companion paper “Modeling of Nonlinear Elastomeric Mounts. Part 1: Dynamic Testing and Parameter Identification” by the same authors. That paper discussed a dynamic test procedure and an optimization methodology to identify and model an elastomeric mount as a non-linear lumped parameter structure. This paper discusses a numerical modeling methodology to confirm or improve the agreement between the dynamic test results and the input-output relationship of the analytical model generated in the companion paper. In this paper, the model developed in the companion paper and the model parameters are input into a dynamic simulation model using a commercial simulation package. The model is then run to produce the numerical force-versus-displacement (F-x) curves of the mount. The numerical F-x curves are compared with the F-x curves obtained from the experiments.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Nonlinear Elastomeric Mounts. Part 1: Dynamic Testing and Parameter Identification

A methodology for modeling elastomeric mounts as nonlinear lumped parameter models is discussed. A key feature of this methodology is that it integrates dynamic test results under different conditions into the model. The first step is to model the mount as a linear model that is simple but reproduces accurately results from dynamic tests under small excitations. Frequency Response Functions (FRF) enables systematic calculation of the parameters for the model. Under more realistic excitation, the mount exhibits non-linearity, which is investigated in the next step. For nonlinear structures, a simple and intuitive method is to use time-domain force-displacement (F-x) curves. Experiments to obtain the F-x curves involve controlling the displacement excitation and measuring the induced forces. From the F-x curves, stiffness and damping parameters are obtained with an optimization technique.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Machine Tool Dynamics and Chatter Prediction

Dynamics of machine tool components play a critical role in the outcome of machining processes. This paper addresses several important issues on machine tool and machining dynamics. It illustrates the dynamic behavior of structural components under operating conditions and presents an improved technique for modeling structural non-linearity. It also describes spindle modeling capability that has been developed to predict dynamic and thermal characteristics of spindle systems. Finally, the paper discusses the impact of non-linear dynamics on machining stability.
Technical Paper

Methodology for Metalcasting Process Selection

Today, there are several hundreds of manufacturing processes available to the designer to choose from, and the number is constantly increasing. The ability to choose a manufacturing process for a particular user need set in the early stage of the design process is necessary. In metalcasting alone, there are over forty different processes with different capabilities. A designer can benefit from knowing the manufacturing process alternatives available to him. Inaccurate process selection can lead to financial losses and market share erosion. This paper discusses a methodology for selection of a metalcasting process based on a number of user specified attributes or requirements. A model of user requirements was developed and these requirements were matched with the capabilities of each metalcasting process. The metalcasting process which best meets these needs is suggested.