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Journal Article

A Fresh Look at Radiation Exposures from Major Solar Proton Events

Solar proton events (SPEs) represent the single-most significant source of acute radiation exposure during space missions. Historically, an exponential in rigidity (particle momentum) fit has been used to express the SPE energy spectrum using GOES data up to 100 MeV. More recently, researchers have found that a Weibull fit better represents the energy spectrum up to 1000 MeV (1 GeV). In addition, the availability of SPE data extending up to several GeV has been incorporated in analyses to obtain a more complete and accurate energy spectrum representation. In this paper we discuss the major SPEs that have occurred over the past five solar cycles (~50+ years) in detail - in particular, Aug 1972 and Sept & Oct 1989 SPEs. Using a high-energy particle transport/dose code, radiation exposure estimates are presented for various thicknesses of aluminum. The effects on humans and spacecraft systems are also discussed in detail.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Calculating Low Energy Neutron Flux

A new method is developed for calculating the low energy neutron flux in a space environment which is protected from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE) by shielding materials. Our calculations are compared with low energy neutron flux flight data recorded on four different STS low earth orbit missions. We also compare our neutron flux calculations with the low energy neutron flux data recorded by MIR. The low energy neutron flux calculations can be described as a deterministic method for solving the Boltzmann equation for the light ion flux associated with a given environment. Existing Monte Carlo neutron flux simulations associated with the MIR and ISS space stations are also compared with our deterministic method for calculating neutron flux.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Orbit Analysis Program for Spacecraft Thermal Design

This paper presents a simplified orbit analysis program developed to calculate orbital parameters for the thermal analysis of spacecraft and space-flight instruments. The program calculates orbit data for inclined and sunsynchronous earth orbits. Traditional orbit analyses require extensive knowledge of orbital mechanics to produce a simplified set of data for thermal engineers. This program was created to perform orbital analyses with minimal input and provides the necessary output for thermal analysis codes. Engineers will find the program to be a valuable analysis tool for fast and simple orbit calculations. A description of the program inputs and outputs is included. An overview of orbital mechanics for inclined and Sun-synchronous orbits is also presented. Finally, several sample cases are presented to illustrate the thermal analysis applications of the program.
Technical Paper


This paper discusses a project for adapting advanced technology, much of it borrowed from the jet transport, to general aviation design practice. The NASA funded portion of the work began in 1969 at the University of Kansas and resulted in a smaller, experimental wing with spoilers and powerful flap systems for a Cessna Cardinal airplane. The objective was to obtain increased cruise performance and improved ride quality while maintaining the take-off and landing speeds of the unmodified airplane. Some flight data and research pilot comments are presented. The project was expanded in 1972 to include a light twin-engine airplane. For the twin there was the added incentive of a potential increase in single-engine climb performance. The expanded project is a joint effort involving the University of Kansas, Piper Aircraft Company, Robertson Aircraft Company, and Wichita State University. The use of a new high-lift Whitcomb airfoil is planned for both the wing and the propellers.
Technical Paper

Advanced Analysis Methods and Nondestructive Inspection Technology Under Development in the NASA Airframe Structural Integrity Program

An advanced analytical methodology has been developed for predicting the residual strength of stiffened thin-sheet riveted shell structures such as those used for the fuselage of a commercial transport aircraft. The crack-tip opening angle elastic-plastic fracture criterion has been coupled to a geometric and material nonlinear finite element shell code for analyzing complex structural behavior. An automated adaptive mesh refinement capability together with global-local analysis methods have been developed to predict the behavior of fuselage structure with long cracks. This methodology is currently being experimentally verified. Advanced nondestructive inspection technology has been developed that will provide airline operators with the capability to conduct reliable and economical broad-area inspections of aircraft structures.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Design Data For a Cruise-Matched High Performance Single Engine Airplane

Design data are presented for a class of high-performance single-engine business airplanes. The design objectives include a cruise speed of 300 knots, a cruise altitude of 10,700 m (35,000 ft), a cruise payload of six passengers (including crew and baggage), and a no-reserves cruise range of 1300 n.mi. Two unconventional aerodynamic technologies were evaluated: the individual and combined effects of cruise-matched wing loading and of a natural laminar flow airfoil were analyzed. The tradeoff data presented illustrate the ranges of wing geometries, propulsion requirements, airplane weights, and aerodynamic characteristics which are necessary to meet the design objectives. very large design and performance improvements resulted from use of the aerodynamic technologies evaluated. Is is shown that the potential exists for achieving more than 200-percent greater fuel efficiency than is achieved by current airplanes capable of similar cruise speeds, payloads, and ranges.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic-Performance Planform and Camber Optimization of a Supersonic Transport Wing

This paper describes recent research in integrated aerodynamic-performance design optimization applied to a supersonic transport wing. The subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics are modeled with linear theory and the aircraft performance is evaluated by using a complete mission analysis. The goal of the optimization problem is to either maximize the aircraft range or minimize the take-off gross weight while constraining the total fuel load and approach speed. A major difficulty encountered during this study was the inability to obtain accurate derivatives of the aerodynamic models with respect to the planform shape. This work addresses this problem and provides one solution for the derivative difficulties. Additional optimization studies reveal the impact of camber design on the global optimization problem. In these studies, the plan-form optimization is first conducted on a flat plate wing and camber optimization is performed on the resulting planform.
Technical Paper

Air Transport Flight Parameter Measurements Program – Concepts and Benefits

A program is described in which statistical flight loads and operating practice data for airline transports in current operations are obtained from existing onboard digital flight data recorders. These data, primarily intended for use by manufacturers in updating design criteria, were obtained from narrow-body and wide-body jets. Unique procedures developed for editing and processing the data are discussed and differences from previous NACA/NASA VGH analog data are noted. The program is being expanded to include control surface and ground-operational parameters. Efforts to develop an onboard data processing system to derive direct statistical aircraft operating parameters are reviewed.
Technical Paper

Airbreathing Hypersonic Vision-Operational-Vehicles Design Matrix

This paper presents the status of the airbreathing hypersonic airplane and space-access vision-operational-vehicle design matrix, with emphasis on horizontal takeoff and landing systems being studied at Langley; it reflects the synergies and issues, and indicates the thrust of the effort to resolve the design matrix including Mach 5 to 10 airplanes with global-reach potential, pop-up and dual-role transatmospheric vehicles and airbreathing launch systems. The convergence of several critical systems/technologies across the vehicle matrix is indicated. This is particularly true for the low speed propulsion system for large unassisted horizontal takeoff vehicles which favor turbines and/or perhaps pulse detonation engines that do not require LOX which imposes loading concerns and mission flexibility restraints.
Technical Paper

Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility, A Unique Facility with New Capabilities

The Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF), formerly called the Landing Loads Track, is described. The paper gives a historical overview of the original NASA Langley Research Center Landing Loads Track and discusses the unique features of this national test facility. Comparisions are made between the original track characteristics and the new capabilities of the Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility following the recently completed facility update. Details of the new propulsion and arresting gear systems are presented along with the novel features of the new high-speed carriage. The data acquisition system is described and the paper concludes with a review of future test programs.
Technical Paper

Airframe Technology for Energy Efficient Transport Aircraft

Fuel costs comprise a major portion of air transport operating costs. Thus, energy efficiency is an essential design goal for future transport aircraft. Advanced composite structures, advanced wing geometries, and active control systems all promise substantial benefits in fuel efficiency and direct operating cost for derivative and new aircraft introduced by 1985. Technology for maintenance of a laminar boundary layer in cruise offers great benefits in fuel efficiency and direct operating cost and may be ready for application to transports introduced in the 1990's. NASA and the air transport industry are cooperating in a comprehensive Aircraft Energy Efficiency Program to expedite the introduction of these advanced technologies into production aircraft.
Technical Paper

Alternate Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Technologies for Space Station Application

Alternate Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) technologies were evaluated to reduce Space Station resources and dependence on expendables resupplied from Earth to sustain a multiperson crew in low-Earth orbit. Options were evaluated to close the oxygen (O2) loop by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the cabin air, reducing the CO2 to water, and electrolyzing the water to provide metabolic O2 for crew consumption. Options were also evaluated to close the urine/flush, condensate, and hygiene water loops to provide potable water for crew use. Specific evaluation parameters were derived which included weight, power, volume, maintenance, resupply consumables, and technology readiness.
Technical Paper

Application of Laminar Flow Control to High-Bypass-Ratio Turbofan Engine Nacelles

Recently, the concept of the application of hybrid laminar flow to modern commercial transport aircraft was successfully flight tested on a Boeing 757 aircraft. In this limited demonstration, in which only part of the upper surface of the swept wing was designed for the attainment of laminar flow, significant local drag reduction was measured. This paper addresses the potential application of this technology to laminarize the external surface of large, modern turbofan engine nacelles which may comprise as much as 5-10 percent of the total wetted area of future commercial transports. A hybrid-laminar-fiow-control (HLFC) pressure distribution is specified and the corresponding nacelle geometry is computed utilizing a predictor/corrector design method. Linear stability calculations are conducted to provide predictions of the extent of the laminar boundary layer. Performance studies are presented to determine potential benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Aviation Weather Information Systems Research and Development

President Clinton announced in February 1997 a national goal to reduce the fatal accident rate for aviation by 80% within ten years. Weather continues to be identified as a causal factor in about 30% of all aviation accidents. An Aviation Weather Information Distribution and Presentation project has been established within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Aviation Safety Program to develop technologies that will provide accurate, timely and intuitive information to pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers to enable the detection and avoidance of atmospheric hazards. This project, described herein, addresses the weather information needs of general, corporate, regional, and transport aircraft operators.
Technical Paper

Braking, Steering, and Wear Performance of Radial-Belted and Bias-Ply Aircraft Tires

Preliminary braking, steering, and tread wear performance results from testing of 26 x 6.6 and 40 x 14 radial-belted and bias-ply aircraft tires at NASA Langley's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) are reviewed. These tire tests are part of a larger, ongoing joint NASA/FAA/Industry Surface Traction And Radial Tire (START) Program involving these two different tire sizes as well as an H46 x 18-20 tire size which has not yet been evaluated. Both dry and wet surface conditions were evaluated on two different test surfaces - nongrooved Portland cement concrete and specially constructed, hexagonal-shaped concrete paver blocks. Use of paver blocks at airport facilities has been limited to ramp and taxiway areas and the industry needs a tire friction evaluation of this paving material prior to additional airport pavement installations.
Technical Paper

CAD Model of Astronaut Radiation Exposures During EVA: Nominal and Extreme Scenarios

Trapped protons and electrons in the low earth orbit (LEO) environment of the International Space Station (ISS) encountered during extra-vehicular activity (EVA) may contribute significantly to the cumulative exposure sustained by crew during extended stay missions. A recently developed CAD model of the U. S. Shuttle Space Suit is used to define the shielding properties inherent in the space suit. The model incorporates 28 separate components of the suit, with particular attention given to the helmet and backpack assemblies. Proton and electron energy spectra are taken from the NASA AP8 and AE8 environment models for solar maximum and minimum, and a simulated magnetic storm condition is derived from a 3-sigma projection of the nominal condition. Heavy-ion and electron transport codes developed at NASA-Langley are used in conjunction with the variety of space suit materials, including constituents containing metallic and non-metallic compounds as well as organic polymers.
Technical Paper

Collaborative Engineering Methods for Radiation Shield Design

The hazards of ionizing radiation in space continue to be a limiting factor in the design of spacecraft and habitats. Shielding against such hazards adds to the mission costs and is even an enabling technology in human exploration and development of space. We are developing a web accessible system for radiation hazard evaluation in the design process. The framework for analysis and collaborative engineering is used to integrate mission trajectory, environmental models, craft materials and geometry, system radiation response functions, and mission requirements for evaluation and optimization of shielding distribution and materials. Emphasis of the first version of this integrated design system will address low Earth orbit allowing design system validation using STS, Mir, and ISS measurements. The second version will include Mars, lunar, and other deep space mission analysis.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Super-cooled Liquid Water Cloud Properties Derived from Satellite and Aircraft Measurements

A theoretically based algorithm to derive super-cooled liquid water (SLW) cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties is applied to operational satellite data and compared to pilot reports (PIREPS – from commercial and private aircraft) of icing and to in-situ measurements collected from a NASA icing research aircraft. The method has been shown to correctly identify the existence of SLW provided there are no higher-level ice crystal clouds (i.e. cirrus) above the SLW deck. The satellite-derived SLW cloud properties, particularly the cloud temperature, optical thickness or water path and water droplet size, show good qualitative correspondence with aircraft observations and icing intensity reports. Preliminary efforts to quantify the relationship between the satellite retrievals, PIREPS and aircraft measurements are reported here. The goal is to determine the extent to which the satellite-derived cloud parameters can be used to improve icing diagnoses and forecasts.
Technical Paper

Cornering and Wear Behavior of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire

One of the factors needed to describe the handling characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter during the landing rollout is the response of the vehicle's tires to variations in load and yaw angle. An experimental investigation of the cornering characteristics of the Orbiter main gear tires was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility. This investigation compliments earlier work done to define the Orbiter nose tire cornering characteristics. In the investigation, the effects of load and yaw angle were evaluated by measuring parameters such as side load and drag load, and obtaining measurements of aligning torque. Because the tire must operate on an extremely rough runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), tests were also conducted to describe the wear behavior of the tire under various conditions on a simulated KSC runway surface. Mathematical models for both the cornering and the wear behavior are discussed.
Technical Paper

Development of Race Car Testing at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel

This paper reviews the development of a new test capability for race cars at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel. The existing external force balance of the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel, designed for use with full-scale aircraft, was reconfigured for automobile testing. Details of structural modifications relevant to supporting cars and force measurements are shown. A specialized automobile force balance, measuring vehicle drag and individual wheel downforce, was then designed, constructed and calibrated. The design was governed by simplicity and low cost and was tailored to the stock car racing community. The balance became fully operational in early 1998. The overall layout of the automobile balance and comparisons to reference data from another full-scale wind tunnel is presented.