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Technical Paper

A Discrete-Event Simulation of the NASA Fuel Production Plant on Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing for a manned mission to Mars to test the sustainment of civilization on the planet Mars. This research explores the requirements and feasibility of autonomously producing fuel on Mars for a return trip back to Earth. As a part of NASA’s initiative for a manned trip to Mars, our team’s work creates and analyzes the allocation of resources necessary in deploying a fuel station on this foreign soil. Previous research has addressed concerns with a number individual components of this mission such as power required for fuel station and tools; however, the interactions between these components and the effects they would have on the overall requirements for the fuel station are still unknown to NASA. By creating a baseline discrete-event simulation model in a simulation software environment, the research team has been able to simulate the fuel production process on Mars.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Environment for Analysis of Events Related to Range Safety

This paper features a distributed environment and the steps taken to incorporate the Virtual Range model into the Virtual Test Bed (VTB) infrastructure. The VTB is a prototype of a virtual engineering environment to study operations of current and future space vehicles, spaceports, and ranges. The High-Level Architecture (HLA) is the main environment. The VTB/HLA implementation described here represents different systems that interact in the simulation of a Space Shuttle liftoff. An example implementation displays the collaboration of a simplified version of the Space Shuttle Simulation Model and a simulation of the Launch Scrub Evaluation Model.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Environment for Spaceports

This paper describes the development of a distributed environment for spaceport simulation modeling. This distributed environment is the result of the applications of the High-Level Architecture (HLA) and integration frameworks based on software agents and XML. This distributed environment is called the Virtual Test Bed (VTB). A distributed environment is needed due to the nature of the different models needed to represent a spaceport. This paper provides two case studies: one related to the translation of a model from its native environment and the other one related to the integration of real-time weather.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Simulation of a Martian Fuel Production Facility

The future of human exploration in the solar system is contingent on the ability to exploit resources in-situ to produce mission consumables. Specifically, it has become clear that the success of a manned mission to Mars will likely depend on fuel components created on the Martian surface. While several architectures for an unmanned fuel production surface facility on Mars exist in theory, a simulation of the performance and operation of these architectures has not been created. In this paper, the framework describing a simulation of one such architecture is defined. Within this architecture, each component of the base is implemented as a state machine, with the ability to communicate with other base elements as well as a supervisor. An environment supervisor is also created which governs low level aspects of the simulation such as movement and resource distribution, in addition to higher-level aspects such as location selection with respect to operations specific behavior.
Journal Article

A Methodology on Guiding Effectiveness-Focused Training of the Weapon Operator Using Big Data and VC Simulations

Operator training using a weapon in a real-world environment is risky, expensive, time-consuming, and restricted to the given environment. In addition, governments are under intense scrutiny to provide security, yet they must also strive for efficiency and reduce spending. In other words, they must do more with less. Virtual simulation, is usually employed to solve these limitations. As the operator is trained to maximize weapon effectiveness, the effectiveness-focused training can be completed in an economical manner. Unfortunately, the training is completed in limited scenarios without objective levels of training factors for an individual operator to optimize the weapon effectiveness. Thus, the training will not be effective. For overcoming this problem, we suggest a methodology on guiding effectiveness-focused training of the weapon operator through usability assessments, big data, and Virtual and Constructive (VC) simulations.
Technical Paper

A Model-Based Fault Diagnostic and Control System for Spacecraft Power

This paper describes a model-based approach to diagnosing electrical faults in electrical power systems. Until recently, model-based reasoning has only been applied to physical systems with static, persistent states, and with parts whose behavior can be expressed combinatorially, such as digital circuits. Our research is one of a handful of recent efforts to apply model-based reasoning to more complex systems, those whose behavior is difficult or impossible to express combinatorially, and whose states change continuously over time. The chosen approach to representation is loosely based on the idea of the equation network proposed in [6]. This requires a more complex component and behavior model than for simpler physical devices. The resulting system is being tested on fault data from the SSM/PMAD power system breadboard being developed at NASA-MSFC [9].
Technical Paper

Building Multiple Resolution Modeling Systems Using the High-Level Architecture

The modeling and simulation pyramid in defense states it clearly: Multi-Level modeling and simulation are required. Models and simulations are often classified by the US Department of Defense into four levels-campaign, mission, engagement, and engineering. Campaign simulation models are applied for evaluation; mission-level simulations to experiment with the integration of several macro agents; engagement simulations in engineered systems development; and engineering-level simulation models with a solid foundation in structural physics and components. Models operating at one level must be able to interact with models at another level. Therefore, the cure (“silver bullet”) is very clear: a comprehensive framework for Multiple Resolution Modeling (MRM) is needed. In this paper, we discuss our research about how to construct MRM environments.
Technical Paper

Case for a Multidisciplinary Modeling Platform for Space Launch Risk Analysis

With the development and licensing of inland, state-owned spaceports, and the ongoing development of several new reusable launch vehicles (RLV), the space launch industry is undergoing a significant transformation. As a result, there is a need to reevaluate current launch risk analysis methodologies and practices, which so far have revolved around the conservative casualty expectation analysis developed in the 1950s. Furthermore, an important aspect of launch risk analysis which gives rise to its complexity is its multidisciplinary nature. In analyzing such risk, the physics of and interactions between the varieties of hazards produced by launch vehicles breakups must be captured, modeled and, their effects analyzed. In this paper we discuss how a well-designed multidisciplinary modeling and analysis platform could be a significant step toward reducing the complexity just mentioned.
Journal Article

Data Mining and Complex Problems: Case Study in Composite Materials

Data mining is defined as the discovery of useful, possibly unexpected, patterns and relationships in data using statistical and non-statistical techniques in order to develop schemes for decision and policy making. Data mining can be used to discover the sources and causes of problems in complex systems. In addition, data mining can support simulation strategies by finding the different constants and parameters to be used in the development of simulation models. This paper introduces a framework for data mining and its application to complex problems. To further explain some of the concepts outlined in this paper, the potential application to the NASA Shuttle Reinforced Carbon-Carbon structures and genetic programming is used as an illustration.
Technical Paper

Development of the Multi-Resolution Modeling Environment through Aircraft Scenarios

Multi-Resolution Modeling (MRM) is one of the key technologies for building complex and large-scale simulations using legacy simulators. MRM has been developed continuously, especially in military fields. MRM plays a crucial role to describe the battlefield and gathering the desired information efficiently by linking various levels of resolution. The simulation models interact across different local and/or distance area networks using the High Level Architecture (HLA) regardless of their operating systems and hardware. The HLA is a standard architecture developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and is meant to create interoperability among different types of simulators. Therefore, MRM implementations are very dependent on Interoperability and Composability. This paper summarizes the definition of MRM-related terminology and proposes a basic form of MRM system using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) simulators and HLA.
Technical Paper

Electromechanical Actuator Cooling Fan Reliability Analysis and Safety Improvement

The aircraft electromechanical actuator (EMA) cooling fan is a critical component because an EMA failure caused by overheating could lead to a catastrophic failure in aircraft. Fault tree analysis (FTA) is used to access the failure probability of EMA fans with the goal of improving their mean time to failure (MTTF) from ∼O(5×104) to ∼ O(2.5×109) hours without incurring heavy weight penalty and high cost. The dual-winding and dual-bearing approaches are analyzed and a contra rotating dual-fan design is proposed. Fan motors are assumed to be brushless direct current (BLDC) motors. To have a full understanding of fan reliability, all possible failure mechanisms and failure modes are taken into account. After summarizing the possible failure causes and failure modes of BLDC fans by focusing on each failure mechanism, the life expectancy of fan ball bearings based on a major failure mechanism of lubricant deterioration is calculated and compared to that provided in the literature.
Technical Paper

Engine Knock, A Renewed Concern In Motorsports - A Literature Review

This paper reviews the literature which identifies the causes, consequences and cures for engine knock as it affects high performance engines. The physical events of normal and abnormal combustion are described. The observed variations in combustion phenomenon are explained through chemical kinetics. A mathematical model of combustion which can predict knock in an engine cylinder is summarized. Several mechanisms of knock induced damage are outlined. Design and operating considerations which affect an engine's propensity to knock are discussed. Terms that have become associated with combustion in general and the knocking phenomenon in particular are collected and examined
Journal Article

Modeling Space Operations Systems Using SysML as to Enable Anomaly Detection

Although a multitude of anomaly detection and fault isolation programs can be found in the research, there does not appear to be any work published on architectural templates that could take advantage of multiple programs and integrate them into the desired systems. More specifically, there is an absence of a methodological process for generating anomaly detection and fault isolation designs to either embed within new system concepts, or supplement existing schemes. This paper introduces a new approach based on systems engineering and the System Modeling Language (SysML). Preliminary concepts of the proposed approach are explained. In addition, a case study is also mentioned.
Technical Paper

Nonlinear Electrical Simulation of High-Power Synchronous Generator System

An innovative nonlinear simulation approach for high power density synchronous generator systems is developed and implemented. Due to high power density, the generator operates in nonlinear region of the magnetic circuit. Magnetic Finite Element Analysis (FEA) makes nonlinear simulation possible. Neural network technique provides nonlinear functions for system level simulation. Dynamic voltage equation provides excellent mathematical model for system level simulations. Voltage, current, and flux linkage quantities are applied in Direct-Quadrature (DQ) rotating frame. The simulated system includes main machine, exciter, rectifier bridge, bang-bang control, and PI control circuitry, forming a closed loop system. Each part is modeled and then integrated into the system model.
Technical Paper

Nonlinear Neural Network Modeling of Aircraft Synchronous Generator with High Power Density

Preliminary investigations of nonlinear modeling of aircraft synchronous generators using neural networks are presented. Aircraft synchronous generators with high power density tend operate at current-levels proportional to the magnetic saturation region of the machine's material. The nonlinear model accounts for magnetic saturation of the generator, which causes the winding flux linkages and inductances to vary as a function of current. Finite element method software is used to perform a parametric sweep of direct, quadrature, and field currents to extract the respective flux linkages. This data is used to train a neural network which yields current as a function of flux linkage. The neural network is implemented in a Simulink synchronous generator model and simulation results are compared with a previously developed linear model. Results show that the nonlinear neural network model can more accurately describe the responsiveness and performance of the synchronous generator.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Internal Combustion Engine Performance Through Response Surface Methodology

Optimizing IC engine performance currently requires an exhaustive experimental search to determine the combination of internal components that maximizes torque or power. An alternate and more structured approach using Response Surface Methods will lead the experimenter to the optimum combination with the least number of trials. Using simulation software to evaluate IC engine configurations, this method improved the estimated power from 439 to 516 KW. Results of the study indicate that Response Surface Methods are a viable and robust method of converging to an IC engine configuration which achieves optimum performance.
Technical Paper

Simulation Optimization of the NASA Mars Fuel In-Situ Resource Utilization and Its Infrastructure

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) current objectives include expanding space exploration and planning a manned expedition to Mars. In order to meet the latter objective, it is imperative that humans generate their own products by harnessing space resources, a process referred to as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). ISRU will enable NASA to reduce both payload mass and mission cost by reducing the number of consumables required to be launched from Earth. The discrete-event simulation discussed focuses primarily on one ISRU system, the production of fuel for a return trip to Earth by utilizing Mar’s atmosphere and regolith. This ISRU system primarily uses autonomous rovers for exploration, excavation, processing of Mar’s regolith to produce fuel, and disposal of the processed regolith. This study explores individual rover and component requirements including rover speeds, travel distances, functional periods, charging, and maintenance times.
Journal Article

Simulation and Systems Engineering: Lessons Learned

Aerospace projects live a long time. Around the turn of the century, NASA first began to discuss multi-decadal projects with respect to the tools, methods, infrastructure and culture necessary to successfully establish outposts and bases both on the Moon as well as in adjacent space. Pilot projects were completed, capabilities developed and solutions were shared across the Agency. A decade later the Mars discussion was multi-generational with planning milestones 50 years in the future. The 1970’s Requirements Document, or the 1990’s System Model are nowhere near suitable for planning, development, integration and operations of multi-national, highly complex, incredibly expensive development efforts planned to outlast not only the careers of the developers but that of their children as well. Simulation in the different forms has become very important for this multi-decadal projects. The challenge will be to device ways to create formats and views which can stand time.
Technical Paper

Statistical Process Control and Design of Experiment Process Improvement Methods for the Powertrain Laboratory

The application of Statistical Process Control and Design of Experiment methods in the research laboratory can lead to significant gains in the Powertrain development process. Empirical methods such as Design of Experiments, Regression, and Neural Network techniques can be applied to help researchers gain better understanding of the cause and effect relationships of emission, alternative fuel source, performance, fuel economy, and engine management system - calibration studies. The use of these empirical modeling techniques along with model based Genetic Algorithm, Gradient, or Constraint based solution search methods will help identify the “process settings” that improve fuel economy, improve performance, and reduce pollutants. Since empirical methods are fundamentally based on the acquired test data, it is vitally important that the laboratory measurements are repeatable, consistent, and void of sources of variance that have a significant effect on the acquired test data.
Technical Paper

The AAMA Traffic Noise Model - A Better Approach

Currently there are no community noise computer programs commonly in use in the United States dedicated to the modeling of interrupted flow. Constant speed programs (such as STAMINA 2.0) have been used with modified input to predict noise levels at intersections, but they cannot directly simulate traffic signal operation, actual deceleration and acceleration of vehicles, or queues of vehicles at signals. Noise prediction procedures for intersections can be improved by simulating actual intersection movements. The American Automobile Manufacturers Association has produced a model that not only models continuous flow (Constant Speed Traffic program - CST), but also allows modeling of interrupted flow (Variable Speed Traffic program - VST). This model has been updated to improve user friendliness and accuracy and is discussed in this paper.