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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.
Technical Paper

A Heat Pipe Assisted Air-Cooled Rotary Wankel Engine for Improved Durability, Power and Efficiency

In this paper, we address the thermal management issues which limit the lifespan, specific power and overall efficiency of an air-cooled rotary Wankel engine used in Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). Our goal is to eliminate the hot spots and reduce the temperature gradients in the engine housing and side plates by aggressive heat spreading using heat pipes. We demonstrate by simulation that, for a specific power requirement, with heat spreading and more effective heat dissipation, thermal stress and distortion can be significantly reduced, even with air cooling. The maximum temperature drop was substantial, from 231°C to 129°C. The temperature difference (measure of temperature uniformity) decreased by 8.8 times (from 159°C to 18°C) for a typical UAV engine. Our heat spreaders would not change the frontal area of the engine and should have a negligible impact on the installed weight of the propulsion assembly.
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].
Journal Article

An Architecture for Monitoring and Anomaly Detection for Space Systems

Complex aerospace engineering systems require innovative methods for performance monitoring and anomaly detection. The interface of a real-time data stream to a system for analysis, pattern recognition, and anomaly detection can require distributed system architectures and sophisticated custom programming. This paper presents a case study of a simplified interface between Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) real-time data output, signal processing, cloud computing, and tablet systems. The discussed approach consists of three parts: First, the connectivity of real-time data from PLCs to the signal processing algorithms, using standard communication technologies. Second, the interface of legacy routines, such as NASA's Inductive Monitoring System (IMS), with a hybrid signal processing system. Third, the connectivity and interaction of the signal processing system with a wireless and distributed tablet, (iPhone/iPad) in a hybrid system configuration using cloud computing.
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

Chaos Analysis on In-Cylinder Pressure Measurements

Peak pressure, crank angle and induction pressure were measured in cylinder number one of a Ford 4.6 liter Modular engine. Chaos analysis was conducted on these measurements and the phase, waveform, Poincare, and FFT plots are presented. These plots show conclusively that the pressure fluctuation inside a cylinder is a broadband chaos.
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

Effect of Inventory Storage on Automotive Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

The battery is a central part of the vehicle’s electrical system and has to undergo cycling in a wide variety of conditions while providing an acceptable service life. Within a typical distribution chain, automotive lead-acid batteries can sit in storage for months before delivery to the consumer. During storage, batteries are subjected to a wide variety of temperature profiles depending on facility-specific characteristics. Additionally, batteries typically do not receive any type of maintenance charge before delivery. Effects of storage time, temperature, and maintenance charging are explored. Flooded lead-acid batteries were examined immediately after storage and after installation in vehicles subjected to normal drive patterns. While phase composition is a major consideration, additional differences in positive active material (PAM) were observed with respect to storage parameters.
Technical Paper

Electromechanical Actuator Cooling Fan Blades Design and Optimization

For aircraft electromechanical actuator (EMA) cooling applications using forced air produced by axial fans, the main objective in fan design is to generate high static pressure head, high volumetric flow rate, and high efficiency over a wide operating range of rotational speed (1x∼3x) and ambient pressure (0.2∼1 atm). In this paper, a fan design based on a fan diameter of 86 mm, fan depth (thickness) of 25.4 mm, and hub diameter of 48 mm is presented. The blade setting angle and the chord lengths at the leading and trailing edges are varied in their suitable ranges to determine the optimal blade profiles. The fan static pressure head, volumetric flow rate, and flow velocity are calculated at various ambient pressures and rotational speeds. The optimal blade design in terms of maximum total-to-total pressure ratio and efficiency at the design point is obtained via CFD simulation. A 5-blade configuration yields the best performance in terms of efficiency and total pressure ratio.
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

Enabling Much Higher Power Densities in Aerospace Power Electronics with High Temperature Evaporative Spray Cooling

A power electronics module was equipped with an evaporative spray cooling nozzle assembly that served to remove waste heat from the silicon devices. The spray cooling nozzle assembly took the place of the standard heat sink, which uses single phase convection. The purpose of this work was to test the ability of spray cooling to enable higher power density in power electronics with high temperature coolant, and to be an effective and lightweight system level solution to the thermal management needs of aerospace vehicles. The spray cooling work done here was with 95 °C water, and this data is compared to 100 °C water/ propylene glycol spray cooling data from a previous paper so as to compare the spray cooling performance of a single component liquid to that of a binary liquid such as WPG. The module used during this work was a COTS module manufactured by Semikron, Inc., with a maximum DC power input of 180 kW (450 VDC and 400 A).
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
Technical Paper

Fan Performance Characteristics at Various Rotational Speeds and Ambient Pressures

The scaling laws of fans express basic relationships among the variables of fan static pressure head, volume flow rate, air density, rotational speed, fan diameter, and power. These relationships make it possible to compare the performance of geometrically similar fans in dissimilar conditions. The fan laws were derived from dimensionless analysis of the equations for volumetric flow rate, static pressure head, and power as a function of fan diameter, air density and rotational speed. The purpose of this study is to characterize a fan's performance characteristics at various rotational speeds and ambient pressures. The experimental results are compared to the fan scaling laws.
Journal Article

Heat Transfer Performance of a Dual Latent Heat Sink for Pulsed Heat Loads

This paper presents the concept of a dual latent heat sink for thermal management of pulse heat generating electronic systems. The focus of this work is to verify the effectiveness of the concept during charging through experimentation. Accordingly, custom components were built and a prototype version of the heat sink was fabricated. Experiments were performed to investigate the implementation feasibility and heat transfer performance. It is shown that this heat sink is practicable and helps in arresting the system temperature rise during charging (period of pulse heat load).
Journal Article

Laminar Burning Velocities of High-Performance Fuels Relevant to the Co-Optima Initiative

Laminar burning velocity (LBV) measurements are reported for promising high-performance fuels selected as drop-in transportation fuels to automotive grade gasoline as part of the United States Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative (Co-Optima). LBV measurements were conducted for ethanol, methyl acetate, and 2-methylfuran with synthetic air (79.0 % N2 and 21.0 % O2 by volume) within a constant-volume spherical combustion rig. Mixture initial temperature was fixed at 428±4 K, with the corresponding initial pressure of 1.00±0.02 atm. Current LBV of ethanol is in good agreement with literature data. LBV of ethanol and 2-methylfuran showed similar values over the range of equivalence ratios, while methyl acetate exhibited an LBV significantly lower over the range of tested equivalence ratios. The maximum laminar burning velocity occurred at slightly richer equivalence ratio from the stoichiometric value for all fuels tested.
Journal Article

Laminar Burning Velocity Measurements in DIPK-An Advanced Biofuel

The biofuel and engine co-development framework was initiated at Sandia National Labs. Here, the synthetic biologists develop and engineer a new platform for drop-in fuel production from lignocellulosic biomass, using several endophytic fungi. Hence this process has the potential advantage that expensive pretreatment and fuel refining stages can be optimized thereby allowing scalability and cost reduction; two major considerations for widespread biofuel utilization. Large concentrations of ketones along with other volatile organic compounds were produced by fungi grown over switchgrass media. The combustion and emission properties of these new large ketones are poorly known.