Refine Your Search


Search Results

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

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

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).
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).
Technical Paper

Non-Constant Variance - Emission Modeling Methods for Offline Optimization and Calibration of Engine Management Systems

Calibrating the engine control unit to satisfy pollutant and performance objectives can be a challenging task. Due to the large number of variables and their interactive complexities, many firms apply design of experiment methods and modeling techniques to the acquired test data. This establishes a “black box” or “gray box” simulation model that predicts power and emissions as a function of the engine parameters. An offline optimization procedure on the fitted model(s) will identify the engine control strategy that best satisfies pollutant and performance objectives. A review of the literature reveals that the General Linear Modeling method and Neural Network modeling architectures are widely used in the development of “black box” or “gray box” simulation models. While Neural Network methods are “assumption free”, the General Linear Model method is limited to those problems in which the errors, ε, are normally distributed and have constant variance, σ2.
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

Performance Characteristics of MOSFETs Operating at High Power

This paper demonstrates that the on-resistance of a power MOSFET decreases significantly when the operating temperature decreases. The decrease in on-resistance under cryogenic temperature allows the device to operate at a much higher power and current condition. Also, it is demonstrated that the MOSFET device can be effectively kept at cryogenic temperature by spray cooling with liquid nitrogen. Over 80 W of heat generated can be removed continuously with spray cooling.
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.