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Technical Paper

50 KVA High Temperature Bi-directional Converter for On-Engine Application in More Electric Aircraft

The transition towards More Electric Aircraft (MEA) architectures has challenges relating to integration of power electronics with the starter generator system for on-engine application. To efficiently operate the power electronics in the hostile engine environment at high switching frequency and for better thermal management, use of silicon carbide (SiC) power devices for a bi-directional power converter is examined. In this paper, development of a 50 kVA bi-directional converter operating at an ambient temperature of about 2000C is presented. The design and operation of the converter with details of control algorithm implementation and cooling chamber design are also discussed.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Technical Paper

A Parallel Hybrid Drivetrain

Next generation vehicles are under environmental and economic pressure to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy, while maintaining the same ride and performance characteristics of present day combustion engine automobiles. This has prompted researchers to investigate hybrid vehicles as one possible solution to this challenge. At Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), a unique parallel hybrid drivetrain was designed and prototyped. This hybrid drivetrain alleviates the disadvantages of series hybrid drivetrains by directly coupling the driving wheels to two power sources, namely an engine and an electric motor. At the same time, the design allows the engine speed to be decoupled from the vehicle speed, allowing the engine to operate at its most efficient state. This paper describes the drivetrain, its components, and the test stand that was assembled to test the parallel hybrid drivetrain.
Technical Paper

Access Systems for Partial Gravity Exploration & Rescue: Results from Prototype Testing in an Analog Environment

An EVA simulation with a medical contingency scenario was conducted in 2006 with the NASA Haughton-Mars and EVA Physiology System and Performance Projects, to develop medical contingency management and evacuation techniques for planetary surface exploration. A rescue/evacuation system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract an injured astronaut up a slope of15-25° and into a surface mobility rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care. Further research is recommended to evaluate the effects of reduced gravity and to develop synergies with other surface systems for carrying out the contingency procedures.
Technical Paper

Analysis and Design of Crew Sleep Station for ISS

This paper details the analysis and design of the Temporary Sleep Station (TeSS) environmental control system for International Space Station (ISS). The TeSS will provide crewmembers with a private and personal space, to accommodate sleeping, donning and doffing of clothing, personal communication and performance of recreational activities. The need for privacy to accommodate these activities requires adequate ventilation inside the TeSS. This study considers whether temperature, carbon dioxide, and humidity remain within crew comfort and safety levels for various expected operating scenarios. Evaluation of these scenarios required the use and integration of various simulation codes. An approach was adapted for this study, whereby results from a particular code were integrated with other codes when necessary.
Technical Paper

Automatic Thermal Control Through a LCVG for a Spacesuit

Automatic thermal control (ATC) was investigated for implementation into a spacesuit to provide thermal neutrality to the astronaut through a range of activity levels. Two different control concepts were evaluated and compared for their ability to maintain subject thermal comfort. Six test subjects, who were involved in a series of three tests, walked on a treadmill following specific metabolic profiles while wearing the Mark III spacesuit in ambient environmental conditions. Results show that individual subject comfort was effectively provided by both algorithms over a broad range of metabolic activity. ATC appears to be highly effective in providing efficient, “hands-off” thermal regulation requiring minimal instrumentation. Final selection of an algorithm to be implemented in an advanced spacesuit system will require testing in dynamic thermal environments and consideration of technology for advancement in instrumentation and controller performance.
Technical Paper

Development Status of the VPCAR Water Processor Assembly

The purification of waste water is a critical element of any long-duration space mission. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system offers the promise of a technology requiring low quantities of expendable material that is suitable for exploration missions. NASA has funded an effort to produce an engineering development unit specifically targeted for integration into the NASA Johnson Space Center's Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility (INTEGRITY) formally known in part as the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Test Complex (Bio-Plex) and the Advanced Water Recovery System Development Facility. The system includes a Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator redesigned with micro-gravity operation enhancements, which evaporates wastewater and produces water vapor with only volatile components as contaminants. Volatile contaminants, including organics and ammonia, are oxidized in a catalytic reactor while they are in the vapor phase.
Technical Paper

Development of the CELSS Emulator at NASA JSC

The Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Emulator is under development at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) with the purpose to investigate computer simulations of integrated CELSS operations involving humans, plants, and process machinery. This paper describes Version 1.0 of the CELSS Emulator that was initiated in 1988 on the JSC Multi Purpose Applications Console Test Bed as the simulation framework. The run module of the simulation system now contains a CELSS model called BLSS. The CELSS Emulator empowers us to generate model data sets, store libraries of results for further analysis, and also display plots of model variables as a function of time. The progress of the project is presented with sample test runs and simulation display pages.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Modeling of the Minimum Consumables PLSS

A transient model of the Minimum Consumables Portable Life Support System (MPLSS) Advanced Space Suit design has been developed and implemented using MAT-LAB/Simulink. The purpose of the model is to help with sizing and evaluation of the MPLSS design and aid development of an automatic thermal comfort control strategy. The MPLSS model is described, a basic thermal comfort control strategy implemented, and the thermal characteristics of the MPLSS Advanced Space Suit are investigated.
Technical Paper

High-Fidelity Numerical Modeling of Spark Plug Erosion

Spark plug erosion is critical in determining the overall efficiency of a spark ignition engine. Over its lifetime, a spark plug is subject to millions of firings. Each spark event results in material erosion due to several mechanisms such as melting, vaporization, sputtering and oxidation. With electrode wear, the inter-electrode spacing increases and a larger voltage difference is required to initiate the spark. The probability of engine misfires also increases with electrode erosion. Once a critical gap is reached, the energy in the ignition coil is not enough to cause a spark breakdown, and the spark plug must be replaced. Due to the long relevant time scales over which erosion occurs, and the difficulty of analyzing the spark plug environment during operation, determining spark plug lifetime typically requires extensive field testing. A high fidelity commercial thermal plasma solver, VizSpark is used simulate electrode erosion due to spark events.
Technical Paper

Mathematical Modeling of Food Systems for Long-Term Space Missions

The quantitative analysis of the food system for long-term space missions is a crucial factor for the comparison of different food plans and for the evaluation of the food system as part of the overall mission. Such analysis should include important factors such as nutrition, palatability, diet cycle length, and psychological issues related to food. This paper will give the details of a mathematical model that was developed during the first author's participation as a Summer Faculty Fellow at Johnson Space Center. The model includes nutrition, palatability, diet cycle length, and psychological issues as important components. The model is compatible with the Equivalent System Mass (ESM) metric previously developed as the Advance Life Support (ALS) Research and Technology Metric.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Membrane Processes for Air Revitalization and Water Recovery

Gas-separation and reverse-osmosis membrane models are being developed in conjunction with membrane testing at NASA JSC. The completed gas-separation membrane model extracts effective component permeabilities from multicomponent test data, and predicts the effects of flow configuration, operating conditions, and membrane dimensions on module performance. Variable feed- and permeate-side pressures are considered. The model has been applied to test data for hollow-fiber membrane modules with simulated cabin-air feeds. Results are presented for a membrane designed for air drying applications. Extracted permeabilities are used to predict the effect of operating conditions on water enrichment in the permeate. A first-order reverse-osmosis model has been applied to test data for spiral wound membrane modules with a simulated hygiene water feed. The model estimates an effective local component rejection coefficient under pseudo-steady-state conditions.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Water Recovery System Testing and Model Correlation

Biological wastewater processing has been under investigation by AlliedSignal Aerospace and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for future use in space. Testing at JSC in the Hybrid Regenerative Water Recovery System (HRWRS) in preparation for future closed human testing has been performed. Computer models have been developed to aid in the design of a new four-person immobilized cell bioreactor. The design of the reactor and validation of the computer model is presented. In addition, the total organic carbon (TOC) computer model has been expanded to begin investigation of nitrification. This model is being developed to identify the key parameters of the nitrification process, and to improve the design and operating conditions of nitrifying bioreactors. In addition, the model can be used as a design tool to rapidly predict the effects of changes in operational conditions and reactor design, significantly reducing the number and duration of experiments required.
Technical Paper

SAWD II Subsystem Integration into the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber: A Systems Level Analysis Using CASE/A

The NASA Johnson Space Center has plans to integrate a Solid Amine Water Desorbed (SAWD II) carbon dioxide removal subsystem into the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber (VPGC). The SAWD II subsystem will be used to remove any excess carbon dioxide (CO2) input into the VPGC which is not assimilated by the plants growing in the chamber. An analysis of the integrated VPGC-SAWD II system was performed using a mathematical model of the system implemented in the Computer-Aided System Engineering and Analysis (CASE/A) package. The analysis consisted of an evaluation of the SAWD II subsystem configuration within the VPGC, the planned operations for the subsystem, and the overall performance of the subsystem and other VPGC subsystems. Based on the model runs, recommendations were made concerning the SAWD II subsystem configuration and operations, and the chambers' automatic CO2 injection control subsystem.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of Space Suit Thermal Control

Automatic thermal comfort control for the minimum consumables PLSS is undertaken using several control approaches. Accuracy and performance of the strategies using feedforward, feedback, and gain scheduling are evaluated through simulation, highlighting their advantages and limitations. Implementation issues, consumable usage, and the provision for the extension of these control strategies to the cryogenic PLSS are addressed.
Journal Article

Simulation of Organic Rankine Cycle Power Generation with Exhaust Heat Recovery from a 15 liter Diesel Engine

The performance of an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) that recovers heat from the exhaust of a heavy-duty diesel engine was simulated. The work was an extension of a prior study that simulated the performance of an experimental ORC system developed and tested at Oak Ridge National laboratory (ORNL). The experimental data were used to set model parameters and validate the results of that simulation. For the current study the model was adapted to consider a 15 liter turbocharged engine versus the original 1.9 liter light-duty automotive turbodiesel studied by ORNL. Exhaust flow rate and temperature data for the heavy-duty engine were obtained from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for a range of steady-state engine speeds and loads without EGR. Because of the considerably higher exhaust gas flow rates of the heavy-duty engine, relative to the engine tested by ORNL, a different heat exchanger type was considered in order to keep exhaust pressure drop within practical bounds.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Spark-Initiated Combustion

There has been an increased interest in understanding the initial stages of flame kernel formation in internal combustion engines as it offers a potential way of improving their thermal efficiency. For spark-ignited engines, the dynamics that govern the initial spark and its transition into a flame kernel play an important role in determining the overall engine efficiency. In this regard, this paper presents a computational model developed to simulate a spark discharge formed in a premixed fuel air mixture. Additionally, by simultaneously modeling the reactive fluid dynamics that governs combustion with the electromagnetics that governs the spark, the overall objective of this paper is to consistently simulate spark-initiated combustion in a premixed fuel-air mixture. Two different fuel-oxidizer mixtures are considered in this study, hydrogen-oxygen and methane-oxygen. Key mechanisms via which the spark channel ignites the mixture are identified and studied in detail.
Technical Paper

Space Crew Radiation Exposure Analysis System Based on a Commercial Stand-Alone CAD System

Major improvements have recently been completed in the approach to spacecraft shielding analysis. A Computer-Aided Design (CAD)-based system has been developed for determining the shielding provided to any point within or external to the spacecraft. Shielding analysis is performed using a commercially available stand-alone CAD system and a customized ray-tracing subroutine contained within a standard engineering modeling software package. This improved shielding analysis technique has been used in several vehicle design projects such as a Mars transfer habitat, pressurized lunar rover, and the redesigned Space Station. Results of these analyses are provided to demonstrate the applicability and versatility of the system.
Technical Paper

Standardized Radiation Shield Design Method: 2005 HZETRN

Research committed by the Langley Research Center through 1995 resulting in the HZETRN code provides the current basis for shield design methods according to NASA STD-3000 (2005). With this new prominence, the database, basic numerical procedures, and algorithms are being re-examined with new methods of verification and validation being implemented to capture a well defined algorithm for engineering design processes to be used in this early development phase of the Bush initiative. This process provides the methodology to transform the 1995 HZETRN research code into the 2005 HZETRN engineering code to be available for these early design processes. In this paper, we will review the basic derivations including new corrections to the codes to insure improved numerical stability and provide benchmarks for code verification.
Technical Paper

Team Dynamics Analysis of the Huautla Cave Diving Expedition: A Case Study

The impact of challenging environments on individual functioning and performance must be examined from the perspective of physiological, medical, and psychological perspectives. Psychosocial factors impacting on human behavior and performance in extreme environments are critical components of mission success. Simulation studies of isolation and confinement cannot match real-world performance in which the environmental stressors contribute significantly to team adaptation and functioning. Qualitative analyses of participation and interpersonal interaction were conducted in a descriptive case study involving a deep caving expedition spending a total of 40 days underground in which group dynamics played a significant part in the dissolution of the group across mission time.