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Moore J.W.,Jacobs ESCG | Morris A.L.,Barrios Technology
21st AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar 2011 | Year: 2011

The Crew Exploration Vehicle Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) project is currently developing an autonomous method to separate a capsule-shaped parachute test vehicle from an air-drop platform for use in the test program to develop and validate the parachute system for the Orion spacecraft. The CPAS project seeks to perform air-drop tests of an Orion-like boilerplate capsule. Delivery of the boilerplate capsule to the test condition has proven to be a critical and complicated task. In the current concept, the boilerplate vehicle is extracted from an aircraft on top of a Type V pallet and then separated from the pallet in mid-air. The attitude of the vehicles at separation is critical to avoiding re-contact and successfully deploying the boilerplate into a heatshield-down orientation. Neither the pallet nor the boilerplate has an active control system. However, the attitude of the mated vehicle as a function of time is somewhat predictable. CPAS engineers have designed an avionics system to monitor the attitude of the mated vehicle as it is extracted from the aircraft and command a release when the desired conditions are met. The algorithm includes contingency capabilities designed to release the test vehicle before undesirable orientations occur. The algorithm was verified with simulation and ground testing. The pre-flight development and testing is discussed and limitations of ground testing are noted. The CPAS project performed a series of three drop tests as a proof-of-concept of the release technique. These tests helped to refine the attitude instrumentation and software algorithm to be used on future tests. The drop tests are described in detail and the evolution of the release system with each test is described. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Source

Moore J.W.,Jacobs ESCG | Morris A.L.,Barrios Technology
21st AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar 2011 | Year: 2011

A parachute simulation environment (PSE) has been developed that aims to take advantage of legacy parachute simulation codes and modern object-oriented programming techniques. This hybrid simulation environment provides the parachute analyst with a natural and intuitive way to construct simulation tasks while preserving the pedigree and authority of established parachute simulations. NASA currently employs four simulation tools for developing and analyzing air-drop tests performed by the CEV Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) project. These tools were developed at different times, in different languages, and with different capabilities in mind. As a result, each tool has a distinct interface and set of inputs and outputs. However, regardless of the simulation code that is most appropriate for the type of test, engineers typically perform similar tasks for each drop test such as prediction of loads, assessment of altitude, and sequencing of disreefs or cut-aways. An object-oriented approach to simulation configuration allows the analyst to choose models of real physical test articles (parachutes, vehicles, etc.) and sequence them to achieve the desired test conditions. Once configured, these objects are translated into traditional input lists and processed by the legacy simulation codes. This approach minimizes the number of simulation inputs that the engineer must track while configuring an input file. An object-oriented approach to simulation output allows a common set of post-processing functions to perform routine tasks such as plotting and timeline generation with minimal sensitivity to the simulation that generated the data. Flight test data may also be translated into the common output class to simplify test reconstruction and analysis. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Source

Hill C.S.,NASA | Oliveras O.M.,Jacobs ESCG
International SAMPE Technical Conference | Year: 2011

Evolution of the 3D strain field during ASTM-D-7078 v-notch rail shear tests on 8-ply quasiisotropic carbon fiber/epoxy laminates was determined by optical photogrammetry using an ARAMIS system. Specimens having non-optimal geometry and minor discrepancies in dimensional tolerances were shown to display non-symmetry and/or stress concentration in the vicinity of the notch relative to a specimen meeting the requirements of the standard, but resulting shear strength and modulus values remained within acceptable bounds of standard deviation. Based on these results it is suggested that a parametric study combining analytical methods and experiment may provide rationale to increase the tolerances on some specimen dimensions. This could reduce machining costs, increase the proportion of acceptable results, and enable a wider adoption of the test method. Source

Moore J.W.,Jacobs ESCG | Morris A.L.,Barrios Technology
21st AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar 2011 | Year: 2011

Parachute test programs employ Monte Carlo simulation techniques to plan testing and make critical decisions related to parachute loads, rate-of-descent, or other parameters. This paper describes the development and use of a MATLAB-based Monte Carlo tool for three parachute drop test simulations currently used by NASA. The Decelerator System Simulation (DSS) is a legacy 6 Degree-of-Freedom (DOF) simulation used to predict parachute loads and descent trajectories. The Decelerator System Simulation Application (DSSA) is a 6-DOF simulation that is well suited for modeling aircraft extraction and descent of pallet-like test vehicles. The Drop Test Vehicle Simulation (DTVSim) is a 2-DOF trajectory simulation that is convenient for quick turn-around analysis tasks. These three tools have significantly different software architectures and do not share common input files or output data structures. Separate Monte Carlo tools were initially developed for each simulation. A recently-developed simulation output structure enables the use of the more sophisticated DSSA Monte Carlo tool with any of the core-simulations. The task of configuring the inputs for the nominal simulation is left to the existing tools. Once the nominal simulation is configured, the Monte Carlo tool perturbs the input set according to dispersion rules created by the analyst. These rules define the statistical distribution and parameters to be applied to each simulation input. Individual dispersed parameters are combined to create a dispersed set of simulation inputs. The Monte Carlo tool repeatedly executes the core-simulation with the dispersed inputs and stores the results for analysis. The analyst may define conditions on one or more output parameters at which to collect data slices. The tool provides a versatile interface for reviewing output of large Monte Carlo data sets while preserving the capability for detailed examination of individual dispersed trajectories. The Monte Carlo tool described in this paper has proven useful in planning several Crew Exploration Vehicle parachute tests. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Source

Cooper B.L.,Oceaneering Space Systems | McKay D.S.,NASA | Taylor L.A.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Kawamoto H.,Waseda University | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments - Earth and Space 2010 | Year: 2010

The Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Assessment Group (LADTAG) is working to determine the permissible limits for exposure to lunar dust. This standard will guide the design of airlocks and ports for EVA, as well as the requirements for filtering and monitoring the atmosphere in habitable vehicles and other modules. Rodent toxicity testing will be done using the respirable fraction of actual lunar soils (particles with physical size of less than 2.5 micrometers). We are currently separating this fine material from the coarser material that comprises >95% of the mass of each soil sample. Sieving is not practical in this size range, so a new system was developed for this task. Collection and separation efficiencies are tracked as development and tests proceed. LADTAG's recommendation for permissible exposure limits will be delivered to the Constellation Program in 2010. © 2010 ASCE. Source

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