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Santo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Quadrini F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Gabriele M.,Italian Space Agency | Dolce F.,Italian Air Force | Zolesi V.,Kayser Italia S.r.l.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

Shape memory epoxy foams were used for an experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to evaluate the feasibility of their use for building light actuators and expandable/deployable structures. The experiment named 1-FOAM was performed by an autonomous device contained in the BIOKON (by Kayser Italia) container which was in turn composed of control and heating system, battery pack and data acquisition system. To simulate the actuation of simple devices in micro-gravity conditions, three different configurations (compression, bending and torsion) were chosen during the memory step of the foams so as to produce their recovery on ISS. Micro-gravity does not affect the ability of the foams to recover their shape but it poses limits for the heating system design because of the difference in heat transfer on earth and in orbit. A 70% recovery was measured at a temperature of 110 °C. A full recovery of the foam samples was not achieved due to some limitations of the equipment for safety reasons. On ground laboratory experiments showed that 100% recovery could be reached just by increasing the maximum temperature to 120 °C. Experiment results have provided much useful information for designing of a new structural composite actuator by using shape memory foams. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.


Santo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Quadrini F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Squeo E.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Dolce F.,Italian Air Force | And 5 more authors.
Microgravity Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Shape memory epoxy foams were used for an experiment on the International Space Station to evaluate the feasibility of their use for building multi-functional composite structures. A small equipment was designed and built to simulate the actuation of simple devices in micro-gravity conditions: three different configurations (compression, bending and torsion) were chosen during the memory step of the foams so as to produce their recovery on ISS. Two systems were used for the experimentation to avoid damages of the flight model during laboratory tests; however a single ground experiment was performed also on the flight model before the mission. Micro-gravity does not affect the ability of the foams to recover their shape but it poses strong limits for the heating system design because of the difference in heat transfer on earth and in orbit. A full recovery of the foam samples was not achieved due to some limitations in the maximum allowable temperature on ISS for safety reasons: anyway a 70% recovery was also measured at a temperature of 110°C. Ground laboratory experiments showed that 100% recovery could be reached by increasing the maximum temperature to 120°C. Experiment results have provided many useful information for the designing of a new structural composite actuator by using shape memory foams. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.


Justin Bronder T.,U.S. Air force | Helms N.J.,U.S. Air force | Heinz D.A.,U.S. Air force | Lee J.,U.S. Air force | And 2 more authors.
28th AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology, Ground Testing, and Flight Testing Conference 2012 | Year: 2012

This paper presents results from US Air Force Test Pilot School's initial phase of development of an organic remote-piloted aircraft (RPA) testing capability. The project tested and developed a surrogate RPA as a tool to support future Test Pilot School curriculum events. The surrogate RPA was the Calspan LJ-25 Variable Stability Simulator (VSS), which used a UHF line of sight datalink to input commands from a TPS-based ground control station (GCS) directly into the Learjet's autopilot. The GCS pilot-vehicle interface (PVI) was an interim solution that used toggle switches rather than a typical stick and rudder. Testing was completed through two dedicated ground events and six flight test sorties. As tested, this initial configuration demonstrated nothing to preclude continued development for the School's curriculum. The datalink exceeded range predictions and was relatively reliable during the maneuvers tested. The autopilot response was predictable but the autonomous track geometry was oscillatory. The prototype interface forced extensive compensation from the remote pilot and required inputs from the Learjet aircrew for airspace awareness, maneuver coaching and datalink maintenance. The entire system did enable remote pilot control to a 200 foot above ground level (AGL) landing approach.


Ripesi P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ciciulla F.,Italian Air Force | Maimone F.,Italian Air Force | Pelino V.,Italian Air Force
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2012

The atmospheric dynamics during the occurrence of the extreme negative value of the Arctic Oscillation Index in February 2010 are investigated using meteorological fields from ERA-Interim and ERA-40 reanalysis data. The study focuses on the possible causes of this anomalous value, finding that it was forced by a geopotential anomaly that propagated downward from the stratosphere to the troposphere in association with a major sudden stratospheric warming event which occurred at the end of January. An analysis of the dynamics of this warming is also developed, together with a comparison with past similar events. Synoptic and spectral properties of the geopotential fields are analyzed, and the time series of the 'Baroclinic Activity Index' are computed, finding an abrupt increase of the middle latitude baroclinic activity immediately after the central date of the warming event. A possible interpretation of this feature is proposed. © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society.


Santo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mascetti G.,Italian Space Agency | Villadei W.,Italian Air Force | Bernabei M.,Italian Air Force | Zolesi V.,Kayser Italia S.r.l.
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

Shape memory polymer foams can be used in aerospace for different applications: from light actuators to structural parts with reduced size during shipping. In order to study the behaviour of this new class of materials in microgravity, a set of experiments was designed for the next Space Shuttle STS-134/ULF-6 in I-25/26, on February 2011. This initiative originates from the cooperation between the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Air Force within the human spaceflight field. In the proposed study, preliminary tests and the future experiment (FOAM) that will exploit ASI managed resources onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are described. FOAM is a demonstration of a special solid-state process to obtain closed cell memory foams (foaming) and the verification of their shape memory properties in the space environment. The experiment will be performed in space, by an autonomous device contained in the BIOKON container, composed of control and heating system, battery pack and data acquisition system, developed by Kayser Italia. Several tests, performed to support such experiment, are presented in this study: compression tests on epoxy foam samples, recovery tests with different packing levels, compression tests of samples foamed under different technological conditions. Some considerations regarding such technology possible future development in microgravity environment will be presented as well. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.

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