Hybrid Flow Control Method for Simple Hinged Flap High-Lift System
The combination of AVGs with SWJ actuators creates an unparalleled and unexpected improvement in flap efficiency. This unique hybrid approach of using SWJ actuators and AVGs in combination may provide the necessary lift enhancement for a simple hinged flap high-lift system while keeping the pneumatic power requirement (mass flow and pressure) for the SWJ actuators within an aircrafts capability for system integration. For the current innovation, it is envisioned that this hybrid approach may significantly narrow/close the technology gap and enable the realization of a simple hinged flap high-lift design, which will have the benefits of lower weight (without the Fowler flap mechanism) and less cruise drag (without the external fairing for the Fowler flap mechanism). Figure 1 illustrates one example of how AVGs and the SWJ actuators can be used in combination for a simple hinged flap high-lift system. For high-lift applications with a high flap deflection angle and a significant adverse pressure gradient, both SWJs and AVGs are activated for hybrid flow separation control. When the flap is deflected to a low deflection angle, only AVGs are activated to prevent possible flow separation initiated from the trailing edge. Figure 2 shows the cruise configuration with no flap deflection and there is no flow control activation.
Modular Fixturing for Assembly and Welding Applications
NASA's researchers have designed modular fixtures to address inefficiencies in time, labor, and material costs due to the need to fabricate unique, monolithic fixture bodies for different segments of the Space Launch System (SLS). Before NASA staff can configure and weld rocket sections, they must assemble modular tooling atop a large turntable with radial grooves. Supporting braces (tombstones) that form the base of the modular structure slide into radial grooves. Other extending, clamping, and joining fixtures can be variously connected to the base structure to provide circumferential support for producing conical and cylindrical structures. NASA has used the tooling to produce structures with diameters of up to 27 feet. Depending on the desired application, the base can be scaled to produce larger or smaller diameters, and the grooves can be arranged with a longitudinal arrangement for production of parts with bilateral symmetry. The development of these modular fixtures required an initial investment similar to that of a single project's tool design and fabrication costs. Once produced, only a fraction of that time/cost is required to begin all subsequent projects. NASA has used this new, adaptable tooling in the construction of several different rocket stages, proving its cost-saving capabilities.
Lower Chatter Friction Pull Plug Welding (FPPW)
The new friction pull plug design is optimized to reduce chatter that results as a fast rotating plug enters the hole in the part. The plug design is based on a shank with multiple frustoconical sections shown in the figure to the right. The sections are carefully sized to ensure that the spinning plug contacts the edge of the hole at just the right position to minimize chatter. It keeps the machine from stalling when the plug enters the hole. This new design makes FPPW more practical, perhaps even as a future rivet replacement.
High Output Maximum Efficiency Resonator (HOMER)
NASAs high performance laser has been extensively tested and analyzed to complete space-worthy Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL-6). These tests include thermal vacuum test, vibration tests, and laser life testing. The HOMER enclosure is a pressurized vessel with sealed window and electrical feedthroughs for space. HOMERs design factors render the degradation rate to be remarkably low 100 uJ/B. These design factors being the heavy derating of the LDA drive parameters beginning of life (BOL) set point of 50 A, and 65 us in width. The other factor is the cavitys inherent large beam area, thus keeping longitudinal mode beating to a minimum, and thus peak temporal intensity spikes that can slowly pit coatings to an absolute minimum. HOMER is an oscillator only design that features an actively Q-switched cavity with an 808nm side pump Nd:YAG zig-ag slab, employing a positive branch unstable resonator and a Gaussian reflective output coupler for TEM00 far field beam quality. These cavities allow high pulse energies with beam quality and high efficiency without the need for intracavity aperture which can cause small scale self-focusing and degrading optical diffractive effects. Approximately 2-3 times the optics are typically required for an equivalent MOPA system. This important factor is critical in the instrument design phase of a flight project, when formulating the missions cost, mass, and overall hardware complexity.
Artificial Immune System-Based Approach For Airborne Vehicle Maneuvering
The Artificial Immune System (AIS) combines a priori knowledge with the adapting capabilities of a biological immune system to provide a powerful alternative to currently available techniques for pattern recognition, learning, and optimization. Immunology is the science of built-in defense mechanisms that are present in all living beings to protect against external attacks. A biological immune system can be thought of as a robust, adaptive system that is capable of dealing with an enormous variety of disturbances and uncertainties. The AIS uses a finite number of discrete building blocks to achieve this adaptiveness. These building blocks can be thought of as pieces of a puzzle, which must be put together in a specific way to neutralize, remove, or destroy each unique disturbance the system encounters. Another critical aspect of the immune system is that it can remember how previous encounters were successfully defeated. As a result, it can respond faster to similar situations in the future. This is especially critical for Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM), where split-second decisions can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful encounters. In terms of AIS, this is accomplished by establishing problem-to-solution mappings that can be further strengthened over time. Inoculations are performed using training sets to introduce the AIS to a variety of different intruder aircraft scenarios. This represents the equivalent of the training pilots received in order to make quick decisions under combat situations.
Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for Paints
PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals and to have other adverse effects on immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. Although the production of PCBs in the United States has been banned since the late 1970s, many surfaces are still coated with PCB-laden paints. The presence of PCBs in paints adds complexity and expense for disposal. Some treatment methods (e.g., use of solvents, physical removal via scraping) are capable of removing PCBs from surfaces, but these technologies create a new waste stream that must be treated. Other methods, like incineration, can destroy the PCBs but destroy the painted structure as well, preventing reuse. To address limitations with traditional abatement methods for PCBs in paints, researchers at NASAs Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the University of Central Florida have developed the Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for Paints. This innovative technology consists of a solvent solution (e.g., ethanol, d-limonene) that contains an activated zero-valent metal. AMTS is first applied to the painted surface either using spray-on techniques or wipe-on techniques. The solution then extracts the PCBs from the paint. The extracted PCBs react with the microscale activated metal and are degraded into benign by-products. This technology can be applied without removing the paint or dismantling the painted structure. In addition, the surface can be reused following treatment.
materials and coatings
Hydrophobic Epoxy Coating for Insect Adhesion Mitigation
This technology is a copolymeric epoxy coating that is loaded with a fluorinated aliphatic chemical species and nano- to microscale particle fillers. The coating was developed as a hydrophobic and non-wetting coating for aerodynamic surfaces to prevent accumulation of insect strike remains that can lead to natural laminar flow disruption and aerodynamic inefficiencies. The coating achieves hydrophobicity in two ways. First, the fluorinated aliphatic chemical species are hydrophobic surface modification additives that preferentially migrate to the polymer surface that is exposed to air. Secondly, the incorporation of particle fillers produces a micro-textured surface that displays excellent resistance to wetting. Combined, these two factors increase hydrophobicity and can also be used to readily generate superhydrophobic surfaces.
materials and coatings
Chemical and Topographical Surface Modifications for Insect Adhesion Mitigation
The technology is a method of mitigating insect residue adhesion to various surfaces upon insect impact. The process involves topographical modification of the surface using laser ablation patterning followed by chemical modification or particulate inclusion in a polymeric matrix. Laser ablation patterning is performed by a commercially available laser system and the chemical spray deposition is composed of nanometer sized silica particles with a hydrophobic solution (e.g. heptadecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrodecyltriethoxysilane) in an aqueous ethanol solution. Both topographic and chemical modification of the substrate is necessary to achieve the desired performance.
Strobing to Mitigate Vibration for Display Legibility
The dominant frequency of the vibration that requires mitigation can be known in advance, measured in real time, or predicted with simulation algorithms. That frequency (or a lower frequency multiplier) is then used to drive the strobing rate of the illumination source. For example, if the vibration frequency is 20 Hz, one could employ a strobe rate of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, or 20 Hz, depending on which rate the operator finds the least intrusive. The strobed illumination source can be internal or external to the display. Perceptual psychologists have long understood that strobed illumination can freeze moving objects in the visual field. This effect can be used for artistic effect or for technical applications. The present innovation is instead applicable for environments in which the human observer rather than just the viewed object undergoes vibration. Such environments include space, air, land, and sea vehicles, or on foot (e.g., walking or running on the ground or treadmills). The technology itself can be integrated into handheld and fixed display panels, head-mounted displays, and cabin illumination for viewing printed materials.
electrical and electronics
In Situ Wire Damage Detection and Rerouting System
The tester was designed to monitor electrical faults in either online or offline modes of operation. In the online mode, wires are monitored without disturbing their normal operation. A cable can be monitored several times per second in the offline mode, and once per second in the online mode. The online cable fault locator not only detects the occurrence of a fault, but also determines the type of fault (short/open/intermittent) and the location of the fault. This enables the detection of intermittent faults that can be repaired before they become serious problems. Since intermittent faults occur mainly during operations, a built-in memory device stores all relevant fault data. This data can be displayed in real time or retrieved later so maintenance and repairs can be completed without spending countless hours attempting to pinpoint the source of the problem. Hardware and algorithms have also been developed to safely, efficiently, and autonomously transfer electrical power and data connectivity from an identified damaged/defective wire in a cable to an alternate wire path. This portion of the system consists of master and slave units that provide the diagnostic and rerouting capabilities. A test pulse generated by the master unit is sent down an active wire being monitored by the slave unit. When the slave unit detects the test pulse, it routes the pulse back to the master unit through a communication wire. When the master unit determines that a test pulse is not being returned, it designates that wire as faulty and reroutes the circuit to a spare wire.