The ISS and the prior station Mir provided the proving ground for future human long-duration space activity. A recent European Space Agency study recommended “Measurement campaigns on the ISS form the ideal tool for experimental validation of radiation environment models, of transport code algorithms and reaction cross sections”. Indeed, prior measurements on Shuttle have provided vital information impacting both transport code and environmental model development. Recent studies using the ISS 7A configuration with TLD area monitors demonstrated that computational dosimetry requires environmental models with accurate anisotropic and dynamic behavior, detailed information on rack loading, and an accurate 6 degree-of-freedom description of the ISS trajectory. The ISS model is now configured for 11A and uses an anisotropic and dynamic geomagnetic transmission and trapped proton models. The ISS 11A is instrumented with both passive and active dosimetric devices. Time resolved measurements have the advantage of isolating trapped proton and galactic cosmic ray components as was essential to transport code validation in Shuttle data analysis. ISS 11A model validation will begin with passive dosimetry as was used with ISS 7A. Directional dependent active measurements will play an important role in the validation of environmental model anisotropies.
The present invention discloses an mixed signal RF drive electronics board that offers small, low power, reliable, and customizable method for driving and generating mass spectra from a mass spectrometer, and for control of other functions such as electron ionizer, ion focusing, single-ion detection, multi-channel data accumulation and, if desired, front-end interfaces such as pumps, valves, heaters, and columns.
Anisotropies in the low Earth orbit (LEO) radiation environment were found to influence the thermoluminescence detectors (TLD) dose within the (International Space Station) ISS 7A Service Module. Subsequently, anisotropic environmental models with improved dynamic time extrapolation have been developed including westward and northern drifts using AP8 Min & Max as estimates of the historic spatial distribution of trapped protons in the 1965 and 1970 era, respectively. In addition, a directional dependent geomagnetic cutoff model was derived for geomagnetic field configurations from the 1945 to 2020 time frame. A dynamic neutron albedo model based on our atmospheric radiation studies has likewise been required to explain LEO neutron measurements. The simultaneous measurements of dose and dose rate using four Liulin instruments at various locations in the US LAB and Node 1 has experimentally demonstrated anisotropic effects in ISS 6A and are used herein to evaluate the adequacy of these revised environmental models.
Progressive development of microsatellite technologies has resulted in increased demand for lightweight electrical power subsystems including solar arrays. The use of thin film photovoltaics has been recognized as a key solution to meet the power needs. The lightweight cells can generate sufficient power and still meet critical mass requirements. Commercially available solar cells produced on lightweight substrates are being studied as an option to fulfill the power needs. The commercially available solar cells are relatively inexpensive and have a high payoff potential. Commercially available thin film solar cells are primarily being produced for terrestrial applications. The need to convert the solar cell from a terrestrial to a space compatible application is the primary challenge. Solar cell contacts, grids and interconnects need to be designed to be atomic oxygen resistant and withstand rapid thermal cycling environments. A mechanically robust solar cell interconnect is also required in order to withstand handling during fabrication and survive during launch. The need to produce the solar cell interconnects has been identified as a primary goal of the PowerSphere program and is the topic of this paper. Details of the trade study leading to the final design involving the solar cell wrap around contact, flex blanket, welding process, and frame will be presented at the conference.
The MIT Space Systems Laboratory has developed the Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) facility for the testing of formation flight and autonomous docking algorithms inside the International Space Station (ISS), in NASA's reduced gravity aircraft and in a 1-g laboratory environment. To provide SPHERES with reliable and accurate position, velocity, attitude and angular rate estimation, an innovative state estimation system based on ultrasound transmission has been developed. An extended Kalman filter (EKF) processes time-of-flight data collectedby ultrasonic receivers, as well as angular rate measurements provided by gyroscopes, to compute the state estimates required by the satellites when maneuvering. To increase the robustness of the system, the EKF has been augmented with a fault detection capability that uses the filter innovation (residual) to diagnose measurement errors. Two versions of the algorithm were successfully implemented and used on the SPHERES facility onboard the ISS during a series of five test sessions, from May 2006 to November 2006. This paper describes both versions in detail, along with di culties encountered during the implementation on the hardware and their solution. Results from experiments performed in the ISS to validate the algorithms are also presented.
The Polymer Film Tensile Experiment (PFTE) was flown as part of Materials International Space Station Experiment 6 (MISSE 6). The purpose of the experiment was to expose a variety of polymer films to the low Earth orbital environment under both relaxed and tension conditions. The polymers selected are those commonly used for spacecraft thermal control and those under consideration for use in spacecraft applications such as sunshields, solar sails, and inflatable and deployable structures. The dog-bone shaped samples of polymers that were flown were exposed on both the side of the MISSE 6 Passive Experiment Container (PEC) that was facing into the ram direction (receiving atomic oxygen, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, ionizing radiation, and thermal cycling) and the wake facing side (which was supposed to have experienced predominantly the same environmental effects except for atomic oxygen which was present due to reorientation of the International Space Station). A few of the tensile samples were coated with vapor deposited aluminum on the back and wired to determine the point in the flight when the tensile sample broke as recorded by a change in voltage that was stored on battery powered data loggers for post flight retrieval and analysis. The data returned on the data loggers was not usable. However, post retrieval observation and analysis of the samples was performed. This paper describes the preliminary analysis and observations of the polymers exposed on the MISSE 6 PFTE.
The deployment of space robots for servicing and maintenance operations that are teleoperated from the ground is a valuable addition to existing autonomous systems, because it will provide flexibility and robustness in mission operations. In this connection, not only robotic manipulators are of great use, but also free-flying inspector satellites supporting the operations through additional feedback to the ground operator. The manual control of such an inspector satellite at a remote location is challenging, because navigation in three-dimensional space is unfamiliar and large time delays can occur in the communication channel. This paper shows a series of robotic experiments, in which free flyers are controlled by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Synchronized Position Hold Engage Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) were utilized to study several aspects of a remotely controlled inspector satellite. The focus in this case study is investigating different approaches to human–spacecraft interaction with varying levels of autonomy under zero-gravity conditions.
Damage from Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) impacts poses a substantial risk for the loss of crew for the currently planned CEV missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The Columbia Space Shuttle accident in 2003 spurred an investigation that led to the requirement of an active impact monitoring system on the Shuttle Orbiter. The MMOD impact Damage Recording System (DRS) presents a reliable, mass- and power-efficient Thermal Protection System (TPS) impact detection system that can be readily integrated with manned and robotic spacecraft. Thus, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is considering inclusion of active MMOD detection systems for monitoring damage to the backshell TPS. MMOD impact detection systems have been developed and flown on satellites and probes dating back to the 1960s. These technologies were designed primarily to understand and characterize the MMOD environment found in low earth orbit (LEO). The only impact monitoring system qualified for use on manned spacecraft is the wing leading edge impact detection system (WLE IDS). During Shuttle ascent, the WLE IDS monitors impacts due to insulating foam shed from the external fuel tank onto the WLE. The WLE is particularly vulnerable due to the high heating environment experienced during reentry. Ever-increasing accumulation of man-made debris is magnifying this threat to shuttle and other spacecrafts operating in LEO. Therefore, the development of on-orbit impact monitoring systems that aid in the mitigation of the threat to manned spacecraft is needed. This paper describes the development and testing of the DRS, a massand power-efficient wireless MMOD impact detection system designed for potential incorporation into the backshell of the CEV. The DRS utilizes wireless data acquisition via custom designed wireless nodes. The DRS wireless nodes determine MMOD impact damage by employing an Embedded Damage Recorder (EDR) sensor. A variety of EDR sensor designs were considered based upon d- – ifferent damage detection and TPS integration requirements. The DRS system design was recently tested at the University of Dayton Research Institute's hypervelocity impact range. During this test series, seven hypervelocity impacts were conducted using aluminum and nylon projectiles to simulate MMOD impacts to representative models of the CEV backshell TPS. The TPS models were fabricated in a flight-like configuration integrating the EDR sensor at the bondline. The DRS accurately indicated damage to the TPS models on all seven hypervelocity impact tests. These results have confirmed the feasibility of the DRS employing the EDR sensor as a viable MMOD impact sensing solution. Vehicle integration and further space environment testing remain critical steps in maturing this technology to flight qualification.
Current research on control allocation emphasizes reconfiguration for adapting to thruster failures. However, in the application of autonomous assembly, the reconfiguration is necessitated by changing physical properties. For the scenario of an assembler tug constructing a large space structure, every docking and undocking maneuver used for the tug to move an individual payload causes a large shift in the dynamics of the tug. Not only do the mass properties change, but so does the thruster configuration. Changes in the center of mass, mass, and inertia of the tug-payload system, causes changes in the equivalent force exerted by each thruster. This paper explores reconfigurable control allocation to adapt to changes in the mass properties. Specifically considered are changes to the center of mass and thruster configuration (number, location, and active thrusters). Results are presented from the implementation of a reconfigurable control allocation algorithm on the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage Reorient Experimental Satellites) testbed aboard the International Space Station. Results demonstrate controllability for configurations with large center of mass shifts, varying number of thrusters, as well as maintaining performance from the baseline non-reconfigurable control allocation algorithm on SPHERES.
After 11 months of successful operation onboard the ISS US laboratory Destiny, the air quality monitors ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) was brought back to Earth on STS126 (ULF2). ANITA is a technology demonstrator flight experiment for continuous air quality monitoring inside the crewed cabin of the ISS with low detection limits and high time resolution. For the first time, the dynamics of the detected trace gas concentrations could be directly resolved by ANITA and correlated to gas events in the cabin. The system is the result of a long term ESA technology development programme initiated more than seventeen years ago. The ANITA mission was a cooperative project between ESA and NASA. ESA's responsibilities were the provision of the H/W, the data acquisition and the data evaluation. NASA was responsible for the launch, accommodation and operation onboard ISS, data download and the transportation of ANITA back to the Earth. ANITA was calibrated to detect and quantify 30 trace gases simultaneously with down to sub-ppm (parts per million) detection limits in addition to the always present background gases carbon dioxide and water vapour. The results of the mission are summarised in [ 1 ]. Further, with a specially developed gas bag hand pump system also gas analyses were performed on air samples from Node 1 of the Space Station. ANITA is a precursor for a permanent continuous trace gas monitoring system ANITA2 for ISS and future space vehicles. At the time of the conference the follow-on study on ANITA2 will have been initiated. This paper describes the measurement system, the lessons learned during the mission on ISS, and the planned follow-on activities. The work described has been performed under contract of the European Space Agency.