In 2008, two experiments – BAR and EXPERT – were performed on the Russian segment (ISS RS) during ISS missions 16 and 17 using diagnostic equipment BAR. The experiments were aimed to enhance ISS safety by proposing means and methods of detecting leaks due to many factors including microdestruction of pressurized modules of the vehicle. The BAR experiment was designed to assess the ultraviolet background in 56 potentially dangerous locations identified by RS ISS designers and engineers. The method for locating sites carrying the risk of microdestruction of pressurized structure was verified. The study showed that the rate of microdestruction is highly affected by level of ultrasound vibrations caused by onboard equipment. The ultrasound measurements in 200 RS ISS sites were performed within the BAR experiment. The method consists of looking for surfaces with atmospheric condensate in the areas of increased levels of ultrasound vibrations. Twenty six sites were added to the nomenclature of potentially risky sites to be monitored on the regular basis. Some of these sites were contaminated by fungi and bacteria.
Research Containing: Spacecraft
New space missions, such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Darwin programs, call for the use of spacecraft which maintain precise formation to achieve the effective aperture of a much larger spacecraft. Achieving this requires the development of several new space technologies. The SPHERES program was specifically designed to develop a wide range of algorithms in support of formation flight systems. Specifically, SPHERES allows the incremental development of metrology, control, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and communications algorithms. To achieve this, SPHERES exhibits a wide array of features to 1) facilitate the iterative research process, 2) support experiments, 3)support multiple scientists, and 4) enable reconfiguration and modularity. The effectiveness of these aspects of the facility have been demonstrated by several programs including development of system identification routines, coarse formation flight control algorithms, and demonstration of tethered systems.
A circumferentially microgrooved capillary evaporator is here proposed as a reliable alternative for ground and spacecraft thermal control system applications. In this paper, experimental results concerning the start-up and thermal behavior of a capillary evaporator at steady state operation are presented. A capillary pumped loop was developed and tested at ground and microgravity conditions, using deionized water as the working fluid. The capillary evaporator has internally machined circumferential grooves with an average opening of 33 μm opening at 215 μm step into a 19.05 mm (3/4 in) diameter aluminum tube. The corresponding capillary pumping pressure is about 1.5 kPa. In both tests, power inputs up to 10 W (4.55 kW/m2) were successfully applied to the external surface of the evaporator, showing good performance under ground and microgravity conditions. The capillary evaporator as proposed proved to be a reliable alternative for industrial and space applications.
Experimental investigation of the modes of operation of uncontrolled attitude motion of the Progress spacecraft
Results of in-flight tests of three modes of uncontrolled attitude motion of the Progress spacecraft are described. These proposed modes of experiments related to microgravity are as follows: (1) triaxial gravitational orientation, (2) gravitational orientation of the rotating satellite, and (3) spin-up in the plane of the orbit around the axis of the maximum moment of inertia. The tests were carried out from May 24 to June 1, 2004 onboard the spacecraft Progress M1-11. The actual motion of this spacecraft with respect to its center of mass, in the above-mentioned modes, was determined by telemetric information about an electric current tapped off from solar batteries. The values of the current obtained during a time interval of several hours were processed jointly using the least squares method by integration of the equations of the spacecraft’s attitude motion. The processing resulted in estimation of the initial conditions of motion and of the parameters of mathematical models used. For the obtained motions the quasi-static component of microaccelerations was computed at a point onboard, where installation of experimental equipment is possible.
A sequence of planned experiments "Plasma-Progress" during September 19-24, 2007 were performed to obtain data on the ionospheric effects of the exhaust products. Engines of Progress spacecraft were running in different directions relatively to Irkutsk Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR), and only a few kilograms of fuel were used in each day of experiment. These experiments produced a local ionization depletion area in the vicinity of Irkutsk ISR. As a result, the estimations of absolute plasma density depletions of 12% to 40% were defined for different spacecraft flights and also 10-20 minutes ionosphere relaxation time was found.
Results of neutron dose measurements inside and outside International Space Station are presented. Measurements outside module «Zvezda» were conducted with Board Neutron Telescope (BTN) from 2007 to 2010. The telescope consists of three 3He counters and organic scintillator crystal (stylbene). BTN performs to work within the range of 0.1eV –10MeV. Measurements inside module «Zvezda» were conducted with so called Bubble Detectors in the same energy interval. Comparison of results is presented.
Measurements of the neutron dose and energy spectrum on the International Space Station during expeditions ISS-16 to ISS-21
As part of the international Matroshka-R and Radi-N experiments, bubble detectors have been used on board the ISS in order to characterise the neutron dose and the energy spectrum of neutrons. Experiments using bubble dosemeters inside a tissue-equivalent phantom were performed during the ISS-16, ISS-18 and ISS-19 expeditions. During the ISS-20 and ISS-21 missions, the bubble dosemeters were supplemented by a bubble-detector spectrometer, a set of six detectors that was used to determine the neutron energy spectrum at various locations inside the ISS. The temperature-compensated spectrometer set used is the first to be developed specifically for space applications and its development is described in this paper. Results of the dose measurements indicate that the dose received at two different depths inside the phantom is not significantly different, suggesting that bubble detectors worn by a person provide an accurate reading of the dose received inside the body. The energy spectra measured using the spectrometer are in good agreement with previous measurements and do not show a strong dependence on the precise location inside the station. To aid the understanding of the bubble-detector response to charged particles in the space environment, calculations have been performed using a Monte-Carlo code, together with data collected on the ISS. These calculations indicate that charged particles contribute <2% to the bubble count on the ISS, and can therefore be considered as negligible for bubble-detector measurements in space.
This paper serves as a first presentation of quantitative data reduced from the Capillary Flow Contact Line Experiments recently completed aboard the International Space Station during Expeditions 9-16, 8/2004-11/2007. The simple fluid interface experiments probe the uncertain impact of the boundary condition at the contact line—the region where liquid, gas, and solid meet. This region controls perhaps the most significant static and dynamic characteristics of the large length scale capillary phenomena critical to most multiphase fluids management systems aboard spacecraft. Differences in fluid behavior of nearly identical static interfaces to nearly identical perturbations are attributed primarily to differences in fluid physics in the vicinity of the contact line. Free and pinned contact lines, large and small contact angles, and linear and nonlinear perturbations are tested for a variety of perturba- tion types (i.e. axial, slosh, and other modes) to right circular cylinders. The video and digi- tized datasets are to be made publicly available for model benchmarking. In parallel with the experimental effort, blind numerical predictions of the dynamic interface response to the experimentally applied input perturbations are offered as a demonstration of current capa- bilities to predict such phenomena. The agreement and lack of agreement between the experiments and numerics is our best guide to improve and/or verify current analytical methods to predict such phenomena critical to spacecraft fluid systems design.
Dynamic Fluid Interface Experiments Aboard the International Space Station: Model Benchmarking Dataset
This paper introduces a video database reduced from the handheld capillary flow contact line experiments completed aboard the International Space Station during expeditions 9-16, August 2004-November 2007. The simple fluid interface experiments quantify the uncertain impact of the boundary condition at the contact line: the region where liquid, gas, and solid meet. This region controls many significant static and dynamic characteristics of the large length scale capillary phenomena critical to multiphase fluids management systems aboard spacecraft. Difference in fluid behavior of nearly identical static interfaces to nearly identical perturbations are attributed primarily to difference in fluid physics in the vicinity of the contact line. Free and pinned contact lines, large and small contact angles, and linear and nonlinear perturbations are tested for several manually imparted perturbation types (i.e. axial slosh and other modes) to right circular cylinders. The video and sample digitized datasets are made publically available for model benchmarking. As a demonstration of the utility of the database, and in parallel with the experiment effort, blind numerical predication of the dynamic interface response to the experimentally applied input perturbation are offered as an example of current capabilities to predict such phenomena. The agreement and lack of agreement between the experiment and numeric is a guide to improve or verify current analytical methods to predict such phenomena critical to practical spacecraft fluid systems design.
The ability to separate liquid and gas phases in the absence of a gravitational acceleration has proven a challenge to engineers since the inception of space exploration. Due to our singular experience with terrestrial systems, artificial body forces are often imparted in multiphase fluid systems aboard spacecraft to reproduce the buoyancy effect. This approach tends to be inefficient, adding complexity, resources, and failure modes. Ever present in multiphase phenomena, the forces of surface tension can be exploited to aid passive phase separations where performance characteristics are determined solely by geometric design and system wettability. Said systems may be readily designed as demonstrated herein where a regulated bubbly flow is drawn through an open triangular sectioned duct. The bubbles passively migrate toward the free surface where they coalesce and leave the flow. The tests clearly show container aspect ratios required for passive phase separations for various liquid and gas flow rates. Preliminary data are presented as regime maps demarking complete phase separation. Long duration microgravity experiments are performed aboard the International Space Station. Supplementary experiments are conducted using a drop tower.