AEROSPACE TEAM ONLINE
ATO #114 - July 21, 2000
Beat the Heat: Thermal Protection Chats! We will be chatting and with researchers from the Space Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. I think you will find this fascinating and a worthwhile topic. This will introduce you to the topic of materials for thermal protection and the use of computer models for predicting the heat generated by vehicles entering different planetary atmospheres. This is a very important topic for those of you who plan to travel in space in the near future. Tuesday, July 25, 2000, 1:00 - 2:00 PM Pacific Aerospace Team Online QuestChat with Grant Palmer When an aerospace vehicle like the Space Shuttle returns to Earth from space, the friction caused by the air rushing past the surface of the vehicle causes it to heat up. Grant Palmer writes computer programs that predict how hot these vehicle surfaces will get. Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/palmer.html Tuesday, August 8, 2000, 10 - 11 AM Pacific Aerospace Team Online QuestChat with Chuck Cornelison Chuck Cornelison, Ballistics Range Manager Learn all about it! Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/cornelison.html
NEW PROJECTS FOR FALL
Virtual Skies is an air traffic management project for students and teachers in Grades 9-12. It will be a "project based learning activity" with hands on multimedia to enhance student decision making and problem solving skills. Topics to be covered include Aviation Navigation, Aviation Weather, Communication Air Traffic Management, Airport Design, and Air Traffic Research. Materials will be tied to the National Standards in Mathematics, Science, Technology, Geography and Language Arts. Stay tuned for more news as we crank up over the summer! Planetary Flight is an aerospace project for Grades 4-8. (more reason to attend summer chats). We know how to fly on Earth but what will it take to fly on Mars. This will be an inquiry based learning project to design an airplane to fly on Mars. The stuff dreams are made of!! We will also be keeping you posted on this one this summer.
[Editor's Note: Many of you know Grant Palmer a long time member of ATO. He writes computer programs that predict how hot the vehicle surface will get. Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/palmer.html ]
PREDICTING TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE
by Grant Palmer
June 26, 2000 The Reacting Flow Environments Branch (ASA) and the Thermal Protection Branch (ASM) are both in the Space Technology Division (AS). ASA is primarily involved with developing and applying analysis tools to compute the environments around aerospace vehicles, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), engineering tools, and so on. We also have an experimental program that mostly works to provide experimental data to validate the computational tools. ASM is primarily involved in the testing and design of thermal protection system (TPS) materials. They also do some material development work. The way we usually work together on a project is that ASA provides the environments a spacecraft will experience to the TPS designers over in ASM. The ASM people use our data to evaluate their design. We generally compute the environments from the surface of the vehicle outwards. They take our results as a boundary condition and compute the thermal environment from the surface of the material inward. Here is a real-life example of ASA and ASM working together: NASA Ames was given the task of designing the thermal protection system for the nose cap and wing leading edge for the X-34 vehicle. The X-34 is a space plane that will demonstrate future technologies. The TSP designers in ASM wanted to use a material called SIRCA, which had never been used on this type of vehicle. Therefore, they needed to perform a lot of analysis beforehand to determine if it was going to be strong enough and temperature resistant enough to do the job. The engineers in ASA computed surface temperature, pressure, and heat transfer rate at key points along the trajectory the vehicle would fly. The ASM designers used this data to perform an in-depth thermal and stress analysis of the TPS material to confirm their design.