ADTO # 77 - September 10, 1999
QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration is at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Tuesday, September 14, 1999, 12 PM Pacific Daylight Time: Dan Cooper, instrumentation technician Dan has many responsibilities in the twelve-foot pressure wind tunnel. He manufactures cables and test equipment, and connnects various control lines. With the help of a special pressure measuring system, he also monitors the pressure of the lines and electrical connections. Additionally, Dan helps assemble wind tunnel test models, and ensures all control lines. With the help of a special pressure measuring system, he also monitors the pressure of the lines and electrical connections. Additionally, Dan helps assemble wind tunnel test models, and ensures all test equipment is prepared properly for use in the wind tunnel. Read Dan Cooper's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/cooper.html Wednesday, September 22, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Bob Griffiths, aerodynamics engineer Bob uses computers to design new flaps and wings for airplanes. He also conducts research about how airplanes fly at low speeds, like when they are landing and taking off. He sends his designs to model builders, who create wind tunnel test models for his research. Additionally, Bob works with high-speed [civil transport] researchers who design special wings for cruising at high speeds, and noise researchers who try to minimize the noise impact of these planes. Read Bob Griffiths' profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/griffiths.html Thursday, September 23, 1999, 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Ken Schrock, radio frequency engineer Ken has had many different types of jobs as an engineer. For this reason, he sometimes refers to himself as a "kitchen sink engineer," playing on the famous saying ". . . everything but the kitchen sink!" Today, Ken works as a radio frequency engineer, designing equipment to help launch vehicles and space craft navigate. But he has also worked as a technical writer (writing flight manuals), a flight test engineer, an instrumentation engineer, a telemetry engineer, and a data communications engineer. Whew! There is plenty to learn about Ken's diverse career history. Read Ken Schrock's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/schrock.html Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Mina Cappuccio, aerospace engineer Mina Cappuccio, aerospace engineer Mina works in the area of propulsion airframe integration (PAI), which is the science of installing propulsion systems or engines on airplanes. She is part of a team that is involved in the NASA High Speed Research (HSR) program. The program is part of an effort to develop the technology needed to design and build a commercial high speed civil transport (HSCT). HSCT aircraft would then be able to transport people 2 to 3 times faster than airplanes we fly on today, such as 747s. Read Mina Cappuccio's profile prior to joining this chat. Registration for this chat will begin on September 14.
Starting in July we began to get biographies and journals from the people at NASA and Boeing working on the last test of the airliner of the future. These are online and in the fall we will have a series of chats with the people working on this test. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/hsct.html - - - - - - - This summer we followed the repairs to the fans in the 40 x 80 wind tunnel and the de-icing test this summer. We are working up some special problem solving activities on these. Stay posted. - - - - - - - Congratulations to the Winners of the Summer Skies Contest!! Grades 4-8: Jessica Soucy, 1st Sandeep Chavda, 2nd Riya Jhaveri, 3rd Grades 9-12: Kang Kang Lin, 1st
[Editor's Note: Dan Cooper has been the instrumentation technician on the High Speed Civil Transport Test. In other words he's been very busy from installing the instruments to monitoring the data. Read his profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/cooper.html ]
INSTRUMENTATION DURING THE TEST
By Dan Cooper
August 4, 1999 During this test I have been coming in early to perform some pre-operational tests to ensure that the system is working as advertised and to make certain that there are no discrepancies. By doing systems check before we start testing I can prevent the expense of "down-time" and expedite repairs before the running crew begins the run schedule or pressurizes the tunnel and starts to collect the data. So far on this test we have had very few problems. While the test is actually proceeding I monitor and set pressures for different altitudes, and during model changes I am often called upon to help the model mechanics assemble different parts of the model. Occasionally, we have to go in and change the configurations. We have had to do this on this test; in this case the researchers came to me and asked about the cavity pressures. Somehow the cavity pressures had been installed on the wrong ports for this test so that the transducer within the module couldn't read them. I went out to the model and made sure I had followed all the procedures correctly. Then I found the tubes, which were supposed to be monitoring a pressure, and applied a vacuum gun to it, and waited to see if the port showed up as a negative pressure on the data system from a monitor in the control room. All of the instruments had been calibrated for this test at a neutral position which we call "zero to reference." We didn't see a negative pressure so we knew that the cavity pressure tubes were assigned to the wrong ports. I discussed this with the test manager and we agreed that the quickest solution was to hard-wire the tubes directly outside of the quick disconnect which saved several hours of repair time until a more convenient time for a proper repair would become available. The repair took 15 minutes, and then the cavity pressures were being read correctly. You have to do the best repair you can in the time allowed. You have to be flexible. The test manager and the researchers are looking at the big picture of costs and tunnel availability, so they often make the decisions about how and when in-depth repairs can be made. Sometimes I am the person who discovers a problem. For example, say a port pressure is not reading properly on the model. We try to keep the pressures within a certain range by monitoring how close our measurements are to the actual static pressures. This is done by making adjustments to the pressure system based on the angle of attack which can change the pressures on the model. When a problem port has been identified we can also make a quick correction to the system via data inputting so we won't always stop the data collection to correct the problem until the next model change.