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ADTO # 77 - September 10, 1999

PART 1: Upcoming Chats!
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: Instrumentation During the Test


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.

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.

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.

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.

- - - - - - -

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 ]


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.

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