UPDATE #9 - January 30, 1998
PART 1: Brent Wellman - On Creating Lift
BRENT WELLMAN, ON CREATING LIFT
On Thursday, February 5, 1998 at 9-10:30 AM Pacific We are planning a live event with Brent Wellman. There will be real media (streaming video and audio) over the Internet and Brent will demonstrate some discrepant events about generating lift with odd shaped airfoils. These tricks can be easily duplicated in your classroom!This broadcast will last 45 minutes and be followed by a Web chat. For information on how to attend and how to prepare, and what supplies will be used go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/test1.html
In the Teachers' Lounge, http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/teachers/ you will find a link to Learning Resources. This is where we have hidden some fun lesson plans and activities. They are arranged by topic and grade level. Each section begins with some introductory material. A simple and a more complex activity follow. Next you'll find a science challenge experiment for further study, and some assessment questions.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH CHATS
During the month of February the Quest Project will celebrate Black History Month. Most of the Sharing NASA projects will feature a web chat with Black scientists and engineers that contribute their work to the missions and goals of NASA. This includes a Women of the World chat with the esteemed Ruth Simmons, President of Smith College. Assuming the presidency in 1995, Simmons became the first African-American women to head a top-ranked college or university in the United States. I hope you will join these chats with your classrooms. These people are very inspiring. For more information visit http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/special/mlk/
[Editor's Note: Fanny is the Project Manager for an upcoming test of a future supersonic airliner. She has written several journals about the preparations for this test. See them online with pictures at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/test.html ]
IN THE PREP ROOM - FINAL TEST PREPARATIONS
January 21, 1998 Well, things are really hopping on this test! Where it used to be me and a few other people, now that we are preparing our model there are at least 50 people working to get this test ready for next week. This week we solved our electrical problem with the balance, checkloaded the balance, mounted our model Supersonic Transport on the balance, assembled all of the little pieces that make up the wing flaps, and installed our pressure instrumentation. WHEW! We are checkloading the balance to make sure our electronics and software are working and "talking" to the balance properly. We checkloaded it up to 3000 pounds and confirmed our balance is very accurate. It was only off by 1/4 pound out of 3000!. Imagine they put 12000 pounds on during calibration. By the way, you can tell things are getting busy by how many people are in our prep room! Most of them are studying the signals from the balance. The model, finally in the prep room, has been attached to the balance, which in turn is attached to the support posts. The calibration block has been removed, so you can finally see the balance (its the cylinder in the middle of the model body). The balance is the most important instrument in this test. Also this week, mechanics are checking that all the wing parts we plan to test actually fit onto the model. Every part has been attached and removed at least once. I mentioned some time ago that we have special instruments to measure air pressures on the surface of the wings. Now that it is all installed, I can tell you more about it. Since it is air pressure that generates the loads (or forces) on our model, measuring the pressures help give us a good idea what features in the airflow are responsible for good or bad performance of our wings and flaps. If this all works as planned, we can actually get maps of pressures on the wing like a weather map of pressures on the Earth. First, the model came to us with hundreds (405 to be exact) of tiny holes on the top and bottom surface of the wings. They are covered with clear tape to keep dirt from clogging it up. Next, these holes are connected to flexible metal tubing which runs inside the wing and comes out into the body of the model. Finally, the tubes are bundled together and brought to the nose of the airplane where we have put seven "pressure modules," each of which can read the pressure in 64 tubes. All of these modules are calibrated in a laboratory, just like we calibrated our balance. In this case, instead of weight, a known amount of air pressure is applied to each pressure sensor to measure its voltage output. All we have to do in the prep room is make sure we've connected them correctly (each hole on the wing is numbered, as is each tube) to the pressure modules that do the actual measuring. We also have to make sure each line has no leaks. That's a lot of work! As you can tell, there's a lot going on, but everyone is getting excited about starting the test. And every member of the team knows we are working to a deadline. Our fully checked out model has to go in the tunnel next week!
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