Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UB Engineer Creates Software to Detect and Find Leaks in International Space Station

03.09.2003


NASA will use software upon completion of space station



A new software system designed by a University at Buffalo aerospace engineer will help NASA detect and find air leaks in the International Space Station.
The software will be installed in NASA’s mission control when the manned space station is expanded from its current eight-module configuration to its final 15-module configuration, according to John L. Crassidis, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Crassidis developed the software with UB aerospace engineering graduate student Jong-Woo Kim and Adam L. Dershowitz, an engineer with United Space Alliance. Their work was funded by a $158,000 grant from NASA.



The software can determine in which module a leak has occurred and, in some cases, can pinpoint exactly where a leak is located in the module. The software also can calculate the size of the hole that caused the leakage of pressurized air from the module.

Currently, the protocol for finding a leak within the space station involves the time-consuming process of sequentially closing off each module to determine which one is the source of a leak. After a module is closed off, a change in space-station air pressure indicates whether the module was the source of the leak.

The software developed by Crassidis and team continuously monitors the space station for leaks and in less than a minute can plot possible leak locations on a diagram of the space station. In some cases, the software can show the exact location of a leak within a module, in others it will suggest two or three possible locations.

"The idea is to localize the leak," Crassidis says. "It’s a time saver for the astronauts and is a life saver, in a sense, because time is crucial when you’re dealing with a leak."

When a leak occurs, the software system detects a disturbance in the spacecraft’s behavior. The software correlates the effects of this behavior with the geometric structure of the space station. This comparison results in predictions for leak location and the size of the hole causing the leak.

"Other disturbances are always present, such as drag and solar wind," Crassidis explains. "We’ve developed very detailed models of these other disturbances, which are used to separate out these effects from the leak, thus isolating the leak disturbance."

The software can locate holes with a diameter of .4 inches and smaller, according to Crassidis. Such holes can be caused by particles of space debris traveling up to speeds of 17,000 mph. NASA tracks from the ground space debris greater than .5 inches and can direct the space station to maneuver away from incoming debris. The space station also is equipped with a shield designed to catch debris and micrometeoroids.

Crassidis’s software is intended as a backup to those systems. It also can detect leaks caused by in-space collisions, as occurred when an unmanned cargo ship collided with Russian Space Station Mir in 1997.

"NASA spends a lot of time and money making sure nothing hits the space station," Crassidis says. "This software will be part of a contingency plan if the wall of a module were to be punctured."

NASA had planned to finish the space station in 2004, but completion has been pushed back to 2008 as a result of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster and the investigation into the cause of the tragedy.

When the space station is completed, an international crew of up to seven will live and work in space between three and six months, according to NASA. Crew return vehicles always will be attached to the space station to ensure the safe return of all crewmembers in the event of an emergency.

John Della Contrada | University at Buffalo
Further information:
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-execute.cgi/article-page.html?article=63700009

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions
24.05.2017 | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin

nachricht World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>