2000 Undergraduate Space Research Participation (USRP) Program PROJECT ABSTRACTS

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2000 Undergraduate Space Research Participation (USRP) Program


PROJECT ABSTRACTS



Project No. :
USRP/2000/01


Mentor:

Dr. Ruey
-
Hung Chen, University of Central Florida, Dept. of

Mechanical,
Materials and Aerospace Engineering


Title:

Shock Structure of Small
-
Scale Underexpanded Supersonic Jets for Small Satellites


Project Abstract :


Small satellites are
gaining popularity for space applications. The primary reasons are,
among others, (1) they are lightweight, (2) the cost of launching is low, and (3) a larger
system may be compartmentalized and installed on many smaller satellites to avoid a total
shutdo
wn due to damage or error in a small portion of it. Certainly, the recent progress and
development of miniaturized electromechanical devices and systems enable such concepts
and their realization.


For the attitude and altitude control of small satellites
, small
-
scale nozzles would be
appropriate because thrust for maneuvering these satellites should be small. Although
theories and experiments have led to many useful results that allow scaling for nozzles of
various sizes. It is not clear how the scaling

can be applied to nozzles having an exit
diameter on the order of 0.1 millimeters.


The student participant will fabricate nozzles with exit diameters of about 0.1 mm. Schlieren
flow visualization will follow the completion of the fabrication of the nozz
le. When time
permits, flows into vacuum would be studied to obtained data under conditions similar to
those in outer space.

Project No. :
USRP/2000/02


Mentor:

Dr. Ruey
-
Hung Chen, University of Central Florida, Dept. of

Mechanical,
Mater
ials and Aerospace Engineering


Title:

Unsteady Combustion under Conditions Similar to Those in Gas Turbine


or Rocket Combustion Chambers


Project Abstract:


Real flames under conditions similar to those found in gas turbine or rocket combustion
chambers are embedded in turbulent flow environments. As the intensities of turbulence in
these propulsion devices are normally high, the flow time scales are short.
When the flow
time scale is on the same order of magnitude as the chemical reaction time scale, strong
interaction exists between the flow turbulence and chemical reaction. For example, some
reactants may not have sufficiently long residence time to compl
ete reaction and to release
heat for the purpose of propulsion. Furthermore, radical species may leave the combustion
chamber without giving out their energy content, as thermochemical equilibrium would
allow. These phenomena result in waste of the energ
y stored in the fuel and propellants.


It is important to reduce the above
-
mentioned incomplete combustion so as to increase
propulsion efficiencies. First of all, it is important to understand how the flow turbulence
affects flame characteristics. One i
mportant feature of turbulence is flow unsteadiness. In
this study, the flow unsteadiness will be artificially imposed on laminar flame jets. Such a
flow configuration is the first step toward understanding more complicated turbulent flames.
The effect
of unsteadiness on the flame would be measured by measuring the emission of the
oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which is responsible for the ozone depletion in the stratosphere. As
the flame deviates from thermochemical equilibrium, the emission level of NOx wou
ld
change, thus giving an indication of how effective the interaction between the flow and the
chemistry.


A flame apparatus has been fabricated in our laboratory. The student participant would be
responsible to construct a flow pulsating device (using a
microphone) and conduct the
measurement of flame temperature and NOx emission level.

Project No. :
USRP/2000/03


Mentor:

Dr. Larry Chew, University of Central Florida, Dept. of

Mechanical, Materials
and Aerospace Engineering


Title:

Effect
s of Catalyst on a RWGS Reactor


Project Abstract:


The cost of a mission to Mars could be reduced by 90% if the return propellant is produced in
Mars as opposed to the traditional method where fuel for the return tri
p is brought to Mars. In
situ propellant production (ISPP) on Mars is an approach for converting Martian atmosphere
into propellants for lift
-
off, thus reducing the load of propellants that must be brought from
Earth for a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission.

One such method of ISPP is known as
Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS). In this reaction, Hydrogen brought form earth is reacted
with carbon dioxide (Martian atmosphere) to produce water and carbon monoxide.


H
2

+ CO2 = H
2
0 + CO


Use of this or any of the o
ther ISPP methods will significantly reduce the cost of a MSR
mission. However, these methods also add weight and therefore a cost of their own to the
mission. To produce enough propellant for an unmanned MSR mission, a RWGS system
would have a mass of 1
8 kg. A manned mission would require more propellant and therefore
a heavier RWGS system. If RWGS could be made more efficient in that the propellant to
system mass ratio is increased, the cost due to weight can be reduced. The objective of this
researc
h is to increase the efficiency of the chemical reactor used in the RWGS through
miniaturization.


The RWGS reaction takes place on the surface of a catalyst. The catalyst provides a
favorable direction for the reaction to take place as this reaction is a

reversible one. IN
additi0on, it also increases the reaction rates. The reaction rates are dependent on the
catalyst. This study will investigate the various catalyst such as paladium, copper on
alumina, ruthinium to find the catalyst that provides the
highest reaction rates. In addition,
we will investigate the effects of the producing and coating of the catalyst on reaction rates.
The catalysts are obtained in powder form. We will study the effects of coating the reactor
surface, using in a powder f
orm, or coating it on steel balls and placing it in the reactor. Of
course, the goal is to maximize surface area.



Experiments will be conducted in which hydrogen will be reacted with carbon dioxide to
produce water and carbon monoxide. The conversion r
ate of this reaction will be measure
with varying reactor surface area/volume ratios to find a parametric relationship between
sa/vol ratio to reaction rates.


An undergraduate student is needed to design and build several reactor channels and to
conduct t
he experiment. We hope to obtain a scaling relationship of reactor size to
conversion rates.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/04


Mentor:

Dr. Larry Chew, University of Central Florida, Dept. of

Mechanical, Materials
and Aerospace Engineering


Title:

Miniaturization of the RWGS Reactor


Project Abstract:


The cost of a mission to Mars could be reduced by 90% if the return propellant is produced
on Mars as opposed to the traditional method where fuel for the return trip is brought to
mars. In si
tu propellant production (ISPP) on Mars is an approach for converting Martian
atmosphere into propellants for lift
-
off, thus reducing the load of propellants that must be
brought from Earth for a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. One such method of ISPP i
s
known as Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS). Use of this or any of the other ISPP methods will
significantly reduce the cost of a MSR mission. However, these methods also add weight and
therefore a cost of their own to the mission. To produce enough prope
llant for an unmanned
MSR mission, a RWGS system would have a mass of 18 kg. A manned mission would require
more propellant and therefore a heavier RWGS system. If RWGS could be made more
efficient in that the propellant to system mass ratio is increased
, the cost due to weight can
be reduced. The objective of this research is to increase the efficiency of the chemical
reactor used in the RWGS through miniaturization.


The RWGS reaction takes place on the surface of a catalyst. The greater the surface a
rea
the greater the likelihood of the reaction taking place. Miniaturization allows for a large
surface area within a small volume. Take for example a channel that is 2 mm wide, 2mm
deep and 10 mm long. The surface area of this channel is 80 mm
2
. If thi
s channel was now
divided along its center so that two channels 1mm wide, 2mm deep and 10 mm long exist, the
surface area is 120 mm
2
. Note that the volume remained the same, but the surface area
increased by 50%. Microfabrication technology allows for the

channels to have widths in the
microns creating very large surface areas per unit volume. A heavy chemical reactor can be
replaced with a much lighter microfabricated reactor of the same surface area. This would
increase the efficiency by reducing the ma
ss. A microfabricated reactor can also replace a
conventional reactor of the same volume. The microfabricated reactor would have a much
greater surface area and based on the assumption that greater surface area will increase
production yields, the effici
ency would be increased. The scope of this research is to
determine if there is some optimal surface area per a given flow rate where further increase
does not augment the yield or to at least find some scaling law. The effect of channel
geometry (aspect

ratio) and temperature on yield will also be investigated.



Experiments will be conducted in which hydrogen will be reacted with carbon dioxide to
produce water and carbon monoxide. The conversion rate of this reaction will be measure
with varying react
or surface Area/volume ratios to find a parametric relationship between
sa/vol ratio to reaction rates.


An undergraduate student is needed to design and build several reactor channels and to
conduct the experiment. We hope to obtain a scaling relationsh
ip of reactor size to
conversion rates.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/05


Mentor:

Dr. Norman Fitz
-
Coy, University of Florida


Dept. of Aerospace Engineering,
Mechanics & Engineering Science

Title:

A Combined Attitude and Altitude Determination Scheme for

a Mars Microlander Using


3 Microwave Sensors


Project Abstract:



Project Impact

: The proposed project will benefit ongoing activities in the AeMES
department at the University of Florida. NASA’s New Millennium Initiative of “
smaller,
cheaper, faster” spacecraft has resulted in a deluge of micro
-
satellite related investigations.
The AeMES department at UF has being conducting a feasibility study on the use of
Microlanders (vehicles less than 10 kg in mass) to place scientific p
ayloads on Mars is being
conducted by. This study has identified that COTS microwave sensors could be used to
determine the attitude and altitude of the Microlander. The purpose of this project is to
further investigate the use of microwave sensors in the
attitude and altitude determination of
a Mars Microlander.


Project Description
: The use of COTS microwave sensors has been identified as a potential
cost saving endeavor in the development of Mars Microlander vehicles. This research effort
involves the development and implementation of an algorithm for determining the attitude
and
altitude of a Mars Microlander vehicle. The project will use three commercially available
microwave sensors and involves three major tasks: (1) sensor calibration, (2) algorithm
development and simulated testing using Matlab/SIMULINK, and (3) hardware
impl
ementation and testing of the algorithm.


Project Requirements
: The student is expected to have some working knowledge of Matlab
and C programming language. Knowledge of LabView would be advantageous, but is not
mandatory.



Project No. :
USRP/2000/06


Me
ntor:

Chan H. Ham, University of Central Florida


Dept. of of Mechanical, Material &
Aerospace Engg.


Title:

Study of Micro
-
tube Hydrazine Flow Tests

Project Abstract:

The object of the test is to determine if the residual volume (dribble volume) of hy
drazine that
is left in the microtube after each valve closure leaves behind enough NVR to clog the 85
micron diameter microtube over 300,000 cycles at operating temperatures from 80 to 120
degrees C. Or to state this in a positive manner, the object of t
he test is to determine if the
microtube can survive 300,000 cycles without clogging. Apart from the quantity of NVR that
exists even in high purity hydrazine, hydrazine will react with and dissolve the metals of the
reservoir, tubing, valve, etc. These
dissolved metals can also be deposited as NVR. These
NVRs have the potential to plug the tube and lower the performance of the thruster or even
render it useless. The largest internal surface area of the test setup is the hydrazine
reservoir. A glass res
ervoir is being considered to eliminate the dissolved metal contribution
of the reservoir. It has also been observed that hydrazine will react with air to form salts.
This is not a problem in the space environment, however precautions must be taken in the

test setup and handling of the hardware to preclude any exposure to air when there is ANY,
even very small residual amounts of, hydrazine in the hardware.


This work is in support of a micro
-
thruster, also known as hydrazine milli
-
newton thruster
(HmNT) r
esearch project currently on
-
going at JPL.

This project could lead to other micro
-
thruster tests including building and testing a catalyst
bed (mono
-
propellant thruster). MilliNewton class thrusters are currently needed on a wide
variety of spacecraft. O
n large vehicles they can be used for for precision pointing, and to
reduce fuel used for attitude control (e.g. maintenance of a pointing deadband). On small to
microspacecraft (75 kg. and under) these thrusters are enabling technology for basic
attitude

control. Cold gas systems are the only current option for microspacecraft, but are
prone to leakage problems. Also, the mass of a cold gas system, particularly once the
leakage mitigation features are incorporated, becomes a burden. For pointing or atti
tude
control reaction wheels can only be used for rotational motion, but not translational motion.
Wheels are also heavy and consume relatively large amounts of electrical power, which is
another precious resource on microspacecraft.


During a 10
-
week Sum
mer period, undergraduate students build their technical background
in the milli
-
newton thruster and do research the test set
-
ups and the test procedures. It is
also anticipated that successful completion of this study will be followed by an actual micro
-
t
hruster test.

Project No. :
USRP/2000/07


Mentor:

Kuo
-
Chi Lin, University of Central Florida



Dept. of Mechanical, Material & Aerospace Engg.

Title:

Data Mining of Solid Rocket Boosters Corrosion Pitting Data Using WWW


Project Abstract:



The two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) that propel the Space Shuttle into orbit are retrieved
after dropping into the ocean. The technicians then inspect the surfaces of SRB for
corrosion pittings. The data are logged by hands and sent to the engineers to
analyze to see
whether the SRBs are still usable. The data are then filed into the archives. During the past
15 years of the Space Shuttle missions, there are a lot data accumulated in the form of paper
log. Valuable information are buried in the paperw
ork which is difficult to retrieve.


The research proposed in this proposal is a continuation of the works in the past three years'
Undergraduate Space Research Participation (USRP) program and Academic Year
Undergraduate Program (AYUP). In the previous p
rograms, we have converted some of
those data into the electronic form for statistical analysis. The NASA contractor, USBI
Company, which is in charge of the service several sections of the SRBs, has provided the
data logs. In this program the undergradu
ate student working for this project has made the
data input to a computer automatic. The data logs USBI keeps are in other format such as
Excel spread sheets. The undergraduate student has developed a software program to
convert them to the form that we

can conduct the statistical analysis more easily. He will
continue to put the data on a World Wide Web (WWW) page. The page will be password
-
protected. Only the authorized personnel can access to it. This product will be very useful
to the designer, m
anufacturer, and the service company of the SRBs.


The undergraduate student who will work in this project should be a junior or senior major in
Engineering or Science. The period of the project will be from May 1, 2000 to April 30, 2001.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/08


Mentor:

Dr. James Mantovani, Florida Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics and
Space Sciences

Title:

Electrostatic Properties of Extra
-
terrestrial Dust Simulants


Project Abstract:


This space science research project wil
l be conducted at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. It
is expected to involve investigations of the electrostatic properties of dust particulates under
conditions simulating extra
-
terrestrial environments, such as that found on the Martian
surface. The research

will also investigate the interaction of dust particles with the surfaces
of materials likely to be used in equipment sent on space missions to Mars or the Moon. The
goal of the research is to assist NASA in determining the ability of a material to withst
and the
potentially hazardous environments found on the Martian and lunar surfaces.




Project No. :
USRP/2000/09


Mentor:
Dr. Francisco J. Reyes, University of Florida


Dept. of Astronomy



Title:

Live and Archived Data on the Internet from Observa
tions of the Low Frequency Radio


Emission of Jupiter and the Sun using a Remotely Controlled Radio Telescope


Project Abstract:


The University of Florida Radio Observatory (UFRO) has been observing the Jovian
decametric radio emission for the
last 43 years. The observations began two years after the
discovery of the radio emission in 1955 and have continued with no interruption up to the
present. The main purpose of observing and studying the radio emission is to understand the
plasma processes

that take place in the region of the Jovian magnetosphere where the
emission originates and study the physical conditions of the plasma and the surrounding
environment. The Jovian decametric radio emission is the only low frequency planetary radio
emissio
n that can be detected by ground based radio telescopes. The University of Florida in
collaboration with a group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are participating in Radio
Jove, an educational project involving high school and college students in the o
bservation of
the low frequency radio emission of Jupiter and the Sun. One aspect of this project consists
in using a kit for building a receiver and antenna and make observations of the Jovian
decametric emission and the low frequency radio emission from
the Sun. Another part of the
project is to put the UFRO on line in the Internet and provide access ot live and archived data
in the form of plots of intensity of the signal versus time for several frequency channels. An
audio channel containing the sounds
originating in the radio emission will also be made
available. The UFRO is located at about 55 miles west of the UF main campus. Plans are
under way for the construction of a wireless data link between the UF main campus and the
UFRO site. The wireless lin
k will make it possible the remote operation of the radio telescope
and the transmission of live data. Two computers will be used to achieve this task. One
computer will be located at the UFRO site and will perform the data acquisition and control of
the t
elescope. The second computer will be located in the UF main campus in Gainesville; it
will receive the data from UFRO, act as a server to make the data available to the users on
the Internet, and provide the capability of remote control of the telescope.


Once the UFRO On
-
line project is completed, it will make live and archived data accessible to
researchers working in the field and to science teachers and their students.


This is an interesting opportunity for an undergraduate student having a computer
science
or electrical engineering background and knowledge of Java and Visual Basic programming
and some experience in web site development.


The student will have the chance of getting involved in the development of software, the
manipulation of radio ast
ronomical data, and the participation in the educational and
research aspects of Jupiter decametric radio emission.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/10


Mentor:

Dr. R Glenn Sellar, Florida Space Institute

Title:

MultiSpectral Imager for the Terrestrial and Atmospheric MultiSpectral Explorer,


Phase II

Project Abstract:

The Terrestrial and Atmospheric MultiSpectral Explorer (TAMSE) is a Space Shuttle Small
Self
-
Contained Payload (or “Get
-
Away Special”)
project, led by Rolando Branly, consisting of
nine experiments in remote sensing and microgravity science. One of these experiments is
the MultiSpectral Imager (MSI), an innovative imaging spectrometer based on a non
-
scanning Fourier transform spectrometer

designed by Glenn Sellar.


This experiment will be the first spaceborne proof
-
of
-
concept of a new technique for imaging
spectrometry that does not require a narrow slit aperture. The absence of this requirement
for a narrow slit can provide a factor of 10



1000 improvement in radiometric sensitivity over
current techniques for imaging spectrometry.


With $ 3000 in funding from FSGC’s AYUP program, and $ 3000 in matching cash from FSI,
students Patrick Bertiaux and James Richards are nearing completion on
the design of the
experiment. Funding of $ 3200 from FSGC’s USRP program (if awarded), would support one
student full
-
time for 10 weeks to construct, test, and calibrate the experiment, and present a
paper at the FSGC conference. A cash match of $800 from
FSI would be used for travel to
present a paper at the Shuttle Small Payloads Symposium, or a similar conference.


The students’ design for the project consists of a Sagnac interferometer, an imaging lens,
and a low
-
power, high resolution CMOS camera. The
interferometer will be constructed of
commercial
-
off
-
the
-
shelf (COTS) optical components on a custom Invar structure. The
Sagnac will produce an interference pattern projected at infinity, and a commercial 85 mm
focal length camera lens will image this ont
o the camera, superimposed on the image of the
earth’s surface. The motion of the Space Shuttle will scan the image across the interference
pattern, and a Fourier transform will be applied post
-
flight to produce a spatial
-
spectral data
set. The selected ca
mera is Future Image Technology’s ZBROS DC
-
1024 CMOS camera. This
camera can provide selectable resolution up to 1024 x 1024 pixels at 23 frames/s. Windowing
capability allows the camera to run at faster frame rates using a sub
-
window of the array. For
thi
s experiment the camera will nominally be run at 184 frames/s using a 1024 x 128 window,
though other modes may also be tested. The camera requires only 1.5 W of power, and has
an operational temperature range of 0 to 60°C. Control and data recording will
be provided
by the Epson Card
-
PC/486D4, with a solid
-
state hard drive. This commercial single
-
board
-
computer has been tested for thermal, vibration, shock, and radiation exposure by Boeing,
and approved by NASA for use on the international space station.
The Card
-
PC was qualified
in space as a payload experiment on STS?93. This computer will also be made available to
control and record data from the other TAMSE experiments, and may be reused on future
space experiments.


The instrument will be constructed
and calibrated at FSI laboratories at CCAFS. An existing
agreement with KSC will allow the student to test the experiment in KSC’s thermal and
vibration test facilities, with support from KSC technicians.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/11


Mentor:

Dr. Bhavani V
. Sankar, University of Florida

Title:

Finite Element Simulation of Buckling of Sandwich Beams


Project Abstract:


Sandwich construction consists of a light
-
weight core material sandwiched between two thin
but stiff face sheets. Currently aer
ospace companies and NASA are exploring the possibility
of using sandwich plates made of foam or honeycomb cores and graphite/epoxy composite
face sheets. These materials are ultra
-
lightweight with sufficient stiffness and strength for
their intended appli
cation. However, a small area of improper bonding etween the face
sheet and core drastically reduces their properties, and due to the high stress concentration
at the debonded area, the debonding spreads quickly leading to catastrophic failure of the
stru
cture.


In the proposed project finite element analysis will be used to simulate the compression
behavior of debonded sandwich plates. The sandwich plate will be modeled using plate
elements for the face sheets and solid elements for the core. The debondin
g will be
simulated by releasing certain nodes at the face sheet/core interface. A buckling analysis
will be performed to determine the buckling loads and mode shapes. The effects of face
sheet and core properties and the extent of debonding on the bucklin
g load will be studied.


The results from this research will help engineers to design lighter and safer aerospace
structures.


Project No. :
USRP/2000/12


Mentor:

Dr. Bhavani V. Sankar, University of Florida

Title:

Prediction of Disbonds in Sandwich Comp
osites Using Embedded Sensors


Project Abstract:

Currently light weight sandwich panels consisting of graphite/epoxy face sheets and ultra
-
light weight core materials such as honeycomb core, are being proposed to be used in future
aerospace structures such

as the new reusable launch vehicles. Sandwich materials are
very efficient because they have very high stiffness to weight and strength to weight ratios.
However their performance very much depends on the integrity of the bonding between the
face sheets a
nd core. A disbond can occur during manufacturing due to inadvertent
introduction of a foreign material or during service due to severe loads such as foreign
object impact. In either case it is crucial to be able to detect the damage in advance to avoid
ca
tastrophic failure. Manual inspection is not often possible because this type of damage is
internal and may escape visual inspection. Further, once in service manual inspection of
large space structure is impossible.


In this project we propose to use an a
ctive sensor material to detect the damage. A
piezoelectric layer will be embedded in the sandwich beam during curing. A Teflon layer will
be introduced between the face sheet and the core to simulate a disbond. The presence of
damage will be predicted by
measuring the electro
-
mechanical impedance of the sensor
layer over a range of frequencies. The change in the electro
-
mechanical impedance will be
correlated to the extent and position of the disbond.


Results from this study will be useful in designing sa
fer and lighter aerospace structures in
the future.



Project No. :
USRP/2000/13


Mentor:
Dr. L. Vu
-
Quoc, University of Florida


Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics & Engineering Science



Title:

Continued development of a new object
-
oriented finite
-
element code


Project Abstract :


This ambitious, multi
-
year project consists of the development of a completely new finite
element (FE) code in C++ for use in research in the Computational Laboratory for
Electromagnetics and Solid Mechan
ics (CLESM). We propose to continue our development
effort, which involves the contribution of several students.


Even though C may offer certain advantages over Fortran 77, such as dynamic allocation, it
is a lower
-
level language compared to Fortran 77,
which is in general easier to code for
scientific computation. In fact, there are several code written in Fortran 77, with the dynamic
allocation portion written in C. It does not make sense to rewrite in C what already
developed and proved to work in For
tran 77. The best scenario would be a combination of
the best of both worlds.


With the advent of the object
-
oriented language C++, it is now worthwhile to consider the
development of a completely new FE code in C++, but not totally from scratch. The dat
a
management portion and the overall architecture of the code will be in C++, which is known
not to be as efficient as C or Fortran 77. Thus, the computational modules can be in either C
or Fortran 77. Another advantage is that most of these computationa
l modules already exist,
and debugged. It is not a wise use of time to develop or to recode these modules in C++.
Another advantage is the availability of public domain C++ compiler.


We have made progress in mastering the C++ object
-
oriented language, a
nd will continue to
do so. We have developed several C++ classes for vector operations. Despite this progress,
we are still a long way from having a workable C++ FE code. Continued effort in this
development is crucial. We will consider using C++ libra
ries for numerical linear algebra that
are developed by experts in computer science in our development of a C++ FE code, when
possible, to avoid losing time in reinventing the wheel. We will not lose sight of our goal of
developing a C++ FE code.


The stu
dent will be trained to acquire various technical skills that are important for scientific
computation: (i) Use of the Unix system, (ii) Use of web browsers to search for and to
download public domain software, (iii) Computer languages (Fortran 77, C, C++,

Java), (iv)
the FE code FEAP (written in Fortran 77). Some working knowledge of the Unix system, of
Fortran and C languages is required. The student will have the rare opportunity to be
exposed to the finite element method at an early stage of her study
. This ambitious research
program will gradually lead the student well beyond the BS level with a highest
-
honor thesis,
toward graduate study.

Project No. :
USRP/2000/14


Mentor:
Dr. M C Wang, University of Central Florida


Dept. of Stati
stics



Title:

A Data Mining System for Solid Rocket Boosters


Project Abstract :


Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) structures used in space shuttle are aging and accumulating
defects due to use and corrosion. This proposal outlines an innovative data mining sy
stem to
enable more detailed mission risk assessment, reduce maintenance costs, ensure full
utilization of all structures in inventory, and identify potential design deficiencies for
proactive improvement actions. This project enable an undergraduate stude
nt the
opportunity to joint the research team for the project supported by Unite Space Alliance
entitled "A Data mining System for Support of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster
Program". Corrosion also causes serious problems for any aging devices tha
t depend on
metallic framework such as the space orbiter or commercial and military aircraft.
Successful development of this project may be expected to find application in those
programs as well.


System Description :


The proposed data mining system for
corrosion inspection, detection, analysis, and
prevention for Rocket Booster of Space Shuttle Program includes the following components:


1.

Data Acquisition

-

The completed data acquisition system shall allow for the direct input
of data by the inspectors of the hardware to a computer data base along with presenting
information from previous inspections for verification and identification of new corrosion
.


2.

Data Storage

-

Data collected from corrosion inspections takes several forms,
descriptive, numerical, and graphical. An electronic data format would be developed to
relate all of the data collected and hold it for efficient query.

3.

Data Mining

-

Cap
ability shall be developed to perform what is commonly called data
mining on the corrosion data that has been gathered and stored. This will include the
ability to study the distribution and chronological accumulation of corrosion damage on
individual str
uctures and the hardware fleet.



The undergraduate student selected will work on data storage component. This storage
would be able to exchange data with USA
-
SRB existing systems such as the
Nonconformance Information System (NIS). This would include ou
tput, supplying data to NIS
files, and input, providing links from stored data to related NIS documents. Security of the
stored data shall also be addressed in the software to limit editing privileges for stored data.