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Best Technical Paper at the 50th IEEE Autotest Conference

A paper by Chetan S. Kulkarni, George Gorospe (SGT), Matthew Daigle, and Kai Goebel (NASA Ames) titled “A Testbed for Implementing Prognostic Methodologies on Cryogenic Propellant Loading Systems” was chosen for the 2014 Walter E. Peterson Award for the Best Technical Paper at the 50th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) AUTOTEST Conference, held in St. Louis, MO, Sep 15-18, 2014.

AUTOTEST is the world’s premier conference that brings together the military/aerospace automatic test industry to share new technologies, discuss innovative applications, and exhibit products and services. The IEEE AUTOTEST Walter E. Peterson Award is presented each year for the best technical paper at the conference. The Award perpetuates his technical leadership, interest and inspiration in the introduction and utilization of new and advanced technology in the design and manufacture of automated test systems

BACKGROUND: Prognostics technology is centered on the determination of the health state of a component, subsystem, or system, and the prediction of critical events, such as the end of life (EOL). With prognostics, operators can take informed maintenance decisions to make operational and mission-level activities optimal, efficient, and cost-effective. In cryogenic propellant loading operations, launch availability can be maintained and maintenance cost reduced through the use of prognostics and other health management technologies. In propellant loading systems, as in many others, pneumatic actuated valves play a very critical role. These valves are used to control propellant flow, and therefore, failures may have a significant impact on launch availability. Experimentation on testbeds representative of such critical systems is very useful for the maturation of prognostics technology; precise emulation of actual fault conditions on such a testbed further validates these technologies. A cryogenic propellant loading testbed has been developed at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) that transfers cryogenic propellant from a storage tank to a vehicle tank through a network of pipes, pumps, and valves, in order to mature health management technologies for launch support systems. In this context, we have developed a pneumatic valve testbed at Ames that allows controlled injection of faults on a subset of valves used in the larger testbed at KSC. Such a testbed allows the demonstration of prognostics capabilities for such systems, as well as maturation and validation of the technology.

TEAM: Matthew Daigle (NASA Ames), Kai Goebel (NASA Ames), Chetan S. Kulkarni (SGT@ARC) and George Gorospe (SGT@ARC)

COLLABORATORS: KSC: Barbara Brown, Jose Perotti, Bob Ferrell, Jared Sass, Justin Youney; ARC: Chris Teubert (SGT@ARC)

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance (AGSM) project, Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) program, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

Contact: Chetan S. Kulkarni

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