Tuesday, October 25, 2011

757 Glider Kit

A Boeing 757-200 (B-757) was acquired in 1994 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for aeronautical research. Given the call sign NASA 557, this aircraft is used for conducting research on increasing aircraft safety, operating efficiency, and compatibility with future air traffic management systems, benefiting the U.S. aviation industry and commercial airline customers. Part of the Transport Research Facilities (TRF) project, this twinengine commercial aircraft was modified extensively to create a “flying laboratory.” Most of the seats were removed to make room for a large test area capable of carrying over 5100 kg (10,700 lb) of experiment equipment. It is outfitted with electronics for extremely precise instrumentation and data gathering capabilities, and a flexible interior configuration allows future upgrades to be incorporated. The B-757 is continuing the work begun by NASA’s Boeing 737-100, which has been in service for over 20 years. The B-757 retains the experimental approach of the B-737, but offers newer technology and improved capability.

“Airborne Trailblazer” by Lane Wallace is an excellent history of NASA’s B-737 research aircraft. <see: http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/History/Publications/SP-4216/> One of the basic working philosophies of the TRF project is the concept of “simulation to flight.” The main objective is to develop technical or operational concepts (e.g., electronic cockpit displays, flight management systems, airborne windshear detection sensors) and take them from ground-based simulation testing to flight testing in an easy and straightforward manner. The TRF project includes the B-757 aircraft as well as several ground-based simulators and a Research Systems Integration Laboratory (RSIL). Increasing the effectiveness of conducting experiments from simulation to flight will better meet the needs for bringing advances in safety, operations, and capacity into the ever-changing national airspace system. The NASA 557 will be maintained and flown by NASA’s Langley Research Center (LARC) in Hampton, VA. Listed below are some experiments that have used the NASA 557.
The NASA 557 was used to conduct several experiments to determine the effects of High Intensity Radiated Fields on aircraft electronics, which is important research for aircraft safety and navigation systems. A database was produced for use in validating advanced analytical tools. NASA, the Navy, and the Air Force conducted static tests at LARC to characterize the electromagnetic environment in and around a large transport aircraft. Flight tests were conducted in the vicinity of radar transmitters at Wallops Flight Center in Virginia, and in close proximity to radio transmitters in North Carolina. Data collected during both types of tests are being analyzed. The results will be used to improve the reliability of digital electronics and to reduce their certification costs for use on civil transports.
The aviation industry is investigating the use of differential GPS concepts for precision landings in bad weather to improve the safety and reliability of air travel. The GPS is a constellation of 24 satellites used to determine aircraft position anywhere on or near the Earth. When a groundbased GPS receiver is used to provide a “differential” correction signal, an aircraft’s position can be determined within a foot or two. Boeing partnered with NASA to examine GPS Landing System concepts and evaluate their accuracy, integrity, and continuity of function in automatic landings of airplanes. The team tested several prototype GPS Landing System concepts using NASA 557 during 226 automatic approaches and landings. The data obtained is being used to validate GPS Landing System simulations and to define system certification requirements.
NASA is studying the environmental impact of aircraft emissions upon the atmosphere. The SUCCESS project began as an investigation into the radiative properties of cirrus clouds, how cirrus clouds are formed, and the effects of subsonic aircraft on cloud formation (subsonic means slower than the speed of sound, which is 330 m/sec [1,088 ft/sec] at 0°C [32°F] at sea level). NASA 557 was used to generate engine exhaust for the experiment. High-sulfur fuel was used in the engine of one wing, and low-sulfur fuel was used in the engine of the other wing. A NASA DC-8 aircraft followed the B-757, taking data on the sulfuric acid and soot content of jet engine exhaust by measuring gas and particle samples emitted from the engines, while a NASA ER-2 aircraft took infra-red images from above. Research on this project is still in progress. <For photos and other information on the SUCCESS project, start with:

FOCUS: The glider challenges focus on the Science as Inquiry standards. Students are given the opportunity to use scientific methods and develop the ability to think and act in ways associated with research design and inquiry, including asking questions, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, thinking critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific arguments and results.
CHALLENGES: The challenges investigate design parameters of the glider -- wing, tail, and nose. The aerodynamic forces of lift, drag, and weight are explored. Each glider challenge calls for students to develop abilities to identify and state a problem, design a solution, implement a solution, and evaluate the solution. Extensions to the challenges are offered for further mathematic and scientific explorations and investigations.


No comments:

Post a Comment