Science.gov

Sample records for insect flight performance

  1. Wing Flexion and Aerodynamics Performance of Insect Free Flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Haibo; Liang, Zongxian; Ren, Yan

    2010-11-01

    Wing flexion in flapping flight is a hallmark of insect flight. It is widely thought that wing flexibility and wing deformation would potentially provide new aerodynamic mechanisms of aerodynamic force productions over completely rigid wings. However, there are lack of literatures on studying fluid dynamics of freely flying insects due to the presence of complex shaped moving boundaries in the flow domain. In this work, a computational study of freely flying insects is being conducted. High resolution, high speed videos of freely flying dragonflies and damselflies is obtained and used as a basis for developing high fidelity geometrical models of the dragonfly body and wings. 3D surface reconstruction technologies are used to obtain wing topologies and kinematics. The wing motions are highly complex and a number of different strategies including singular vector decomposition of the wing kinematics are used to examine the various kinematical features and their impact on the wing performance. Simulations are carried out to examine the aerodynamic performance of all four wings and understand the wake structures of such wings.

  2. Turbulence-driven instabilities limit insect flight performance

    PubMed Central

    Combes, Stacey A.; Dudley, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Environmental turbulence is ubiquitous in natural habitats, but its effect on flying animals remains unknown because most flight studies are performed in still air or artificially smooth flow. Here we show that variability in external airflow limits maximum flight speed in wild orchid bees by causing severe instabilities. Bees flying in front of an outdoor, turbulent air jet become increasingly unstable about their roll axis as airspeed and flow variability increase. Bees extend their hindlegs ventrally at higher speeds, improving roll stability but also increasing body drag and associated power requirements by 30%. Despite the energetic cost, we observed this stability-enhancing behavior in 10 euglossine species from 3 different genera, spanning an order of magnitude in body size. A field experiment in which we altered the level of turbulence demonstrates that flight instability and maximum flight speed are directly related to flow variability. The effect of environmental turbulence on flight stability is thus an important and previously unrecognized determinant of flight performance. PMID:19458254

  3. Flight of the smallest insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Laura; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Hedrick, Tyson; Robinson, Alice

    2009-11-01

    A vast body of research has described the complexity of flight in insects ranging from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to the hawk moth, Manduca sexta. Over this range of scales, flight aerodynamics as well as the relative lift and drag forces generated are surprisingly similar. The smallest flying insects (Re˜10) have received far less attention, although previous work has shown that flight kinematics and aerodynamics can be significantly different. In this presentation, we have used a three-pronged approach that consists of measurements of flight kinematics in the tiny insect Thysanoptera (thrips), measurements of flow velocities using physical models, and direct numerical simulations to compute lift and drag forces. We find that drag forces can be an order of magnitude larger than lift forces, particularly during the clap and fling motion used by all tiny insects recorded to date.

  4. The aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Sane, Sanjay P

    2003-12-01

    The flight of insects has fascinated physicists and biologists for more than a century. Yet, until recently, researchers were unable to rigorously quantify the complex wing motions of flapping insects or measure the forces and flows around their wings. However, recent developments in high-speed videography and tools for computational and mechanical modeling have allowed researchers to make rapid progress in advancing our understanding of insect flight. These mechanical and computational fluid dynamic models, combined with modern flow visualization techniques, have revealed that the fluid dynamic phenomena underlying flapping flight are different from those of non-flapping, 2-D wings on which most previous models were based. In particular, even at high angles of attack, a prominent leading edge vortex remains stably attached on the insect wing and does not shed into an unsteady wake, as would be expected from non-flapping 2-D wings. Its presence greatly enhances the forces generated by the wing, thus enabling insects to hover or maneuver. In addition, flight forces are further enhanced by other mechanisms acting during changes in angle of attack, especially at stroke reversal, the mutual interaction of the two wings at dorsal stroke reversal or wing-wake interactions following stroke reversal. This progress has enabled the development of simple analytical and empirical models that allow us to calculate the instantaneous forces on flapping insect wings more accurately than was previously possible. It also promises to foster new and exciting multi-disciplinary collaborations between physicists who seek to explain the phenomenology, biologists who seek to understand its relevance to insect physiology and evolution, and engineers who are inspired to build micro-robotic insects using these principles. This review covers the basic physical principles underlying flapping flight in insects, results of recent experiments concerning the aerodynamics of insect flight, as well

  5. Flight Control Study of an Virtual Insect by a Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Futoshi; Ohmi, Toshiatsu; Kuroda, Shigeaki; Hirasawa, Kazuhiro

    In this paper, we show an approach to elucidate the free flight of an insect using a simulation. We modeled a fly, Drosophila, by using aerodynamics, body dynamics, and control theory. The modeled virtual insect performs free flight in virtual space generated by a computer. We simulated the free flight of a virtual insect having two dimensions and two degrees of freedom. The flight pass and flight velocity of the virtual insect during a free flight were calculated by Newton’s equations of motion. The aerodynamic force generated by the flapping motion of the virtual insect was estimated by using the blade element theory. An optimal regulator theory was used as a control law. The flight pass from the initial position to the target position and the wing motion was obtained from the results of the free flight simulation of the virtual insect. We can presume the wing motion of an insect in free flight by using the flight simulation of a virtual insect. These results have suggested that the approach based on the simulation is effective in elucidating the free flight of an insect.

  6. Flight stability analysis under changes in insect morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noest, Robert; Wang, Z. Jane

    2015-11-01

    Insect have an amazing ability to control their flight, being able to perform both fast aerial maneuvers and stable hovering. The insect's neural system has developed various mechanism by which it can control these flying feats, but we expect that insect morphology is equally important in facilitating the aerial control. We perform a computational study using a quasi-steady instantaneous flapping flight model which allows us to freely adapt the insect's morphological parameters. We picked a fruit fly as the basis for the body shape and wing motion, and study the effect of changes to the morphology for a range of wing stroke amplitudes. In each case we determine the periodic flight mode, with the period equal to a single wing beat, and do a Floquet stability analysis of the flight. To interpret our results we will compare the changed morphology to related insects. We discuss the implications of the insects location on the stability diagram.

  7. Insect Flight: Aerodynamics, Efficiency, and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z. Jane

    2007-11-01

    Insects, like birds and fish, locomote via interactions between fluids and flapping wings. Their motion is governed by the Navier-Stokes equation coupled to moving boundaries. In this talk, I will first describe how dragonflies fly: their wing motions and the flows and forces they generate. I will then consider insects in several species and discuss three questions: 1) Is insect flight optimal? 2) How does the efficiency of flapping flight compare to classical fixed-wing flight? 3) How might aerodynamic effects have influenced the evolution of insect flight?

  8. Energy scavenging from insect flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erkan Aktakka, Ethem; Kim, Hanseup; Najafi, Khalil

    2011-09-01

    This paper reports the design, fabrication and testing of an energy scavenger that generates power from the wing motion of a Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida) during its tethered flight. The generator utilizes non-resonant piezoelectric bimorphs operated in the d31 bending mode to convert mechanical vibrations of a beetle into electrical output. The available deflection, force, and power output from oscillatory movements at different locations on a beetle are measured with a meso-scale piezoelectric beam. This way, the optimum location to scavenge energy is determined, and up to ~115 µW total power is generated from body movements. Two initial generator prototypes were fabricated, mounted on a beetle, and harvested 11.5 and 7.5 µW in device volumes of 11.0 and 5.6 mm3, respectively, from 85 to 100 Hz wing strokes during the beetle's tethered flight. A spiral generator was designed to maximize the power output by employing a compliant structure in a limited area. The necessary technology needed to fabricate this prototype was developed, including a process to machine high-aspect ratio devices from bulk piezoelectric substrates with minimum damage to the material using a femto-second laser. The fabricated lightweight spiral generators produced 18.5-22.5 µW on a bench-top test setup mimicking beetles' wing strokes. Placing two generators (one on each wing) can result in more than 45 µW of power per insect. A direct connection between the generator and the flight muscles of the insect is expected to increase the final power output by one order of magnitude.

  9. Remote Radio Control of Insect Flight

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Hirotaka; Berry, Christopher W.; Peeri, Yoav; Baghoomian, Emen; Casey, Brendan E.; Lavella, Gabriel; VandenBrooks, John M.; Harrison, Jon F.; Maharbiz, Michel M.

    2009-01-01

    We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating system. The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery. Flight initiation, cessation and elevation control were accomplished through neural stimulus of the brain which elicited, suppressed or modulated wing oscillation. Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles. We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles. We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses. PMID:20161808

  10. Biomechanics and biomimetics in insect-inspired flight systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hao; Ravi, Sridhar; Kolomenskiy, Dmitry; Tanaka, Hiroto

    2016-09-26

    Insect- and bird-size drones-micro air vehicles (MAV) that can perform autonomous flight in natural and man-made environments are now an active and well-integrated research area. MAVs normally operate at a low speed in a Reynolds number regime of 10(4)-10(5) or lower, in which most flying animals of insects, birds and bats fly, and encounter unconventional challenges in generating sufficient aerodynamic forces to stay airborne and in controlling flight autonomy to achieve complex manoeuvres. Flying insects that power and control flight by flapping wings are capable of sophisticated aerodynamic force production and precise, agile manoeuvring, through an integrated system consisting of wings to generate aerodynamic force, muscles to move the wings and a control system to modulate power output from the muscles. In this article, we give a selective review on the state of the art of biomechanics in bioinspired flight systems in terms of flapping and flexible wing aerodynamics, flight dynamics and stability, passive and active mechanisms in stabilization and control, as well as flapping flight in unsteady environments. We further highlight recent advances in biomimetics of flapping-wing MAVs with a specific focus on insect-inspired wing design and fabrication, as well as sensing systems.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528780

  11. Regulating the contraction of insect flight muscle.

    PubMed

    Bullard, Belinda; Pastore, Annalisa

    2011-12-01

    The rapid movement of the wings in small insects is powered by the indirect flight muscles. These muscles are capable of contracting at up to 1,000 Hz because they are activated mechanically by stretching. The mechanism is so efficient that it is also used in larger insects like the waterbug, Lethocerus. The oscillatory activity of the muscles occurs a low concentration of Ca(2+), which stays constant as the muscles contract and relax. Activation by stretch requires particular isoforms of tropomyosin and the troponin complex on the thin filament. We compare the tropomyosin and troponin of Lethocerus and Drosophila with that of vertebrates. The characteristics of the flight muscle regulatory proteins suggest ways in which stretch-activation works. There is evidence for bridges between troponin on thin filaments and myosin crossbridges on the thick filaments. Recent X-ray fibre diffraction results suggest that a pull on the bridges activates the thin filament by shifting tropomyosin from a blocking position on actin. The troponin bridges are likely to contain extended sequences of tropomyosin or troponin I (TnI). Flight muscle has two isoforms of TnC with different Ca(2+)-binding properties: F1 TnC is needed for stretch-activation and F2 TnC for isometric contractions. In this review, we describe the structural changes in both isoforms on binding Ca(2+) and TnI, and discuss how the steric model of muscle regulation can apply to insect flight muscle. PMID:22105701

  12. Paddling Mode of Forward Flight in Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ristroph, Leif; Bergou, Attila J.; Guckenheimer, John; Wang, Z. Jane; Cohen, Itai

    2011-04-01

    By analyzing high-speed video of the fruit fly, we discover a swimminglike mode of forward flight characterized by paddling wing motions. We develop a new aerodynamic analysis procedure to show that these insects generate drag-based thrust by slicing their wings forward at low angle of attack and pushing backwards at a higher angle. Reduced-order models and simulations reveal that the law for flight speed is determined by these wing motions but is insensitive to material properties of the fluid. Thus, paddling is as effective in air as in water and represents a common strategy for propulsion through aquatic and aerial environments.

  13. Fish Swimming and Bird/Insect Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Theodore Yaotsu

    2011-01-01

    This expository review is devoted to fish swimming and bird/insect flight. (a) The simple waving motion of an elongated flexible ribbon plate of constant width propagating a wave distally down the plate to swim forward in a fluid, initially at rest, is first considered to provide a fundamental concept on energy conservation. It is generalized to include variations in body width and thickness, with appended dorsal, ventral and caudal fins shedding vortices to closely simulate fish swimming, for which a nonlinear theory is presented for large-amplitude propulsion. (b) For bird flight, the pioneering studies on oscillatory rigid wings are discussed with delineating a fully nonlinear unsteady theory for a two-dimensional flexible wing with arbitrary variations in shape and trajectory to provide a comparative study with experiments. (c) For insect flight, recent advances are reviewed by items on aerodynamic theory and modeling, computational methods, and experiments, for forward and hovering flights with producing leading-edge vortex to yield unsteady high lift. (d) Prospects are explored on extracting prevailing intrinsic flow energy by fish and bird to enhance thrust for propulsion. (e) The mechanical and biological principles are drawn together for unified studies on the energetics in deriving metabolic power for animal locomotion, leading to the surprising discovery that the hydrodynamic viscous drag on swimming fish is largely associated with laminar boundary layers, thus drawing valid and sound evidences for a resounding resolution to the long-standing fish-swim paradox proclaimed by Gray (1936, 1968 ).

  14. Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Flow Structures During Insect Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badrya, Camli; Baeder, James D.

    2015-11-01

    Insect flight kinematics involves complex interplay between aerodynamics structural response and insect body control. Features such as cross-coupling kinematics, high flapping frequencies and geometrical small-scales, result in experiments being challenging to perform. In this study OVERTURNS, an in-house 3D compressible Navier-Stokes solver is utilized to simulate the simplified kinematics of an insect wing in hover and forward flight. The flapping wings simulate the full cycle of wing motion, i.e., the upstroke, downstroke, pronation and supination.The numerical results show good agreement against experimental data in predicting the lift and drag over the flapping cycle. The flow structures around the flapping wing are found to be highly unsteady and vortical. Aside from the tip vortex on the wings, the formation of a prominent leading edge vortex (LEV) during the up/down stroke portions, and the shedding of a trailing edge vortex (TEV) at end of each stroke were observed. Differences in the insect dynamics and the flow features of the LEV are observed between hover and forward flight. In hover the up and downstroke cycles are symmetric, whereas in forward flight, these up and downstroke are asymmetric and LEV strength varies as a function of the kinematics and advance ratio. This work was supported by the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) CTA at the Univer- sity of Maryland.

  15. Dynamic flight stability of hovering insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Mao; Wang, Jikang; Xiong, Yan

    2007-06-01

    The equations of motion of an insect with flapping wings are derived and then simplified to that of a flying body using the “rigid body” assumption. On the basis of the simplified equations of motion, the longitudinal dynamic flight stability of four insects (hoverfly, cranefly, dronefly and hawkmoth) in hovering flight is studied (the mass of the insects ranging from 11 to 1,648 mg and wingbeat frequency from 26 to 157 Hz). The method of computational fluid dynamics is used to compute the aerodynamic derivatives and the techniques of eigenvalue and eigenvector analysis are used to solve the equations of motion. The validity of the “rigid body” assumption is tested and how differences in size and wing kinematics influence the applicability of the “rigid body” assumption is investigated. The primary findings are: (1) For insects considered in the present study and those with relatively high wingbeat frequency (hoverfly, drone fly and bumblebee), the “rigid body” assumption is reasonable, and for those with relatively low wingbeat frequency (cranefly and howkmoth), the applicability of the “rigid body” assumption is questionable. (2) The same three natural modes of motion as those reported recently for a bumblebee are identified, i.e., one unstable oscillatory mode, one stable fast subsidence mode and one stable slow subsidence mode. (3) Approximate analytical expressions of the eigenvalues, which give physical insight into the genesis of the natural modes of motion, are derived. The expressions identify the speed derivative M u (pitching moment produced by unit horizontal speed) as the primary source of the unstable oscillatory mode and the stable fast subsidence mode and Z w (vertical force produced by unit vertical speed) as the primary source of the stable slow subsidence mode.

  16. Insect Flight: From Newton's Law to Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z. Jane

    2016-03-01

    Why do animals move the way they do? Bacteria, insects, birds, and fish share with us the necessity to move so as to live. Although each organism follows its own evolutionary course, it also obeys a set of common laws. At the very least, the movement of animals, like that of planets, is governed by Newton's law: All things fall. On Earth, most things fall in air or water, and their motions are thus subject to the laws of hydrodynamics. Through trial and error, animals have found ways to interact with fluid so they can float, drift, swim, sail, glide, soar, and fly. This elementary struggle to escape the fate of falling shapes the development of motors, sensors, and mind. Perhaps we can deduce parts of their neural computations by understanding what animals must do so as not to fall. Here I discuss recent developments along this line of inquiry in the case of insect flight. Asking how often a fly must sense its orientation in order to balance in air has shed new light on the role of motor neurons and steering muscles responsible for flight stability.

  17. Nonlinear flight dynamics and stability of hovering model insects

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Bin; Sun, Mao

    2013-01-01

    Current analyses on insect dynamic flight stability are based on linear theory and limited to small disturbance motions. However, insects' aerial environment is filled with swirling eddies and wind gusts, and large disturbances are common. Here, we numerically solve the equations of motion coupled with the Navier–Stokes equations to simulate the large disturbance motions and analyse the nonlinear flight dynamics of hovering model insects. We consider two representative model insects, a model hawkmoth (large size, low wingbeat frequency) and a model dronefly (small size, high wingbeat frequency). For small and large initial disturbances, the disturbance motion grows with time, and the insects tumble and never return to the equilibrium state; the hovering flight is inherently (passively) unstable. The instability is caused by a pitch moment produced by forward/backward motion and/or a roll moment produced by side motion of the insect. PMID:23697714

  18. Flight investigation of insect contamination and its alleviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, J. B., Jr.; Fisher, D. F.

    1978-01-01

    An investigation of leading edge contamination by insects was conducted with a JetStar airplane instrumented to detect transition on the outboard leading edge flap and equipped with a system to spray the leading edge in flight. The results of airline type flights with the JetStar indicated that insects can contaminate the leading edge during takeoff and climbout. The results also showed that the insects collected on the leading edges at 180 knots did not erode at cruise conditions for a laminar flow control airplane and caused premature transition of the laminar boundary layer. None of the superslick and hydrophobic surfaces tested showed any significant advantages in alleviating the insect contamination problem. While there may be other solutions to the insect contamination problem, the results of these tests with a spray system showed that a continouous water spray while encountering the insects is effective in preventing insect contamination of the leading edges.

  19. Insect flight on fluid interfaces: a chaotic interfacial oscillator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukundarajan, Haripriya; Prakash, Manu

    2013-11-01

    Flight is critical to the dominance of insect species on our planet, with about 98 percent of insect species having wings. How complex flight control systems developed in insects is unknown, and arboreal or aquatic origins have been hypothesized. We examine the biomechanics of aquatic origins of flight. We recently reported discovery of a novel mode of ``2D flight'' in Galerucella beetles, which skim along an air-water interface using flapping wing flight. This unique flight mode is characterized by a balance between capillary forces from the interface and biomechanical forces exerted by the flapping wings. Complex interactions on the fluid interface form capillary wave trains behind the insect, and produce vertical oscillations at the surface due to non-linear forces arising from deformation of the fluid meniscus. We present both experimental observations of 2D flight kinematics and a dynamic model explaining the observed phenomena. Careful examination of this interaction predicts the chaotic nature of interfacial flight and takeoff from the interface into airborne flight. The role of wingbeat frequency, stroke plane angle and body angle in determining transition between interfacial and fully airborne flight is highlighted, shedding light on the aquatic theory of flight evolution.

  20. On the Optimal Dynamic Camber Formation in Insect Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Yan; Dong, Haibo

    2012-11-01

    It is widely thought that wing flexibility and wing deformation could significantly affect aerodynamic force productions over completely rigid wings in insect flights. However, there is a lack of quantitative discussion of dynamic formation of wing camber and its effect on wing's aerodynamic performance. In this work, a deformable wing is used to model the wing camber and its dynamic formation. A Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) based computational optimization frame has been developed to obtain the optimal dynamic camber formation of dragonfly in takeoff and cruising flight. Comparative study is then performed between the optimized flexible wing and real dragonfly wing. Results have shown the maximum camber happens around 30% (downstroke) and 80% (upstroke) of one wing beat. Force production and unsteady flows of the flexible wing are also discussed.

  1. A Simple Flight Mill for the Study of Tethered Flight in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Attisano, Alfredo; Murphy, James T.; Vickers, Andrew; Moore, Patricia J.

    2015-01-01

    Flight in insects can be long-range migratory flights, intermediate-range dispersal flights, or short-range host-seeking flights. Previous studies have shown that flight mills are valuable tools for the experimental study of insect flight behavior, allowing researchers to examine how factors such as age, host plants, or population source can influence an insects' propensity to disperse. Flight mills allow researchers to measure components of flight such as speed and distance flown. Lack of detailed information about how to build such a device can make their construction appear to be prohibitively complex. We present a simple and relatively inexpensive flight mill for the study of tethered flight in insects. Experimental insects can be tethered with non-toxic adhesives and revolve around an axis by means of a very low friction magnetic bearing. The mill is designed for the study of flight in controlled conditions as it can be used inside an incubator or environmental chamber. The strongest points are the very simple electronic circuitry, the design that allows sixteen insects to fly simultaneously allowing the collection and analysis of a large number of samples in a short time and the potential to use the device in a very limited workspace. This design is extremely flexible, and we have adjusted the mill to accommodate different species of insects of various sizes. PMID:26709537

  2. Recent Developments in the Remote Radio Control of Insect Flight

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Hirotaka; Maharbiz, Michel M.

    2010-01-01

    The continuing miniaturization of digital circuits and the development of low power radio systems coupled with continuing studies into the neurophysiology and dynamics of insect flight are enabling a new class of implantable interfaces capable of controlling insects in free flight for extended periods. We provide context for these developments, review the state-of-the-art and discuss future directions in this field. PMID:21629761

  3. Insect-Inspired Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thakoor, Sarita; Stange, G.; Srinivasan, M.; Chahl, Javaan; Hine, Butler; Zornetzer, Steven

    2005-01-01

    Flight-control and navigation systems inspired by the structure and function of the visual system and brain of insects have been proposed for a class of developmental miniature robotic aircraft called "biomorphic flyers" described earlier in "Development of Biomorphic Flyers" (NPO-30554), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 54. These form a subset of biomorphic explorers, which, as reported in several articles in past issues of NASA Tech Briefs ["Biomorphic Explorers" (NPO-20142), Vol. 22, No. 9 (September 1998), page 71; "Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems" (NPO-21142), Vol. 27, No. 5 (May 2003), page 54; and "Cooperative Lander-Surface/Aerial Microflyer Missions for Mars Exploration" (NPO-30286), Vol. 28, No. 5 (May 2004), page 36], are proposed small robots, equipped with microsensors and communication systems, that would incorporate crucial functions of mobility, adaptability, and even cooperative behavior. These functions are inherent to biological organisms but are challenging frontiers for technical systems. Biomorphic flyers could be used on Earth or remote planets to explore otherwise difficult or impossible to reach sites. An example of an exploratory task of search/surveillance functions currently being tested is to obtain high-resolution aerial imagery, using a variety of miniaturized electronic cameras. The control functions to be implemented by the systems in development include holding altitude, avoiding hazards, following terrain, navigation by reference to recognizable terrain features, stabilization of flight, and smooth landing. Flying insects perform these and other functions remarkably well, even though insect brains contains fewer than 10(exp -4) as many neurons as does the human brain. Although most insects have immobile, fixed-focus eyes and lack stereoscopy (and hence cannot perceive depth directly), they utilize a number of ingenious strategies for perceiving, and navigating in, three dimensions. Despite

  4. Flight evaluation of an insect contamination protection system for laminar flow wings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croom, C. C.; Holmes, B. J.

    1985-01-01

    The maintenance of minimum wing leading edge contamination is critical to the preservation of drag-reducing laminar flow; previous methods for the prevention of leading edge contamination by insects have, however, been rendered impractical by their excessive weight, cost, or inconvenience. Attention is presently given to the results of a NASA flight experiment which evaluated the performance of a porous leading edge fluid-discharge ice protection system in the novel role of insect contamination removal; high insect contamination conditions were also noted in the experiment. Very small amounts of the fluid are found to be sufficient for insect contamination protection.

  5. Surface tension dominates insect flight on fluid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Mukundarajan, Haripriya; Bardon, Thibaut C; Kim, Dong Hyun; Prakash, Manu

    2016-03-01

    Flight on the 2D air-water interface, with body weight supported by surface tension, is a unique locomotion strategy well adapted for the environmental niche on the surface of water. Although previously described in aquatic insects like stoneflies, the biomechanics of interfacial flight has never been analysed. Here, we report interfacial flight as an adapted behaviour in waterlily beetles (Galerucella nymphaeae) which are also dexterous airborne fliers. We present the first quantitative biomechanical model of interfacial flight in insects, uncovering an intricate interplay of capillary, aerodynamic and neuromuscular forces. We show that waterlily beetles use their tarsal claws to attach themselves to the interface, via a fluid contact line pinned at the claw. We investigate the kinematics of interfacial flight trajectories using high-speed imaging and construct a mathematical model describing the flight dynamics. Our results show that non-linear surface tension forces make interfacial flight energetically expensive compared with airborne flight at the relatively high speeds characteristic of waterlily beetles, and cause chaotic dynamics to arise naturally in these regimes. We identify the crucial roles of capillary-gravity wave drag and oscillatory surface tension forces which dominate interfacial flight, showing that the air-water interface presents a radically modified force landscape for flapping wing flight compared with air. PMID:26936640

  6. Surface tension dominates insect flight on fluid interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Mukundarajan, Haripriya; Bardon, Thibaut C.; Kim, Dong Hyun; Prakash, Manu

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Flight on the 2D air–water interface, with body weight supported by surface tension, is a unique locomotion strategy well adapted for the environmental niche on the surface of water. Although previously described in aquatic insects like stoneflies, the biomechanics of interfacial flight has never been analysed. Here, we report interfacial flight as an adapted behaviour in waterlily beetles (Galerucella nymphaeae) which are also dexterous airborne fliers. We present the first quantitative biomechanical model of interfacial flight in insects, uncovering an intricate interplay of capillary, aerodynamic and neuromuscular forces. We show that waterlily beetles use their tarsal claws to attach themselves to the interface, via a fluid contact line pinned at the claw. We investigate the kinematics of interfacial flight trajectories using high-speed imaging and construct a mathematical model describing the flight dynamics. Our results show that non-linear surface tension forces make interfacial flight energetically expensive compared with airborne flight at the relatively high speeds characteristic of waterlily beetles, and cause chaotic dynamics to arise naturally in these regimes. We identify the crucial roles of capillary–gravity wave drag and oscillatory surface tension forces which dominate interfacial flight, showing that the air–water interface presents a radically modified force landscape for flapping wing flight compared with air. PMID:26936640

  7. Early metamorphic insertion technology for insect flight behavior monitoring.

    PubMed

    Verderber, Alexander; McKnight, Michael; Bozkurt, Alper

    2014-01-01

    Early Metamorphosis Insertion Technology (EMIT) is a novel methodology for integrating microfabricated neuromuscular recording and actuation platforms on insects during their metamorphic development. Here, the implants are fused within the structure and function of the neuromuscular system as a result of metamorphic tissue remaking. The implants emerge with the insect where the development of tissue around the electronics during pupal development results in a bioelectrically and biomechanically enhanced tissue interface. This relatively more reliable and stable interface would be beneficial for many researchers exploring the neural basis of the insect locomotion with alleviated traumatic effects caused during adult stage insertions. In this article, we implant our electrodes into the indirect flight muscles of Manduca sexta. Located in the dorsal-thorax, these main flight powering dorsoventral and dorsolongitudinal muscles actuate the wings and supply the mechanical power for up and down strokes. Relative contraction of these two muscle groups has been under investigation to explore how the yaw maneuver is neurophysiologically coordinated. To characterize the flight dynamics, insects are often tethered with wires and their flight is recorded with digital cameras. We also developed a novel way to tether Manduca sexta on a magnetically levitating frame where the insect is connected to a commercially available wireless neural amplifier. This set up can be used to limit the degree of freedom to yawing "only" while transmitting the related electromyography signals from dorsoventral and dorsolongitudinal muscle groups. PMID:25079130

  8. Early Metamorphic Insertion Technology for Insect Flight Behavior Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Bozkurt, Alper

    2014-01-01

    Early Metamorphosis Insertion Technology (EMIT) is a novel methodology for integrating microfabricated neuromuscular recording and actuation platforms on insects during their metamorphic development. Here, the implants are fused within the structure and function of the neuromuscular system as a result of metamorphic tissue remaking. The implants emerge with the insect where the development of tissue around the electronics during pupal development results in a bioelectrically and biomechanically enhanced tissue interface. This relatively more reliable and stable interface would be beneficial for many researchers exploring the neural basis of the insect locomotion with alleviated traumatic effects caused during adult stage insertions. In this article, we implant our electrodes into the indirect flight muscles of Manduca sexta. Located in the dorsal-thorax, these main flight powering dorsoventral and dorsolongitudinal muscles actuate the wings and supply the mechanical power for up and down strokes. Relative contraction of these two muscle groups has been under investigation to explore how the yaw maneuver is neurophysiologically coordinated. To characterize the flight dynamics, insects are often tethered with wires and their flight is recorded with digital cameras. We also developed a novel way to tether Manduca sexta on a magnetically levitating frame where the insect is connected to a commercially available wireless neural amplifier. This set up can be used to limit the degree of freedom to yawing “only” while transmitting the related electromyography signals from dorsoventral and dorsolongitudinal muscle groups. PMID:25079130

  9. Predicting Fruit Fly's Sensing Rate From Insect Flight Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jane; Chang, Song

    2013-11-01

    Without sensory feedbacks, flies cannot fly. Exactly how sensory feedback controls work in flying insects is a complex puzzle to solve. What do insects measure in order to stabilize their flight? What kinds of neural computations and muscle activities are involved in order to correct their flight course or to turn? How often and how fast do animals adjust their wings to remain stable? To understand the algorithms used by insects to control their dynamic instability, we have developed a simulation tool to study flapping flight, where motions of the insect body and wings are coupled instantaneously. To stabilize the flight in the simulation, we construct a control algorithm that modulates wing motion based on discrete measurements of the body-pitch orientation. Our simulations give theoretical bounds both on the sensing rate and the delay time between sensing and actuation. Interpreting these findings together with experimental results on fruit flies' reaction time and sensory motor reflexes, we give a sharper bound on the sensing rate and further reason that fruit flies sense their kinematic states every wing-beat in order to stabilize their flight.

  10. Controlled flight of a biologically inspired, insect-scale robot.

    PubMed

    Ma, Kevin Y; Chirarattananon, Pakpong; Fuller, Sawyer B; Wood, Robert J

    2013-05-01

    Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms. We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot's dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight. PMID:23641114

  11. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects

    PubMed Central

    Mitterboeck, T. Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne. PMID:23884090

  12. Predicting fruit fly's sensing rate with insect flight simulations.

    PubMed

    Chang, Song; Wang, Z Jane

    2014-08-01

    Without sensory feedback, flies cannot fly. Exactly how various feedback controls work in insects is a complex puzzle to solve. What do insects measure to stabilize their flight? How often and how fast must insects adjust their wings to remain stable? To gain insights into algorithms used by insects to control their dynamic instability, we develop a simulation tool to study free flight. To stabilize flight, we construct a control algorithm that modulates wing motion based on discrete measurements of the body-pitch orientation. Our simulations give theoretical bounds on both the sensing rate and the delay time between sensing and actuation. Interpreting our findings together with experimental results on fruit flies' reaction time and sensory motor reflexes, we conjecture that fruit flies sense their kinematic states every wing beat to stabilize their flight. We further propose a candidate for such a control involving the fly's haltere and first basalar motor neuron. Although we focus on fruit flies as a case study, the framework for our simulation and discrete control algorithms is applicable to studies of both natural and man-made fliers. PMID:25049376

  13. Numerical study of insect free hovering flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Di; Yeo, Khoon Seng; Lim, Tee Tai; Fluid lab, Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore Team

    2012-11-01

    In this paper we present the computational fluid dynamics study of three-dimensional flow field around a free hovering fruit fly integrated with unsteady FSI analysis and the adaptive flight control system for the first time. The FSI model being specified for fruitfly hovering is achieved by coupling a structural problem based on Newton's second law with a rigorous CFD solver concerning generalized finite difference method. In contrast to the previous hovering flight research, the wing motion employed here is not acquired from experimental data but governed by our proposed control systems. Two types of hovering control strategies i.e. stroke plane adjustment mode and paddling mode are explored, capable of generating the fixed body position and orientation characteristic of hovering flight. Hovering flight associated with multiple wing kinematics and body orientations are shown as well, indicating the means by which fruitfly actually maintains hovering may have considerable freedom and therefore might be influenced by many other factors beyond the physical and aerodynamic requirements. Additionally, both the near- and far-field flow and vortex structure agree well with the results from other researchers, demonstrating the reliability of our current model.

  14. Estimating insect flight densities from attractive trap catches and flight height distributions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect species often exhibit a specific mean flight height and vertical flight distribution that approximates a normal distribution with a characteristic standard deviation (SD). Many studies in the literature report catches on passive (non-attractive) traps at several heights. These catches were us...

  15. Active and passive stabilization of body pitch in insect flight

    PubMed Central

    Ristroph, Leif; Ristroph, Gunnar; Morozova, Svetlana; Bergou, Attila J.; Chang, Song; Guckenheimer, John; Wang, Z. Jane; Cohen, Itai

    2013-01-01

    Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory–motor systems, and here we argue that such systems are used to keep upright against intrinsic flight instabilities. We describe a theory that predicts the instability growth rate in body pitch from flapping-wing aerodynamics and reveals two ways of achieving balanced flight: active control with sufficiently rapid reactions and passive stabilization with high body drag. By glueing magnets to fruit flies and perturbing their flight using magnetic impulses, we show that these insects employ active control that is indeed fast relative to the instability. Moreover, we find that fruit flies with their control sensors disabled can keep upright if high-drag fibres are also attached to their bodies, an observation consistent with our prediction for the passive stability condition. Finally, we extend this framework to unify the control strategies used by hovering animals and also furnish criteria for achieving pitch stability in flapping-wing robots. PMID:23697713

  16. Design of a Computerised Flight Mill Device to Measure the Flight Potential of Different Insects.

    PubMed

    Martí-Campoy, Antonio; Ávalos, Juan Antonio; Soto, Antonia; Rodríguez-Ballester, Francisco; Martínez-Blay, Victoria; Malumbres, Manuel Pérez

    2016-01-01

    Several insect species pose a serious threat to different plant species, sometimes becoming a pest that produces significant damage to the landscape, biodiversity, and/or the economy. This is the case of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae), Semanotus laurasii Lucas (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), and Monochamus galloprovincialis Olivier (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), which have become serious threats to ornamental and productive trees all over the world such as palm trees, cypresses, and pines. Knowledge about their flight potential is very important for designing and applying measures targeted to reduce the negative effects from these pests. Studying the flight capability and behaviour of some insects is difficult due to their small size and the large area wherein they can fly, so we wondered how we could obtain information about their flight capabilities in a controlled environment. The answer came with the design of flight mills. Relevant data about the flight potential of these insects may be recorded and analysed by means of a flight mill. Once an insect is attached to the flight mill, it is able to fly in a circular direction without hitting walls or objects. By adding sensors to the flight mill, it is possible to record the number of revolutions and flight time. This paper presents a full description of a computer monitored flight mill. The description covers both the mechanical and the electronic parts in detail. The mill was designed to easily adapt to the anatomy of different insects and was successfully tested with individuals from three species R. ferrugineus, S. laurasii, and M. galloprovincialis. PMID:27070600

  17. Design of a Computerised Flight Mill Device to Measure the Flight Potential of Different Insects

    PubMed Central

    Martí-Campoy, Antonio; Ávalos, Juan Antonio; Soto, Antonia; Rodríguez-Ballester, Francisco; Martínez-Blay, Victoria; Malumbres, Manuel Pérez

    2016-01-01

    Several insect species pose a serious threat to different plant species, sometimes becoming a pest that produces significant damage to the landscape, biodiversity, and/or the economy. This is the case of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae), Semanotus laurasii Lucas (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), and Monochamus galloprovincialis Olivier (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), which have become serious threats to ornamental and productive trees all over the world such as palm trees, cypresses, and pines. Knowledge about their flight potential is very important for designing and applying measures targeted to reduce the negative effects from these pests. Studying the flight capability and behaviour of some insects is difficult due to their small size and the large area wherein they can fly, so we wondered how we could obtain information about their flight capabilities in a controlled environment. The answer came with the design of flight mills. Relevant data about the flight potential of these insects may be recorded and analysed by means of a flight mill. Once an insect is attached to the flight mill, it is able to fly in a circular direction without hitting walls or objects. By adding sensors to the flight mill, it is possible to record the number of revolutions and flight time. This paper presents a full description of a computer monitored flight mill. The description covers both the mechanical and the electronic parts in detail. The mill was designed to easily adapt to the anatomy of different insects and was successfully tested with individuals from three species R. ferrugineus, S. laurasii, and M. galloprovincialis. PMID:27070600

  18. Lift and power requirements of hovering insect flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Sun; Gang, Du

    2003-10-01

    Lift and power requirements for hovering flight of eight species of insects are studied by solving the Navier-Stokes equation numerically. The solution provides velocity and pressure fields, from which unsteady aerodynamic forces and moments are obtained. The inertial torque of wing mass are computed analytically. The wing length of the insects ranges from 2 mm (fruit fly) to 52mm (hawkmoth); Reynolds numbers Re (based on mean flapping speed and mean chord length) ranges from 75 to 3 850. The primary findings are shown in the following: (1) Either small ( R=2mm, Re=75), medium ( R≈10mm, Re≈500) or large ( R≈50 mm, Re≈4000) insects mainly employ the same high-lift mechanism, delayed stall, to produce lift in hovering flight. The midstroke angle of attack needed to produce a mean lift equal to the insect weight is approximately in the range of 25° to 45°, which is approximately in agreement with observation. (2) For the small insect (fruit fly) and for the medium and large insects with relatively small wingbeat frequency (cranefly, ladybird and hawkmoth), the specific power ranges from 18 to 39 W·kg-1, the major part of the power is due to aerodynamic force, and the elastic storage of negatige work does not change the specific power greatly. However for medium and large insects with relatively large wingbeat frequency (hoverfly, dronefly, honey bee and bumble bee), the specific power ranges from 39 to 61 W·kg-1, the major part of the power is due to wing inertia, and the elastic storage of negative work can decrease the specific power by approximately 33%. (3) For the case of power being mainly contributed by aerodynamic force (fruit fly, cranefly, ladybird and hawkmoth), the specific power is proportional to the product of the wingbeat frequency, the stroke amplitude, the wing length and the drag-to-lift ratio. For the case of power being mainly contributed by wing inertia (hoverfly, dronefly, honey bee and bumble bee), the specific power (without

  19. The Immersed Interface Method for Insect Flight Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Sheng

    2008-11-01

    The effect of a fluid-solid interface can be represented as a singular force in the Navier-Stokes equations. Two problems arise from this representation. One is how to calculate the force density, and the other is how to treat the force singularity. In the immersed interface method, the latter is solved with second-order accuracy and the sharp fluid-solid interface by incorporating singularity-induced flow jump conditions into discretization schemes. This talk focues on the former problem. In particular, I will present approaches to calculating the force density for both flexible and rigid solids. Results from insect flight simulation will be shown to demonstrate the approaches.

  20. Details of insect wing design and deformation enhance aerodynamic function and flight efficiency.

    PubMed

    Young, John; Walker, Simon M; Bomphrey, Richard J; Taylor, Graham K; Thomas, Adrian L R

    2009-09-18

    Insect wings are complex structures that deform dramatically in flight. We analyzed the aerodynamic consequences of wing deformation in locusts using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulation based on detailed wing kinematics. We validated the simulation against smoke visualizations and digital particle image velocimetry on real locusts. We then used the validated model to explore the effects of wing topography and deformation, first by removing camber while keeping the same time-varying twist distribution, and second by removing camber and spanwise twist. The full-fidelity model achieved greater power economy than the uncambered model, which performed better than the untwisted model, showing that the details of insect wing topography and deformation are important aerodynamically. Such details are likely to be important in engineering applications of flapping flight. PMID:19762645

  1. Whole-field, time resolved velocity measurements of flow structures on insect wings during free flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langley, Kenneth; Thomson, Scott; Truscott, Tadd

    2012-11-01

    The development of micro air vehicles (MAVs) that are propelled using flapping flight necessitates an understanding of the unsteady aerodynamics that enable this mode of flight. Flapping flight has been studied using a variety of methods including computational models, experimentation and observation. Until recently, the observation of natural flyers has been limited to qualitative methods such as smoke-line visualization. Advances in imaging technology have enabled the use of particle image velocimetry (PIV) to gain a quantitative understanding of the unsteady nature of the flight. Previously published PIV studies performed on insects have been limited to velocities in a single plane on tethered insects in a wind tunnel. We present the three-dimensional, time-resolved velocity fields of flight around a butterfly, using an array of high-speed cameras at 1 kHz through a technique known as 3D Synthetic Aperture PIV (SAPIV). These results are useful in understanding the relationship between wing kinematics and the unsteady aerodynamics generated.

  2. Genomewide transcriptional signatures of migratory flight activity in a globally invasive insect pest.

    PubMed

    Jones, Christopher M; Papanicolaou, Alexie; Mironidis, George K; Vontas, John; Yang, Yihua; Lim, Ka S; Oakeshott, John G; Bass, Chris; Chapman, Jason W

    2015-10-01

    Migration is a key life history strategy for many animals and requires a suite of behavioural, morphological and physiological adaptations which together form the 'migratory syndrome'. Genetic variation has been demonstrated for many traits that make up this syndrome, but the underlying genes involved remain elusive. Recent studies investigating migration-associated genes have focussed on sampling migratory and nonmigratory populations from different geographic locations but have seldom explored phenotypic variation in a migratory trait. Here, we use a novel combination of tethered flight and next-generation sequencing to determine transcriptomic differences associated with flight activity in a globally invasive moth pest, the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera. By developing a state-of-the-art phenotyping platform, we show that field-collected H. armigera display continuous variation in flight performance with individuals capable of flying up to 40 km during a single night. Comparative transcriptomics of flight phenotypes drove a gene expression analysis to reveal a suite of expressed candidate genes which are clearly related to physiological adaptations required for long-distance flight. These include genes important to the mobilization of lipids as flight fuel, the development of flight muscle structure and the regulation of hormones that influence migratory physiology. We conclude that the ability to express this complex set of pathways underlines the remarkable flexibility of facultative insect migrants to respond to deteriorating conditions in the form of migratory flight and, more broadly, the results provide novel insights into the fundamental transcriptional changes required for migration in insects and other taxa. PMID:26331997

  3. Temporal Statistics of Natural Image Sequences Generated by Movements with Insect Flight Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Schwegmann, Alexander; Lindemann, Jens Peter; Egelhaaf, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Many flying insects, such as flies, wasps and bees, pursue a saccadic flight and gaze strategy. This behavioral strategy is thought to separate the translational and rotational components of self-motion and, thereby, to reduce the computational efforts to extract information about the environment from the retinal image flow. Because of the distinguishing dynamic features of this active flight and gaze strategy of insects, the present study analyzes systematically the spatiotemporal statistics of image sequences generated during saccades and intersaccadic intervals in cluttered natural environments. We show that, in general, rotational movements with saccade-like dynamics elicit fluctuations and overall changes in brightness, contrast and spatial frequency of up to two orders of magnitude larger than translational movements at velocities that are characteristic of insects. Distinct changes in image parameters during translations are only caused by nearby objects. Image analysis based on larger patches in the visual field reveals smaller fluctuations in brightness and spatial frequency composition compared to small patches. The temporal structure and extent of these changes in image parameters define the temporal constraints imposed on signal processing performed by the insect visual system under behavioral conditions in natural environments. PMID:25340761

  4. Understanding the Role of Moment-of-Inertia Variation in Insect Flight Maneuvers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Tiras; Mittal, Rajat; Zheng, Lingxiao; Hedrick, Tyson

    2011-11-01

    The objective of this study is to gain insights into insect flight maneuvers and, in particular, the role that changes in body moment-of-inertia might play during these maneuvers. High-speed, high-resolution videogrammetry is used to quantify the trajectory and body conformation of Painted Lady butterflies during flight maneuvers; the 3D kinematics of the center-of-masses of the various body parts of the insect are determined experimentally. Measurements of the mass properties of the insect are then made and used to parameterize a simple flight dynamics model of the butterfly. Even though the mass of the flapping wings is small compared to the total mass of the insect, these experiments and subsequent analyses indicate that changes in moment-of-inertia during flight are large enough to have a noticeable impact on the maneuvers of these insects. Research is supported by NSF and AFOSR.

  5. Clap and fling mechanism with interacting porous wings in tiny insect flight.

    PubMed

    Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Robinson, Alice K; Jones, Shannon; Low, Audrey Ann; Gadi, Sneha; Hedrick, Tyson L; Miller, Laura A

    2014-11-01

    The aerodynamics of flapping flight for the smallest insects such as thrips is often characterized by a 'clap and fling' of the wings at the end of the upstroke and the beginning of the downstroke. These insects fly at Reynolds numbers (Re) of the order of 10 or less where viscous effects are significant. Although this wing motion is known to augment the lift generated during flight, the drag required to fling the wings apart at this scale is an order of magnitude larger than the corresponding force acting on a single wing. As the opposing forces acting normal to each wing nearly cancel during the fling, these large forces do not have a clear aerodynamic benefit. If flight efficiency is defined as the ratio of lift to drag, the clap and fling motion dramatically reduces efficiency relative to the case of wings that do not aerodynamically interact. In this paper, the effect of a bristled wing characteristic of many of these insects was investigated using computational fluid dynamics. We performed 2D numerical simulations using a porous version of the immersed boundary method. Given the computational complexity involved in modeling flow through exact descriptions of bristled wings, the wing was modeled as a homogeneous porous layer as a first approximation. High-speed video recordings of free-flying thrips in take-off flight were captured in the laboratory, and an analysis of the wing kinematics was performed. This information was used for the estimation of input parameters for the simulations. Compared with a solid wing (without bristles), the results of the study show that the porous nature of the wings contributes largely to drag reduction across the Re range explored. The aerodynamic efficiency, calculated as the ratio of lift to drag coefficients, was larger for some porosities when compared with solid wings. PMID:25189374

  6. The Aerodynamics of Hovering Insect Flight. III. Kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellington, C. P.

    1984-02-01

    Insects in free flight were filmed at 5000 frames per second to determine the motion of their wings and bodies. General comments are offered on flight behaviour and manoeuvrability. Changes in the tilt of the stroke plane with respect to the horizontal provides kinematic control of manoeuvres, analogous to the type of control used for helicopters. A projection analysis technique is described that solves for the orientation of the animal with respect to a camera-based coordinate system, giving full kinematic details for the longitudinal wing and body axes from single-view films. The technique can be applied to all types of flight where the wing motions are bilaterally symmetrical: forward, backward and hovering flight, as well as properly banked turns. An analysis of the errors of the technique is presented, and shows that the reconstructed angles for wing position should be accurate to within 1-2^circ in general. Although measurement of the angles of attack was not possible, visual estimations are given. Only 11 film sequences show flight velocities and accelerations that are small enough for the flight to be considered as `hovering'. Two sequences are presented for a hover-fly using an inclined stroke plane, and nine sequences of hovering with a horizontal stroke plane by another hover-fly, two crane-flies, a drone-fly, a ladybird beetle, a honey bee, and two bumble bees. In general, oscillations in the body position from its mean motion are within measurement error, about 1-2% of the wing length. The amplitudes of oscillation for the body angle are only a few degrees, but the phase relation of this oscillation to the wingbeat cycle could be determined for a few sequences. The phase indicates that the pitching moments governing the oscillations result from the wing lift at the ends of the wingbeat, and not from the wing drag or inertial forces. The mean pitching moment of the wings, which determines the mean body angle, is controlled by shifting the centre of lift

  7. Flight Testing Surfaces Engineered for Mitigating Insect Adhesion on a Falcon HU-25C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shanahan, Michelle; Wohl, Chris J.; Smith, Joseph G., Jr.; Connell, John W.; Siochi, Emilie J.; Doss, Jereme R.; Penner, Ronald K.

    2015-01-01

    Insect residue contamination on aircraft wings can decrease fuel efficiency in aircraft designed for natural laminar flow. Insect residues can cause a premature transition to turbulent flow, increasing fuel burn and making the aircraft less environmentally friendly. Surfaces, designed to minimize insect residue adhesion, were evaluated through flight testing on a Falcon HU-25C aircraft flown along the coast of Virginia and North Carolina. The surfaces were affixed to the wing leading edge and the aircraft remained at altitudes lower than 1000 feet throughout the flight to assure high insect density. The number of strikes on the engineered surfaces was compared to, and found to be lower than, untreated aluminum control surfaces flown concurrently. Optical profilometry was used to determine insect residue height and areal coverage. Differences in results between flight and laboratory tests suggest the importance of testing in realistic use environments to evaluate the effectiveness of engineered surface designs.

  8. Regulation of oscillatory contraction in insect flight muscle by troponin.

    PubMed

    Krzic, Uros; Rybin, Vladimir; Leonard, Kevin R; Linke, Wolfgang A; Bullard, Belinda

    2010-03-19

    Insect indirect flight muscle is activated by sinusoidal length change, which enables the muscle to work at high frequencies, and contracts isometrically in response to Ca(2+). Indirect flight muscle has two TnC isoforms: F1 binding a single Ca(2+) in the C-domain, and F2 binding Ca(2+) in the N- and C-domains. Fibres substituted with F1 produce delayed force in response to a single rapid stretch, and those with F2 produce isometric force in response to Ca(2+). We have studied the effect of TnC isoforms on oscillatory work. In native Lethocerus indicus fibres, oscillatory work was superimposed on a level of isometric force that depended on Ca(2+) concentration. Maximum work was produced at pCa 6.1; at higher concentrations, work decreased as isometric force increased. In fibres substituted with F1 alone, work continued to rise as Ca(2+) was increased up to pCa 4.7. Fibres substituted with various F1:F2 ratios produced maximal work at a ratio of 100:1 or 50:1; a higher proportion of F2 increased isometric force at the expense of oscillatory work. The F1:F2 ratio was 9.8:1 in native fibres, as measured by immunofluorescence, using isoform-specific antibodies. The small amount of F2 needed to restore work to levels obtained for the native fibre is likely to be due to the relative affinity of F1 and F2 for TnH, the Lethocerus homologue of TnI. Affinity of TnC isoforms for a TnI fragment of TnH was measured by isothermal titration calorimetry. The K(d) was 1.01 muM for F1 binding and 22.7 nM for F2. The higher affinity of F2 can be attributed to two TnH binding sites on F2 and a single site on F1. Stretch may be sensed by an extended C-terminal domain of TnH, resulting in reversible dissociation of the inhibitory sequence from actin during the oscillatory cycle. PMID:20100491

  9. Scales affect performance of Monarch butterfly forewings in autorotational flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demko, Anya; Lang, Amy

    2012-11-01

    Butterfly wings are characterized by rows of scales (approximately 100 microns in length) that create a shingle-like pattern of cavities over the entire surface. It is hypothesized that these cavities influence the airflow around the wing and increase aerodynamic performance. A forewing of the Monarch butterfly (Danus plexippus) naturally undergoes autorotational flight in the laminar regime. Autorotational flight is an accurate representation of insect flight because the rotation induces a velocity gradient similar to that found over a flapping wing. Drop test flights of 22 forewings before and after scale removal were recorded with a high-speed camera and flight behavior was quantified. It was found that removing the scales increased the descent speed and decreased the descent factor, a measure of aerodynamic efficacy, suggesting that scales increased the performance of the forewings. Funded by NSF REU Grant 1062611.

  10. Pilot Fullerton examines SE-81-8 Insect Flight Motion Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Pilot Fullerton examines Student Experiment 81-8 (SE-81-8) Insect Flight Motion Study taped to the airlock on aft middeck. Todd Nelson, a high school senior from Minnesota, won a national contest to fly his experiment on this particular flight. Moths, flies, and bees were studied in the near weightless environment.

  11. NSTA-NASA Shuttle Student Involvement Project. Experiment Results: Insect Flight Observation at Zero Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, T. E.; Peterson, J. R.

    1982-01-01

    The flight responses of common houseflies, velvetbean caterpillar moths, and worker honeybees were observed and filmed for a period of about 25 minutes in a zero-g environment during the third flight of the Space Shuttle Vehicle (flight number STS-3; March 22-30, 1982). Twelve fly puparia, 24 adult moths, 24 moth pupae, and 14 adult bees were loaded into an insect flight box, which was then stowed aboard the Shuttle Orbiter, the night before the STS-3 launch at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The main purpose of the experiment was to observe and compare the flight responses of the three species of insects, which have somewhat different flight control mechanisms, under zero-g conditions.

  12. Orion Flight Performance Design Trades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, Mark C.; Straube, Timothy

    2010-01-01

    A significant portion of the Orion pre-PDR design effort has focused on balancing mass with performance. High level performance metrics include abort success rates, lunar surface coverage, landing accuracy and touchdown loads. These metrics may be converted to parameters that affect mass, such as ballast for stabilizing the abort vehicle, propellant to achieve increased lunar coverage or extended missions, or ballast to increase the lift-to-drag ratio to improve entry and landing performance. The Orion Flight Dynamics team was tasked to perform analyses to evaluate many of these trades. These analyses not only provide insight into the physics of each particular trade but, in aggregate, they illustrate the processes used by Orion to balance performance and mass margins, and thereby make design decisions. Lessons learned can be gleaned from a review of these studies which will be useful to other spacecraft system designers. These lessons fall into several categories, including: appropriate application of Monte Carlo analysis in design trades, managing margin in a highly mass-constrained environment, and the use of requirements to balance margin between subsystems and components. This paper provides a review of some of the trades and analyses conducted by the Flight Dynamics team, as well as systems engineering lessons learned.

  13. Proline as a fuel for insect flight: enhancing carbohydrate oxidation in hymenopterans.

    PubMed

    Teulier, Loïc; Weber, Jean-Michel; Crevier, Julie; Darveau, Charles-A

    2016-07-13

    Bees are thought to be strict users of carbohydrates as metabolic fuel for flight. Many insects, however, have the ability to oxidize the amino acid proline at a high rate, which is a unique feature of this group of animals. The presence of proline in the haemolymph of bees and in the nectar of plants led to the hypothesis that plants may produce proline as a metabolic reward for pollinators. We investigated flight muscle metabolism of hymenopteran species using high-resolution respirometry performed on permeabilized muscle fibres. The muscle fibres of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, do not have a detectable capacity to oxidize proline, as those from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, used here as an outgroup representative. The closely related bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, can oxidize proline alone and more than doubles its respiratory capacity when proline is combined with carbohydrate-derived substrates. A distant wasp species, Vespula vulgaris, exhibits the same metabolic phenotype as the bumblebee, suggesting that proline oxidation is common in hymenopterans. Using a combination of mitochondrial substrates and inhibitors, we further show that in B. impatiens, proline oxidation provides reducing equivalents and electrons directly to the electron transport system. Together, these findings demonstrate that some bee and wasp species can greatly enhance the oxidation of carbohydrates using proline as fuel for flight. PMID:27412285

  14. Flightlessness in mayflies and its relevance to hypotheses on the origin of insect flight

    PubMed Central

    Ruffieux, L.; Elouard, J.-M.; Sartori, M.

    1998-01-01

    Until now, only fully winged mayflies have been known. It has been proposed recently that brachyptery could be a missing link in the development of insect flight, via sailing or skimming aquatic insects. To our knowledge, we report here the first documented case of brachyptery in mayflies. The flightless genus Cheirogenesia is endemic to Madagascar, and the adults skim the water surface. This loss of the flight function has induced important physiological changes, such as a shift from lipids to carbohydrates in the energy reserves used during their adult life. Comparison of wing area of living mayflies with fossil species indicates that brachyptery could have already occurred in early flying insects (in the Permian). We argue that flight loss in Cheirogenesia has been made possible by the lack of fish predation in its natural habitats.

  15. Untethered hovering flapping flight of a 3D-printed mechanical insect.

    PubMed

    Richter, Charles; Lipson, Hod

    2011-01-01

    This project focuses on developing a flapping-wing hovering insect using 3D-printed wings and mechanical parts. The use of 3D printing technology has greatly expanded the possibilities for wing design, allowing wing shapes to replicate those of real insects or virtually any other shape. It has also reduced the time of a wing design cycle to a matter of minutes. An ornithopter with a mass of 3.89 g has been constructed using the 3D printing technique and has demonstrated an 85-s passively stable untethered hovering flight. This flight exhibits the functional utility of printed materials for flapping-wing experimentation and ornithopter construction and for understanding the mechanical principles underlying insect flight and control. PMID:21370958

  16. Enhanced vision: flight test and performance measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balon, Kevin G.; Connor, Sidney A.

    1997-06-01

    This paper presents a flight test methodology and performance measurement system for evaluation of enhanced vision systems (EVS). The architecture for the performance measurements system used on a low operating cost Cessna 402 EVS flight test aircraft and on the DARPA Autonomous Landing Guidance Boeing 727 flight test aircraft is described. The data collection and analysis system is presented in the context of civil aviation requirements. A summary of the flight test accomplishments with the performance measurements system to data is also presented.

  17. Predicting fruit fly’s sensing rate with insect flight simulations

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Song; Wang, Z. Jane

    2014-01-01

    Without sensory feedback, flies cannot fly. Exactly how various feedback controls work in insects is a complex puzzle to solve. What do insects measure to stabilize their flight? How often and how fast must insects adjust their wings to remain stable? To gain insights into algorithms used by insects to control their dynamic instability, we develop a simulation tool to study free flight. To stabilize flight, we construct a control algorithm that modulates wing motion based on discrete measurements of the body-pitch orientation. Our simulations give theoretical bounds on both the sensing rate and the delay time between sensing and actuation. Interpreting our findings together with experimental results on fruit flies’ reaction time and sensory motor reflexes, we conjecture that fruit flies sense their kinematic states every wing beat to stabilize their flight. We further propose a candidate for such a control involving the fly’s haltere and first basalar motor neuron. Although we focus on fruit flies as a case study, the framework for our simulation and discrete control algorithms is applicable to studies of both natural and man-made fliers. PMID:25049376

  18. Flight orientation behaviors promote optimal migration trajectories in high-flying insects.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Jason W; Nesbit, Rebecca L; Burgin, Laura E; Reynolds, Don R; Smith, Alan D; Middleton, Douglas R; Hill, Jane K

    2010-02-01

    Many insects undertake long-range seasonal migrations to exploit temporary breeding sites hundreds or thousands of kilometers apart, but the behavioral adaptations that facilitate these movements remain largely unknown. Using entomological radar, we showed that the ability to select seasonally favorable, high-altitude winds is widespread in large day- and night-flying migrants and that insects adopt optimal flight headings that partially correct for crosswind drift, thus maximizing distances traveled. Trajectory analyses show that these behaviors increase migration distances by 40% and decrease the degree of drift from seasonally optimal directions. These flight behaviors match the sophistication of those seen in migrant birds and help explain how high-flying insects migrate successfully between seasonal habitats. PMID:20133570

  19. 75 FR 47592 - Final Test Guideline; Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-06

    ..., 2007 (72 FR 32647) (FRL-8135-9), of national experts in which the revisions made in June 2006, were... AGENCY Final Test Guideline; Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other... Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other Arthropods Test...

  20. The proteins in the Z line of insect flight muscle.

    PubMed Central

    Bullard, B; Sainsbury, G M

    1977-01-01

    Z discs were isolated from Lethocerus flight muscle by removing the contractile proteins from myofibrils with a solution of high ionic strength. The protein composition of the Z discs was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis; the major proteins were alpha-actinin, actin and tropomyosin. Z lines were selectively removed from intact myofibrils by digestion with crude lipase and chymotrypsin, but not by purified lipase. Images PLATE 1 PLATE 2 PMID:849268

  1. Neuromechanism study of insect-machine interface: flight control by neural electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huixia; Zheng, Nenggan; Ribi, Willi A; Zheng, Huoqing; Xue, Lei; Gong, Fan; Zheng, Xiaoxiang; Hu, Fuliang

    2014-01-01

    The insect-machine interface (IMI) is a novel approach developed for man-made air vehicles, which directly controls insect flight by either neuromuscular or neural stimulation. In our previous study of IMI, we induced flight initiation and cessation reproducibly in restrained honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) via electrical stimulation of the bilateral optic lobes. To explore the neuromechanism underlying IMI, we applied electrical stimulation to seven subregions of the honeybee brain with the aid of a new method for localizing brain regions. Results showed that the success rate for initiating honeybee flight decreased in the order: α-lobe (or β-lobe), ellipsoid body, lobula, medulla and antennal lobe. Based on a comparison with other neurobiological studies in honeybees, we propose that there is a cluster of descending neurons in the honeybee brain that transmits neural excitation from stimulated brain areas to the thoracic ganglia, leading to flight behavior. This neural circuit may involve the higher-order integration center, the primary visual processing center and the suboesophageal ganglion, which is also associated with a possible learning and memory pathway. By pharmacologically manipulating the electrically stimulated honeybee brain, we have shown that octopamine, rather than dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine, plays a part in the circuit underlying electrically elicited honeybee flight. Our study presents a new brain stimulation protocol for the honeybee-machine interface and has solved one of the questions with regard to understanding which functional divisions of the insect brain participate in flight control. It will support further studies to uncover the involved neurons inside specific brain areas and to test the hypothesized involvement of a visual learning and memory pathway in IMI flight control. PMID:25409523

  2. Diel flight pattern and flight performance of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) measured on a flight mill: influence of age, gender, mating status, and body size.

    PubMed

    Sarvary, Mark A; Bloem, Kenneth A; Bloem, Stephanie; Carpenter, James E; Hight, Stephen D; Dorn, Silvia

    2008-04-01

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is an invasive herbivore that poses a serious risk to Opuntia cacti in North America. Knowledge of the flight behavior of the cactus moth is crucial for a better understanding of natural dispersal, and for both monitoring and control. We used computer-linked flight mills to investigate diel flight activity and flight performance in relation to gender, age, mating status, and body size. Maximal flight activity for both mated and unmated moths occurred during twilight, whereas flight activity was low during photophase. The total distance flown and the number of initiated flights within a diel cycle were higher in both unmated and mated females than in males, but the longest single flight was similar in both genders. These findings suggest that pheromone trap captures of males likely indicate the simultaneous presence of females and that mated females might even be in areas where males are not detected yet. Flight performance heterogeneity was large, with a small portion of the population (both males and females) performing long unbroken flights, whereas the majority made short flights. Females had higher pupal and adult body size and shorter longevity than males. A few individuals, particularly young mated females, flying long distances may be important for active spread of a population and the colonization of new habitats. Implications of this study in the control of the cactus moth by using the sterile insect technique are discussed. PMID:18459394

  3. Insect gravitational biology: ground-based and shuttle flight experiments using the beetle Tribolium castaneum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, R. L.; Abbott, M. K.; Denell, R. E.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    Many of the traditional experimental advantages of insects recommend their use in studies of gravitational and space biology. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an obvious choice for studies of the developmental significance of gravity vectors because of the unparalleled description of regulatory mechanisms controlling oogenesis and embryogenesis. However, we demonstrate that Drosophila could not survive the conditions mandated for particular flight opportunities on the Space Shuttle. With the exception of Drosophila, the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, is the insect best characterized with respect to molecular embryology and most frequently utilized for past space flights. We show that Tribolium is dramatically more resistant to confinement in small sealed volumes. In preparation for flight experiments we characterize the course and timing of the onset of oogenesis in newly eclosed adult females. Finally, we present results from two shuttle flights which indicate that a number of aspects of the development and function of the female reproductive system are not demonstrably sensitive to microgravity. Available information supports the utility of this insect for future studies of gravitational biology.

  4. Flight performance of Galileo and Ulysses RTGs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemler, Richard J.; Kelly, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Flight performance data of the GPHS-RTGs (General Purpose Heat Source—Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) on the Galileo and Ulysses spacecraft are reported. Comparison of the flight data with analytical predictions is preformed. Differences between actual flight telemetry data and analytical predictions are addressed including the degree of uncertainty associated with the telemetry data. End of mission power level predictions are included for both missions with an overall assessment of RTG mission performances.

  5. Flight performance of Galileo and Ulysses RTGs

    SciTech Connect

    Hemler, R.J.; Kelly, C.E. )

    1993-01-10

    Flight performance data of the GPHS-RTGs (General Purpose Heat Source---Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) on the Galileo and Ulysses spacecraft are reported. Comparison of the flight data with analytical predictions is preformed. Differences between actual flight telemetry data and analytical predictions are addressed including the degree of uncertainty associated with the telemetry data. End of mission power level predictions are included for both missions with an overall assessment of RTG mission performances.

  6. Optimal strategies for insects migrating in the flight boundary layer: mechanisms and consequences.

    PubMed

    Srygley, Robert B; Dudley, Robert

    2008-07-01

    Directed aerial displacement requires that a volant organism's airspeed exceeds ambient wind speed. For biologically relevant altitudes, wind speed increases exponentially with increased height above the ground. Thus, dispersal of most insects is influenced by atmospheric conditions. However, insects that fly close to the Earth's surface displace within the flight boundary layer where insect airspeeds are relatively high. Over the past 17 years, we have studied boundary-layer insects by following individuals as they migrate across the Caribbean Sea and the Panama Canal. Although most migrants evade either drought or cold, nymphalid and pierid butterflies migrate across Panama near the onset of the rainy season. Dragonflies of the genus Pantala migrate in October concurrently with frontal weather systems. Migrating the furthest and thereby being the most difficult to study, the diurnal moth Urania fulgens migrates between Central and South America. Migratory butterflies and dragonflies are capable of directed movement towards a preferred compass direction in variable winds, whereas the moths drift with winds over water. Butterflies orient using both global and local cues. Consistent with optimal migration theory, butterflies and dragonflies adjust their flight speeds in ways that maximize migratory distance traveled per unit fuel, whereas the moths do not. Moreover, only butterflies adjust their flight speed in relation to endogenous fat reserves. It is likely that these insects use optic flow to gauge their speed and drift, and thus must migrate where sufficient detail in the Earth's surface is visible to them. The abilities of butterflies and dragonflies to adjust their airspeed over water indicate sophisticated control and guidance systems pertaining to migration. PMID:21669778

  7. Crepuscular Flight Activity of an Invasive Insect Governed by Interacting Abiotic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yigen; Seybold, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal and diurnal flight patterns of the invasive walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, were assessed between 2011 and 2014 in northern California, USA in the context of the effects of ambient temperature, light intensity, wind speed, and barometric pressure. Pityophthorus juglandis generally initiated flight in late January and continued until late November. This seasonal flight could be divided approximately into three phases (emergence: January–March; primary flight: May–July; and secondary flight: September–October). The seasonal flight response to the male-produced aggregation pheromone was consistently female-biased (mean of 58.9% females). Diurnal flight followed a bimodal pattern with a minor peak in mid-morning and a major peak at dusk (76.4% caught between 1800 and 2200 h). The primarily crepuscular flight activity had a Gaussian relationship with ambient temperature and barometric pressure but a negative exponential relationship with increasing light intensity and wind speed. A model selection procedure indicated that the four abiotic factors collectively and interactively governed P. juglandis diurnal flight. For both sexes, flight peaked under the following second-order interactions among the factors when: 1) temperature between was 25 and 30°C and light intensity was less than 2000 lux; 2) temperature was between 25 and 35°C and barometric pressure was between 752 and 762 mba (and declined otherwise); 3) barometric pressure was between 755 and 761 mba and light intensity was less than 2000 lux (and declined otherwise); and 4) temperature was ca. 30°C and wind speed was ca. 2 km/h. Thus, crepuscular flight activity of this insect can be best explained by the coincidence of moderately high temperature, low light intensity, moderate wind speed, and low to moderate barometric pressure. The new knowledge provides physical and temporal guidelines for the application of semiochemical-based control techniques as part of an IPM program for

  8. Crepuscular flight activity of an invasive insect governed by interacting abiotic factors.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yigen; Seybold, Steven J

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal and diurnal flight patterns of the invasive walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, were assessed between 2011 and 2014 in northern California, USA in the context of the effects of ambient temperature, light intensity, wind speed, and barometric pressure. Pityophthorus juglandis generally initiated flight in late January and continued until late November. This seasonal flight could be divided approximately into three phases (emergence: January-March; primary flight: May-July; and secondary flight: September-October). The seasonal flight response to the male-produced aggregation pheromone was consistently female-biased (mean of 58.9% females). Diurnal flight followed a bimodal pattern with a minor peak in mid-morning and a major peak at dusk (76.4% caught between 1800 and 2200 h). The primarily crepuscular flight activity had a Gaussian relationship with ambient temperature and barometric pressure but a negative exponential relationship with increasing light intensity and wind speed. A model selection procedure indicated that the four abiotic factors collectively and interactively governed P. juglandis diurnal flight. For both sexes, flight peaked under the following second-order interactions among the factors when: 1) temperature between was 25 and 30 °C and light intensity was less than 2000 lux; 2) temperature was between 25 and 35 °C and barometric pressure was between 752 and 762 mba (and declined otherwise); 3) barometric pressure was between 755 and 761 mba and light intensity was less than 2000 lux (and declined otherwise); and 4) temperature was ca. 30 °C and wind speed was ca. 2 km/h. Thus, crepuscular flight activity of this insect can be best explained by the coincidence of moderately high temperature, low light intensity, moderate wind speed, and low to moderate barometric pressure. The new knowledge provides physical and temporal guidelines for the application of semiochemical-based control techniques as part of an IPM program for this

  9. Fine-tuned echolocation and capture-flight of Myotis capaccinii when facing different-sized insect and fish prey.

    PubMed

    Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Aihartza, Joxerra; Alberdi, Antton; Baagøe, Hans J; Garin, Inazio

    2014-09-15

    Formerly thought to be a strictly insectivorous trawling bat, recent studies have shown that Myotis capaccinii also preys on fish. To determine whether differences exist in bat flight behaviour, prey handling and echolocation characteristics when catching fish and insects of different size, we conducted a field experiment focused on the last stage of prey capture. We used synchronized video and ultrasound recordings to measure several flight and dip features as well as echolocation characteristics, focusing on terminal buzz phase I, characterized by a call rate exceeding 100 Hz, and buzz phase II, characterized by a drop in the fundamental well below 20 kHz and a repetition rate exceeding 150 Hz. When capturing insects, bats used both parts of the terminal phase to the same extent, and performed short and superficial drags on the water surface. In contrast, when preying on fish, buzz I was longer and buzz II shorter, and the bats made longer and deeper dips. These variations suggest that lengthening buzz I and shortening buzz II when fishing is beneficial, probably because buzz I gives better discrimination ability and the broader sonar beam provided by buzz II is useless when no evasive flight of the prey is expected. Additionally, bats continued emitting calls beyond the theoretical signal-overlap zone, suggesting that they might obtain information even when they have surpassed that threshold, at least initially. This study shows that M. capaccinii can regulate the temporal components of its feeding buzzes and modify prey capture technique according to the target. PMID:25013107

  10. Aerodynamics, sensing and control of insect-scale flapping-wing flight

    PubMed Central

    Shyy, Wei; Kang, Chang-kwon; Chirarattananon, Pakpong; Ravi, Sridhar; Liu, Hao

    2016-01-01

    There are nearly a million known species of flying insects and 13 000 species of flying warm-blooded vertebrates, including mammals, birds and bats. While in flight, their wings not only move forward relative to the air, they also flap up and down, plunge and sweep, so that both lift and thrust can be generated and balanced, accommodate uncertain surrounding environment, with superior flight stability and dynamics with highly varied speeds and missions. As the size of a flyer is reduced, the wing-to-body mass ratio tends to decrease as well. Furthermore, these flyers use integrated system consisting of wings to generate aerodynamic forces, muscles to move the wings, and sensing and control systems to guide and manoeuvre. In this article, recent advances in insect-scale flapping-wing aerodynamics, flexible wing structures, unsteady flight environment, sensing, stability and control are reviewed with perspective offered. In particular, the special features of the low Reynolds number flyers associated with small sizes, thin and light structures, slow flight with comparable wind gust speeds, bioinspired fabrication of wing structures, neuron-based sensing and adaptive control are highlighted. PMID:27118897

  11. Bumblebee flight performance in cluttered environments: effects of obstacle orientation, body size and acceleration.

    PubMed

    Crall, James D; Ravi, Sridhar; Mountcastle, Andrew M; Combes, Stacey A

    2015-09-01

    Locomotion through structurally complex environments is fundamental to the life history of most flying animals, and the costs associated with movement through clutter have important consequences for the ecology and evolution of volant taxa. However, few studies have directly investigated how flying animals navigate through cluttered environments, or examined which aspects of flight performance are most critical for this challenging task. Here, we examined how body size, acceleration and obstacle orientation affect the flight of bumblebees in an artificial, cluttered environment. Non-steady flight performance is often predicted to decrease with body size, as a result of a presumed reduction in acceleration capacity, but few empirical tests of this hypothesis have been performed in flying animals. We found that increased body size is associated with impaired flight performance (specifically transit time) in cluttered environments, but not with decreased peak accelerations. In addition, previous studies have shown that flying insects can produce higher accelerations along the lateral body axis, suggesting that if maneuvering is constrained by acceleration capacity, insects should perform better when maneuvering around objects laterally rather than vertically. Our data show that bumblebees do generate higher accelerations in the lateral direction, but we found no difference in their ability to pass through obstacle courses requiring lateral versus vertical maneuvering. In sum, our results suggest that acceleration capacity is not a primary determinant of flight performance in clutter, as is often assumed. Rather than being driven by the scaling of acceleration, we show that the reduced flight performance of larger bees in cluttered environments is driven by the allometry of both path sinuosity and mean flight speed. Specifically, differences in collision-avoidance behavior underlie much of the variation in flight performance across body size, with larger bees

  12. Insect cyborgs: a new frontier in flight control systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reissman, Timothy; Crawford, Jackie H.; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2007-04-01

    The development of a micro-UAV via a cybernetic organism, primarily the Manduca sexta moth, is presented. An observer to gather output data of the system response of the moth is given by means of an image following system. The visual tracking was implemented to gather the required information about the time history of the moth's six degrees of freedom. This was performed with three cameras tracking a white line as a marker on the moth's thorax to maximize contrast between the moth and the marker. Evaluation of the implemented six degree of freedom visual tracking system finds precision greater than 0.1 mm within three standard deviations and accuracy on the order of 1 mm. Acoustic and visual response systems are presented to lay the groundwork for creating a stochastic response catalog of the organisms to varied stimuli.

  13. Centripetal Acceleration Reaction: An Effective and Robust Mechanism for Flapping Flight in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Hedrick, Tyson L.; Mittal, Rajat

    2015-01-01

    Despite intense study by physicists and biologists, we do not fully understand the unsteady aerodynamics that relate insect wing morphology and kinematics to lift generation. Here, we formulate a force partitioning method (FPM) and implement it within a computational fluid dynamic model to provide an unambiguous and physically insightful division of aerodynamic force into components associated with wing kinematics, vorticity, and viscosity. Application of the FPM to hawkmoth and fruit fly flight shows that the leading-edge vortex is the dominant mechanism for lift generation for both these insects and contributes between 72–85% of the net lift. However, there is another, previously unidentified mechanism, the centripetal acceleration reaction, which generates up to 17% of the net lift. The centripetal acceleration reaction is similar to the classical inviscid added-mass in that it depends only on the kinematics (i.e. accelerations) of the body, but is different in that it requires the satisfaction of the no-slip condition, and a combination of tangential motion and rotation of the wing surface. Furthermore, the classical added-mass force is identically zero for cyclic motion but this is not true of the centripetal acceleration reaction. Furthermore, unlike the lift due to vorticity, centripetal acceleration reaction lift is insensitive to Reynolds number and to environmental flow perturbations, making it an important contributor to insect flight stability and miniaturization. This force mechanism also has broad implications for flow-induced deformation and vibration, underwater locomotion and flows involving bubbles and droplets. PMID:26252016

  14. Centripetal Acceleration Reaction: An Effective and Robust Mechanism for Flapping Flight in Insects.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Hedrick, Tyson L; Mittal, Rajat

    2015-01-01

    Despite intense study by physicists and biologists, we do not fully understand the unsteady aerodynamics that relate insect wing morphology and kinematics to lift generation. Here, we formulate a force partitioning method (FPM) and implement it within a computational fluid dynamic model to provide an unambiguous and physically insightful division of aerodynamic force into components associated with wing kinematics, vorticity, and viscosity. Application of the FPM to hawkmoth and fruit fly flight shows that the leading-edge vortex is the dominant mechanism for lift generation for both these insects and contributes between 72-85% of the net lift. However, there is another, previously unidentified mechanism, the centripetal acceleration reaction, which generates up to 17% of the net lift. The centripetal acceleration reaction is similar to the classical inviscid added-mass in that it depends only on the kinematics (i.e. accelerations) of the body, but is different in that it requires the satisfaction of the no-slip condition, and a combination of tangential motion and rotation of the wing surface. Furthermore, the classical added-mass force is identically zero for cyclic motion but this is not true of the centripetal acceleration reaction. Furthermore, unlike the lift due to vorticity, centripetal acceleration reaction lift is insensitive to Reynolds number and to environmental flow perturbations, making it an important contributor to insect flight stability and miniaturization. This force mechanism also has broad implications for flow-induced deformation and vibration, underwater locomotion and flows involving bubbles and droplets. PMID:26252016

  15. Flight Services and Aircraft Access: Active Flow Control Vertical Tail and Insect Accretion and Mitigation Flight Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Edward A.

    2016-01-01

    This document serves as the final report for the Flight Services and Aircraft Access task order NNL14AA57T as part of NASA Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project ITD12A+. It includes descriptions of flight test preparations and execution for the Active Flow Control (AFC) Vertical Tail and Insect Accretion and Mitigation (IAM) experiments conducted on the 757 ecoDemonstrator. For the AFC Vertical Tail, this is the culmination of efforts under two task orders. The task order was managed by Boeing Research & Technology and executed by an enterprise-wide Boeing team that included Boeing Research & Technology, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Defense and Space and Boeing Test and Evaluation. Boeing BR&T in St. Louis was responsible for overall Boeing project management and coordination with NASA. The 757 flight test asset was provided and managed by the BCA ecoDemonstrator Program, in partnership with Stifel Aircraft Leasing and the TUI Group. With this report, all of the required deliverables related to management of this task order have been met and delivered to NASA as summarized in Table 1. In addition, this task order is part of a broader collaboration between NASA and Boeing.

  16. Comprehensive analysis of transport aircraft flight performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippone, Antonio

    2008-04-01

    This paper reviews the state-of-the art in comprehensive performance codes for fixed-wing aircraft. The importance of system analysis in flight performance is discussed. The paper highlights the role of aerodynamics, propulsion, flight mechanics, aeroacoustics, flight operation, numerical optimisation, stochastic methods and numerical analysis. The latter discipline is used to investigate the sensitivities of the sub-systems to uncertainties in critical state parameters or functional parameters. The paper discusses critically the data used for performance analysis, and the areas where progress is required. Comprehensive analysis codes can be used for mission fuel planning, envelope exploration, competition analysis, a wide variety of environmental studies, marketing analysis, aircraft certification and conceptual aircraft design. A comprehensive program that uses the multi-disciplinary approach for transport aircraft is presented. The model includes a geometry deck, a separate engine input deck with the main parameters, a database of engine performance from an independent simulation, and an operational deck. The comprehensive code has modules for deriving the geometry from bitmap files, an aerodynamics model for all flight conditions, a flight mechanics model for flight envelopes and mission analysis, an aircraft noise model and engine emissions. The model is validated at different levels. Validation of the aerodynamic model is done against the scale models DLR-F4 and F6. A general model analysis and flight envelope exploration are shown for the Boeing B-777-300 with GE-90 turbofan engines with intermediate passenger capacity (394 passengers in 2 classes). Validation of the flight model is done by sensitivity analysis on the wetted area (or profile drag), on the specific air range, the brake-release gross weight and the aircraft noise. A variety of results is shown, including specific air range charts, take-off weight-altitude charts, payload-range performance

  17. Controlling free flight of a robotic fly using an onboard vision sensor inspired by insect ocelli.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Sawyer B; Karpelson, Michael; Censi, Andrea; Ma, Kevin Y; Wood, Robert J

    2014-08-01

    Scaling a flying robot down to the size of a fly or bee requires advances in manufacturing, sensing and control, and will provide insights into mechanisms used by their biological counterparts. Controlled flight at this scale has previously required external cameras to provide the feedback to regulate the continuous corrective manoeuvres necessary to keep the unstable robot from tumbling. One stabilization mechanism used by flying insects may be to sense the horizon or Sun using the ocelli, a set of three light sensors distinct from the compound eyes. Here, we present an ocelli-inspired visual sensor and use it to stabilize a fly-sized robot. We propose a feedback controller that applies torque in proportion to the angular velocity of the source of light estimated by the ocelli. We demonstrate theoretically and empirically that this is sufficient to stabilize the robot's upright orientation. This constitutes the first known use of onboard sensors at this scale. Dipteran flies use halteres to provide gyroscopic velocity feedback, but it is unknown how other insects such as honeybees stabilize flight without these sensory organs. Our results, using a vehicle of similar size and dynamics to the honeybee, suggest how the ocelli could serve this role. PMID:24942846

  18. Controlling free flight of a robotic fly using an onboard vision sensor inspired by insect ocelli

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Sawyer B.; Karpelson, Michael; Censi, Andrea; Ma, Kevin Y.; Wood, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Scaling a flying robot down to the size of a fly or bee requires advances in manufacturing, sensing and control, and will provide insights into mechanisms used by their biological counterparts. Controlled flight at this scale has previously required external cameras to provide the feedback to regulate the continuous corrective manoeuvres necessary to keep the unstable robot from tumbling. One stabilization mechanism used by flying insects may be to sense the horizon or Sun using the ocelli, a set of three light sensors distinct from the compound eyes. Here, we present an ocelli-inspired visual sensor and use it to stabilize a fly-sized robot. We propose a feedback controller that applies torque in proportion to the angular velocity of the source of light estimated by the ocelli. We demonstrate theoretically and empirically that this is sufficient to stabilize the robot's upright orientation. This constitutes the first known use of onboard sensors at this scale. Dipteran flies use halteres to provide gyroscopic velocity feedback, but it is unknown how other insects such as honeybees stabilize flight without these sensory organs. Our results, using a vehicle of similar size and dynamics to the honeybee, suggest how the ocelli could serve this role. PMID:24942846

  19. Small, sleek, and in control: The body plan, sensory-neural control, and flight stability of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ristroph, Leif; Bergou, Attila; Guckenheimer, John; Wang, Z. Jane; Cohen, Itai

    2010-11-01

    Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory-neural systems, and here we argue that the fast reaction times of these systems reflect the need to overcome an intrinsic flight instability. We formulate a theory that shows how the body plan and flapping-wing aerodynamics determine the instability growth rate, which in turn dictates the response time needed to suppress it. We experimentally validate this theory by manipulating the flight, sensors, and body plan of fruit flies. The theory is general enough to describe a broad class of flying insects and also furnishes stability criteria for flapping-wing robots. Plausible body plans for the first flyers are determined by conjecturing that these insects were intrinsically stable and only later evolved fast-acting controls for the added benefit of flight agility.

  20. A Quasi-Steady Lifting Line Theory for Insect-Like Hovering Flight

    PubMed Central

    Nabawy, Mostafa R. A.; Crowthe, William J.

    2015-01-01

    A novel lifting line formulation is presented for the quasi-steady aerodynamic evaluation of insect-like wings in hovering flight. The approach allows accurate estimation of aerodynamic forces from geometry and kinematic information alone and provides for the first time quantitative information on the relative contribution of induced and profile drag associated with lift production for insect-like wings in hover. The main adaptation to the existing lifting line theory is the use of an equivalent angle of attack, which enables capture of the steady non-linear aerodynamics at high angles of attack. A simple methodology to include non-ideal induced effects due to wake periodicity and effective actuator disc area within the lifting line theory is included in the model. Low Reynolds number effects as well as the edge velocity correction required to account for different wing planform shapes are incorporated through appropriate modification of the wing section lift curve slope. The model has been successfully validated against measurements from revolving wing experiments and high order computational fluid dynamics simulations. Model predicted mean lift to weight ratio results have an average error of 4% compared to values from computational fluid dynamics for eight different insect cases. Application of an unmodified linear lifting line approach leads on average to a 60% overestimation in the mean lift force required for weight support, with most of the discrepancy due to use of linear aerodynamics. It is shown that on average for the eight insects considered, the induced drag contributes 22% of the total drag based on the mean cycle values and 29% of the total drag based on the mid half-stroke values. PMID:26252657

  1. A Quasi-Steady Lifting Line Theory for Insect-Like Hovering Flight.

    PubMed

    Nabawy, Mostafa R A; Crowthe, William J

    2015-01-01

    A novel lifting line formulation is presented for the quasi-steady aerodynamic evaluation of insect-like wings in hovering flight. The approach allows accurate estimation of aerodynamic forces from geometry and kinematic information alone and provides for the first time quantitative information on the relative contribution of induced and profile drag associated with lift production for insect-like wings in hover. The main adaptation to the existing lifting line theory is the use of an equivalent angle of attack, which enables capture of the steady non-linear aerodynamics at high angles of attack. A simple methodology to include non-ideal induced effects due to wake periodicity and effective actuator disc area within the lifting line theory is included in the model. Low Reynolds number effects as well as the edge velocity correction required to account for different wing planform shapes are incorporated through appropriate modification of the wing section lift curve slope. The model has been successfully validated against measurements from revolving wing experiments and high order computational fluid dynamics simulations. Model predicted mean lift to weight ratio results have an average error of 4% compared to values from computational fluid dynamics for eight different insect cases. Application of an unmodified linear lifting line approach leads on average to a 60% overestimation in the mean lift force required for weight support, with most of the discrepancy due to use of linear aerodynamics. It is shown that on average for the eight insects considered, the induced drag contributes 22% of the total drag based on the mean cycle values and 29% of the total drag based on the mid half-stroke values. PMID:26252657

  2. Orion Entry Flight Control Stability and Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strahan, Alan L.; Loe, Greg R.; Seiler, Pete

    2007-01-01

    The Orion Spacecraft will be required to perform entry and landing functions for both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Lunar return missions, utilizing only the Command Module (CM) with its unique systems and GN&C design. This paper presents the current CM Flight Control System (FCS) design to support entry and landing, with a focus on analyses that have supported its development to date. The CM FCS will have to provide for spacecraft stability and control while following guidance or manual commands during exo-atmospheric flight, after Service Module separation, translational powered flight required of the CM, atmospheric flight supporting both direct entry and skip trajectories down to drogue chute deploy, and during roll attitude reorientation just prior to touchdown. Various studies and analyses have been performed or are on-going supporting an overall FCS design with reasonably sized Reaction Control System (RCS) jets, that minimizes fuel usage, that provides appropriate command following but with reasonable stability and control margin. Results from these efforts to date are included, with particular attention on design issues that have emerged, such as the struggle to accommodate sub-sonic pitch and yaw control without using excessively large jets that could have a detrimental impact on vehicle weight. Apollo, with a similar shape, struggled with this issue as well. Outstanding CM FCS related design and analysis issues, planned for future effort, are also briefly be discussed.

  3. Paradoxical acclimation responses in the thermal performance of insect immunity.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Laura V; Heinrichs, David E; Sinclair, Brent J

    2016-05-01

    Winter is accompanied by multiple stressors, and the interactions between cold and pathogen stress potentially determine the overwintering success of insects. Thus, it is necessary to explore the thermal performance of the insect immune system. We cold-acclimated spring field crickets, Gryllus veletis, to 6 °C for 7 days and measured the thermal performance of potential (lysozyme and phenoloxidase activity) and realised (bacterial clearance and melanisation) immune responses. Cold acclimation decreased the critical thermal minimum from -0.5 ± 0.25 to -2.1 ± 0.18 °C, and chill coma recovery time after 72 h at -2 °C from 16.8 ± 4.9 to 5.2 ± 2.0 min. Measures of both potential and realised immunity followed a typical thermal performance curve, decreasing with decreasing temperature. However, cold acclimation further decreased realised immunity at low, but not high, temperatures; effectively, immune activity became paradoxically specialised to higher temperatures. Thus, cold acclimation induced mismatched thermal responses between locomotor and immune systems, as well as within the immune system itself. We conclude that cold acclimation in insects appears to preferentially improve cold tolerance over whole-animal immune performance at low temperatures, and that the differential thermal performance of physiological responses to multiple pressures must be considered when predicting ectotherms' response to climate change. PMID:26846428

  4. Oxygen and energy availability interact to determine flight performance in the Glanville fritillary butterfly.

    PubMed

    Fountain, Toby; Melvin, Richard G; Ikonen, Suvi; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Woestmann, Luisa; Hietakangas, Ville; Hanski, Ilkka

    2016-05-15

    Flying insects have the highest known mass-specific demand for oxygen, which makes it likely that reduced availability of oxygen might limit sustained flight, either instead of or in addition to the limitation due to metabolite resources. The Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) occurs as a large metapopulation in which adult butterflies frequently disperse between small local populations. Here, we examine how the interaction between oxygen availability and fuel use affects flight performance in the Glanville fritillary. Individuals were flown under either normoxic (21 kPa O2) or hypoxic (10 kPa O2) conditions and their flight metabolism was measured. To determine resource use, levels of circulating glucose, trehalose and whole-body triglyceride were recorded after flight. Flight performance was significantly reduced in hypoxic conditions. When flown under normoxic conditions, we observed a positive correlation among individuals between post-flight circulating trehalose levels and flight metabolic rate, suggesting that low levels of circulating trehalose constrains flight metabolism. To test this hypothesis experimentally, we measured the flight metabolic rate of individuals injected with a trehalase inhibitor. In support of the hypothesis, experimental butterflies showed significantly reduced flight metabolic rate, but not resting metabolic rate, in comparison to control individuals. By contrast, under hypoxia there was no relationship between trehalose and flight metabolic rate. Additionally, in this case, flight metabolic rate was reduced in spite of circulating trehalose levels that were high enough to support high flight metabolic rate under normoxic conditions. These results demonstrate a significant interaction between oxygen and energy availability for the control of flight performance. PMID:26944488

  5. Group interaction and flight crew performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foushee, H. Clayton; Helmreich, Robert L.

    1988-01-01

    The application of human-factors analysis to the performance of aircraft-operation tasks by the crew as a group is discussed in an introductory review and illustrated with anecdotal material. Topics addressed include the function of a group in the operational environment, the classification of group performance factors (input, process, and output parameters), input variables and the flight crew process, and the effect of process variables on performance. Consideration is given to aviation safety issues, techniques for altering group norms, ways of increasing crew effort and coordination, and the optimization of group composition.

  6. Thermal control surfaces experiment flight system performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.

    1992-01-01

    The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flown. The objective of the TCSE on the LDEF was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post-flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low Earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in the lab. The performance of the TCSE flight system on the LDEF was excellent.

  7. Real-time in-flight engine performance and health monitoring techniques for flight research application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Ronald J.; Hicks, John W.; Wichman, Keith D.

    1992-01-01

    Various engine related performance and health monitoring techniques developed in support of flight research are described. Techniques used during flight to enhance safety and to increase flight test productivity are summarized. A description of the NASA range facility is given along with a discussion of the flight data processing. Examples of data processed and the flight data displays are shown. A discussion of current trends and future capabilities is also included.

  8. The redder the better: wing color predicts flight performance in monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew K; Chi, Jean; Bradley, Catherine; Altizer, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    The distinctive orange and black wings of monarchs (Danaus plexippus) have long been known to advertise their bitter taste and toxicity to potential predators. Recent work also showed that both the orange and black coloration of this species can vary in response to individual-level and environmental factors. Here we examine the relationship between wing color and flight performance in captive-reared monarchs using a tethered flight mill apparatus to quantify butterfly flight speed, duration and distance. In three different experiments (totaling 121 individuals) we used image analysis to measure body size and four wing traits among newly-emerged butterflies prior to flight trials: wing area, aspect ratio (length/width), melanism, and orange hue. Results showed that monarchs with darker orange (approaching red) wings flew longer distances than those with lighter orange wings in analyses that controlled for sex and other morphometric traits. This finding is consistent with past work showing that among wild monarchs, those sampled during the fall migration are darker in hue (redder) than non-migratory monarchs. Together, these results suggest that pigment deposition onto wing scales during metamorphosis could be linked with traits that influence flight, such as thorax muscle size, energy storage or metabolism. Our results reinforce an association between wing color and flight performance in insects that is suggested by past studies of wing melansim and seasonal polyphenism, and provide an important starting point for work focused on mechanistic links between insect movement and color. PMID:22848463

  9. Phototaxis and polarotaxis hand in hand: night dispersal flight of aquatic insects distracted synergistically by light intensity and reflection polarization.

    PubMed

    Boda, Pál; Horváth, Gábor; Kriska, György; Blahó, Miklós; Csabai, Zoltán

    2014-05-01

    Based on an earlier observation in the field, we hypothesized that light intensity and horizontally polarized reflected light may strongly influence the flight behaviour of night-active aquatic insects. We assumed that phototaxis and polarotaxis together have a more harmful effect on the dispersal flight of these insects than they would have separately. We tested this hypothesis in a multiple-choice field experiment using horizontal test surfaces laid on the ground. We offered simultaneously the following visual stimuli for aerial aquatic insects: (1) lamplit matte black canvas inducing phototaxis alone, (2) unlit shiny black plastic sheet eliciting polarotaxis alone, (3) lamplit shiny black plastic sheet inducing simultaneously phototaxis and polarotaxis, and (4) unlit matte black canvas as a visually unattractive control. The unlit matte black canvas trapped only a negligible number (13) of water insects. The sum (16,432) of the total numbers of water beetles and bugs captured on the lamplit matte black canvas (7,922) and the unlit shiny black plastic sheet (8,510) was much smaller than the total catch (29,682) caught on the lamplit shiny black plastic sheet. This provides experimental evidence for the synergistic interaction of phototaxis (elicited by the unpolarized direct lamplight) and polarotaxis (induced by the strongly and horizontally polarized plastic-reflected light) in the investigated aquatic insects. Thus, horizontally polarizing artificial lamplit surfaces can function as an effective ecological trap due to this synergism of optical cues, especially in the urban environment. PMID:24671223

  10. Phototaxis and polarotaxis hand in hand: night dispersal flight of aquatic insects distracted synergistically by light intensity and reflection polarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boda, Pál; Horváth, Gábor; Kriska, György; Blahó, Miklós; Csabai, Zoltán

    2014-05-01

    Based on an earlier observation in the field, we hypothesized that light intensity and horizontally polarized reflected light may strongly influence the flight behaviour of night-active aquatic insects. We assumed that phototaxis and polarotaxis together have a more harmful effect on the dispersal flight of these insects than they would have separately. We tested this hypothesis in a multiple-choice field experiment using horizontal test surfaces laid on the ground. We offered simultaneously the following visual stimuli for aerial aquatic insects: (1) lamplit matte black canvas inducing phototaxis alone, (2) unlit shiny black plastic sheet eliciting polarotaxis alone, (3) lamplit shiny black plastic sheet inducing simultaneously phototaxis and polarotaxis, and (4) unlit matte black canvas as a visually unattractive control. The unlit matte black canvas trapped only a negligible number (13) of water insects. The sum (16,432) of the total numbers of water beetles and bugs captured on the lamplit matte black canvas (7,922) and the unlit shiny black plastic sheet (8,510) was much smaller than the total catch (29,682) caught on the lamplit shiny black plastic sheet. This provides experimental evidence for the synergistic interaction of phototaxis (elicited by the unpolarized direct lamplight) and polarotaxis (induced by the strongly and horizontally polarized plastic-reflected light) in the investigated aquatic insects. Thus, horizontally polarizing artificial lamplit surfaces can function as an effective ecological trap due to this synergism of optical cues, especially in the urban environment.

  11. Flight test of takeoff performance monitoring system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Middleton, David B.; Srivatsan, Raghavachari; Person, Lee H., Jr.

    1994-01-01

    The Takeoff Performance Monitoring System (TOPMS) is a computer software and hardware graphics system that visually displays current runway position, acceleration performance, engine status, and other situation advisory information to aid pilots in their decision to continue or to abort a takeoff. The system was developed at the Langley Research Center using the fixed-base Transport Systems Research Vehicle (TSRV) simulator. (The TSRV is a highly modified Boeing 737-100 research airplane.) Several versions of the TOPMS displays were evaluated on the TSRV B-737 simulator by more than 40 research, United States Air Force, airline and industry and pilots who rated the system satisfactory and recommended further development and testing. In this study, the TOPMS was flight tested on the TSRV. A total of 55 takeoff and 30 abort situations were investigated at 5 airfields. TOPMS displays were observed on the navigation display screen in the TSRV research flight deck during various nominal and off-nominal situations, including normal takeoffs; reduced-throttle takeoffs; induced-acceleration deficiencies; simulated-engine failures; and several gross-weight, runway-geometry, runway-surface, and ambient conditions. All tests were performed on dry runways. The TOPMS software executed accurately during the flight tests and the displays correctly depicted the various test conditions. Evaluation pilots found the displays easy to monitor and understand. The algorithm provides pretakeoff predictions of the nominal distances that are needed to accelerate the airplane to takeoff speed and to brake it to a stop; these predictions agreed reasonably well with corresponding values measured during several fully executed and aborted takeoffs. The TOPMS is operational and has been retained on the TSRV for general use and demonstration.

  12. Abi Cooler System Flight Module Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colbert, R.; Pruitt, G.; Nguyen, T.; Raab, J.

    2010-04-01

    Northrop Grumman provides a long-life, low mass, efficient two-stage pulse tube cooler for the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) to be flown on NOAA's GOES R spacecraft. This two-stage cooler design is one of a family of one and multi-stage pulse tube cooler products developed by Northrop Grumman that provides two separate cryogenic interface temperatures with an integral HEC pulse tube cooler and a remote coaxial cold head. The two-stage cold head for ABI was designed to provide simultaneous large cooling power at 53 K and 183 K. This paper summarizes the data collected on the Flight Module (FM) coolers during acceptance testing. Tests conducted on the FM coolers included applied vibration, survival at non-operational temperature extremes, thermal performance measurements over a range of operational temperatures, as well as temperature stability tests. Designed for a 10-year life, the ABI coolers have the capability to provide 1.9-2.3 W of cooling at 53 K, and between 5.1 W and 8.0 W of cooling at 183 K; while rejecting to 300 K with less than 186 W of input power to the cooler control electronics. The ABI Flight Module coolers, on average, met the cooling capability at 53 K and 183 K with average input power levels of 169 W, a performance margin of roughly 9%. All coolers demonstrated short term stability of less than 73 mKp-p and long term temperature stability of less than 83 mKp-p. These Flight Module coolers represent the full complement of coolers delivered to the ABI Program. All critical FM cooler delivery milestones were met over the course of this program.

  13. An improved method for accurate and rapid measurement of flight performance in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Babcock, Daniel T; Ganetzky, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila has proven to be a useful model system for analysis of behavior, including flight. The initial flight tester involved dropping flies into an oil-coated graduated cylinder; landing height provided a measure of flight performance by assessing how far flies will fall before producing enough thrust to make contact with the wall of the cylinder. Here we describe an updated version of the flight tester with four major improvements. First, we added a "drop tube" to ensure that all flies enter the flight cylinder at a similar velocity between trials, eliminating variability between users. Second, we replaced the oil coating with removable plastic sheets coated in Tangle-Trap, an adhesive designed to capture live insects. Third, we use a longer cylinder to enable more accurate discrimination of flight ability. Fourth we use a digital camera and imaging software to automate the scoring of flight performance. These improvements allow for the rapid, quantitative assessment of flight behavior, useful for large datasets and large-scale genetic screens. PMID:24561810

  14. Optimal strategies for insects migrating in the flight boundary layer: Mechanisms and consequences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Directed aerial displacement requires that an organism’s airspeed exceeds ambient wind speed. For biologically relevant altitudes, wind speed increases exponentially with increased height above the ground. Most insects thus disperse according to atmospheric conditions. However, those insects flying...

  15. Molecular modeling of averaged rigor crossbridges from tomograms of insect flight muscle.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li Fan; Winkler, Hanspeter; Reedy, Michael K; Reedy, Mary C; Taylor, Kenneth A

    2002-01-01

    Electron tomography, correspondence analysis, molecular model building, and real-space refinement provide detailed 3-D structures for in situ myosin crossbridges in the nucleotide-free state (rigor), thought to represent the end of the power stroke. Unaveraged tomograms from a 25-nm longitudinal section of insect flight muscle preserved native structural variation. Recurring crossbridge motifs that repeat every 38.7 nm along the actin filament were extracted from the tomogram and classified by correspondence analysis into 25 class averages, which improved the signal to noise ratio. Models based on the atomic structures of actin and of myosin subfragment 1 were rebuilt to fit 11 class averages. A real-space refinement procedure was applied to quantitatively fit the reconstructions and to minimize steric clashes between domains introduced during the fitting. These combined procedures show that no single myosin head structure can fit all the in situ crossbridges. The validity of the approach is supported by agreement of these atomic models with fluorescent probe data from vertebrate muscle as well as with data from regulatory light chain crosslinking between heads of smooth muscle heavy meromyosin when bound to actin. PMID:12160705

  16. The Apparent Rates of Crossbridge Attachment and Detachment Estimated from Atpase Activity in Insect Flight Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Güth, K.; Poole, K. J. V.; Maughan, D.; Kuhn, H. J.

    1987-01-01

    The ATPase activity of single fibers of small fiber bundles (one to three fibers) of insect flight muscle was measured when fibers were repetitively released and restretched by 1.5% of their initial length. The ATPase activity increased with increasing duration of release-restretch pulses applied at a constant repetition frequency, reaching a maximum at a duration of ∼20 ms. For a given duration, the average ATPase activity also increased with increasing frequency of applied length changes and reached a maximum (200% of the isometric ATPase) at a frequency of ∼50 Hz. The data could be fitted to a two-state model in which the apparent rate of crossbridge detachment is enhanced when the crossbridges are mechanically released. Estimates of the apparent rates of attachment and detachment in the isometrically contracting state and of the enhanced detachment rate of unloaded crossbridges were derived from fits to the two-state model. After short pulses of releasing and restretching the fiber the force was low and increased after the restretch in a roughly exponential manner to the initial level. The rate at which force increased after a release-restretch pulse was similar to the sum of the apparent attachment and detachment rates for the isometrically contracting muscle derived from the ATPase activity measurements. PMID:19431712

  17. Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test 1 - Post-Flight Assessment of Simulation Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Soumyo; Bowes, Angela L.; Striepe, Scott A.; Davis, Jody L.; Queen, Eric M.; Blood, Eric M.; Ivanov, Mark C.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project conducted its first Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT-1) on June 28, 2014. Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) was one of the flight dynamics codes used to simulate and predict the flight performance and Monte Carlo analysis was used to characterize the potential flight conditions experienced by the test vehicle. This paper compares the simulation predictions with the reconstructed trajectory of SFDT-1. Additionally, off-nominal conditions seen during flight are modeled in post-flight simulations to find the primary contributors that reconcile the simulation with flight data. The results of these analyses are beneficial for the pre-flight simulation and targeting of the follow-on SFDT flights currently scheduled for summer 2015.

  18. Thermal control surfaces experiment flight system performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.

    1991-01-01

    The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system, other than the LDEF, retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flow by NASA and the DoD including SDI. The objective of TCSE was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in a lab. The performance of the TCSE confirms that low cost, complex experiment packages can be developed that perform well in space.

  19. Fast Direct Injection Mass-Spectrometric Characterization of Stimuli for Insect Electrophysiology by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS)

    PubMed Central

    Tasin, Marco; Cappellin, Luca; Biasioli, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Electrophysiological techniques are used in insect neuroscience to measure the response of olfactory neurons to volatile odour stimuli. Widely used systems to deliver an olfactory stimulus to a test insect include airstream guided flow through glass cartridges loaded with a given volatile compound on a sorbent support. Precise measurement of the quantity of compound reaching the sensory organ of the test organism is an urgent task in insect electrophysiology. In this study we evaluated the performances of the recent realised proton transfer reaction-time of flight mass-spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) as a fast and selective gas sensor. In particular, we characterised the gas emission from cartridges loaded with a set of volatile compounds belonging to different chemical classes and commonly used in electrophysiological experiments. PTR-ToF-MS allowed a fast monitoring of all investigated compounds with sufficient sensitivity and time resolution. The detection and the quantification of air contaminants and solvent or synthetic standards impurities allowed a precise quantification of the stimulus exiting the cartridge. The outcome of this study was twofold: on one hand we showed that PTR-ToF-MS allows monitoring fast processes with high sensitivity by real time detection of a broad number of compounds; on the other hand we provided a tool to solve an important issue in insect electrophysiology. PMID:22666020

  20. The design of a low-speed wind tunnel for studying the flow field of insects' flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Hong-yan; Zhang, Peng-fei; Ma, Yun; Ning, Jian-guo

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, low-speed smoke wind tunnel has been designed and fabricated for the insects' flow field visualization. The test section and the contraction section of the tunnel are optimized and determined as to size by the method of computational fluid dynamics. And fairing devices are equipped in different sections to reduce the turbulence intensity and increase the flow uniformity in the experimental sections. For the smoke visualization of small insects, the smokeemitting equipment has been specially designed and carefully debugged. Composed of wind tunnel, light source and high-speed camera, experimental platform for visualization and filming of insect flight flow field has been established. Besides, the feasible and stable method for insect fixing has been designed. With the smoke wind tunnel, flow filed visualization experiment for the honeybee's flapping was conducted and smoke flow filed in the experiment was recorded and analyzed. Near-filed and far-filed vortex structure when the honeybee fly can be recorded clearly. The experimental results indicate that the experimental platform is appropriate for flow filed study on insects flapping.

  1. Poor flight performance in deep-diving cormorants.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Takahashi, Akinori; Sato, Katsufumi; Viviant, Morgane; Bost, Charles-André

    2011-02-01

    Aerial flight and breath-hold diving present conflicting morphological and physiological demands, and hence diving seabirds capable of flight are expected to face evolutionary trade-offs regarding locomotory performances. We tested whether Kerguelen shags Phalacrocorax verrucosus, which are remarkable divers, have poor flight capability using newly developed tags that recorded their flight air speed (the first direct measurement for wild birds) with propeller sensors, flight duration, GPS position and depth during foraging trips. Flight air speed (mean 12.7 m s(-1)) was close to the speed that minimizes power requirement, rather than energy expenditure per distance, when existing aerodynamic models were applied. Flights were short (mean 92 s), with a mean summed duration of only 24 min day(-1). Shags sometimes stayed at the sea surface without diving between flights, even on the way back to the colony, and surface durations increased with the preceding flight durations; these observations suggest that shags rested after flights. Our results indicate that their flight performance is physiologically limited, presumably compromised by their great diving capability (max. depth 94 m, duration 306 s) through their morphological adaptations for diving, including large body mass (enabling a large oxygen store), small flight muscles (to allow for large leg muscles for underwater propulsion) and short wings (to decrease air volume in the feathers and hence buoyancy). The compromise between flight and diving, as well as the local bathymetry, shape the three-dimensional foraging range (<26 km horizontally, <94 m vertically) in this bottom-feeding cormorant. PMID:21228200

  2. Electron Tomography of Cryofixed, Isometrically Contracting Insect Flight Muscle Reveals Novel Actin-Myosin Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shenping; Liu, Jun; Tregear, Richard T.; Winkler, Hanspeter; Franzini-Armstrong, Clara; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Lucaveche, Carmen; Goldman, Yale E.; Reedy, Michael K.; Taylor, Kenneth A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Isometric muscle contraction, where force is generated without muscle shortening, is a molecular traffic jam in which the number of actin-attached motors is maximized and all states of motor action are trapped with consequently high heterogeneity. This heterogeneity is a major limitation to deciphering myosin conformational changes in situ. Methodology We used multivariate data analysis to group repeat segments in electron tomograms of isometrically contracting insect flight muscle, mechanically monitored, rapidly frozen, freeze substituted, and thin sectioned. Improved resolution reveals the helical arrangement of F-actin subunits in the thin filament enabling an atomic model to be built into the thin filament density independent of the myosin. Actin-myosin attachments can now be assigned as weak or strong by their motor domain orientation relative to actin. Myosin attachments were quantified everywhere along the thin filament including troponin. Strong binding myosin attachments are found on only four F-actin subunits, the “target zone”, situated exactly midway between successive troponin complexes. They show an axial lever arm range of 77°/12.9 nm. The lever arm azimuthal range of strong binding attachments has a highly skewed, 127° range compared with X-ray crystallographic structures. Two types of weak actin attachments are described. One type, found exclusively in the target zone, appears to represent pre-working-stroke intermediates. The other, which contacts tropomyosin rather than actin, is positioned M-ward of the target zone, i.e. the position toward which thin filaments slide during shortening. Conclusion We present a model for the weak to strong transition in the myosin ATPase cycle that incorporates azimuthal movements of the motor domain on actin. Stress/strain in the S2 domain may explain azimuthal lever arm changes in the strong binding attachments. The results support previous conclusions that the weak attachments preceding force

  3. Electron Tomography of Cryofixed, Isometrically Contracting Insect Flight Muscle Reveals Novel Actin-Myosin Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Shenping; Liu, Jun; Reedy, Mary C.; Tregear, Richard T.; Winkler, Hanspeter; Franzini-Armstrong, Clara; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Lucaveche, Carmen; Goldman, Yale E.; Reedy, Michael K.; Taylor, Kenneth A.

    2010-10-22

    Isometric muscle contraction, where force is generated without muscle shortening, is a molecular traffic jam in which the number of actin-attached motors is maximized and all states of motor action are trapped with consequently high heterogeneity. This heterogeneity is a major limitation to deciphering myosin conformational changes in situ. We used multivariate data analysis to group repeat segments in electron tomograms of isometrically contracting insect flight muscle, mechanically monitored, rapidly frozen, freeze substituted, and thin sectioned. Improved resolution reveals the helical arrangement of F-actin subunits in the thin filament enabling an atomic model to be built into the thin filament density independent of the myosin. Actin-myosin attachments can now be assigned as weak or strong by their motor domain orientation relative to actin. Myosin attachments were quantified everywhere along the thin filament including troponin. Strong binding myosin attachments are found on only four F-actin subunits, the 'target zone', situated exactly midway between successive troponin complexes. They show an axial lever arm range of 77{sup o}/12.9 nm. The lever arm azimuthal range of strong binding attachments has a highly skewed, 127{sup o} range compared with X-ray crystallographic structures. Two types of weak actin attachments are described. One type, found exclusively in the target zone, appears to represent pre-working-stroke intermediates. The other, which contacts tropomyosin rather than actin, is positioned M-ward of the target zone, i.e. the position toward which thin filaments slide during shortening. We present a model for the weak to strong transition in the myosin ATPase cycle that incorporates azimuthal movements of the motor domain on actin. Stress/strain in the S2 domain may explain azimuthal lever arm changes in the strong binding attachments. The results support previous conclusions that the weak attachments preceding force generation are very

  4. Apollo 14 flight support and system performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, R. R.

    1971-01-01

    The Apollo 13 incident and subsequent oxygen tank redesign for Apollo 14 placed unique requirements on the flight support activity. A major part of this activity was the integration of the various analytical efforts into a single team function. Additionally, the first flight of the redesigned system without an orbital test required an extensive analytical base. The support team philosophy, objectives, and organization are presented. Various analytical tools that were used during the flight are discussed. Investigations made during the postflight period are considered and their impact upon subsequent flights shown.

  5. WFC3: In-Flight Performance Highlights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Randy A.

    2010-01-01

    Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a powerful new imager for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), was successfully installed in the telescope in May 2009 during the first dramatic spacewalk of space shuttle flight STS-125, also known as HST Servicing Mission 4. This new camera offers unique observing capabilities in two channels spanning a broad wavelength range from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared (200-1000nm in the UV/Visible [UVIS] channel; 850-1700nm in the IR channel). After an initial outgassing period, WFC3 was cooled to its observing configuration in June. In the following months, a highly successful Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV4) program was executed, which has confirmed the exciting scientific potential of the instrument. Detailed performance results from the SMOV 4 program are presented in a number of papers in this session. In this paper, we highlight some top-level performance assessments (throughput, limiting magnitudes, survey speeds) for WFC3, which is now actively engaged in the execution of forefront astronomical observing programs.

  6. Nectar resource limitation affects butterfly flight performance and metabolism differently in intensive and extensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-05-11

    Flight is an essential biological ability of many insects, but is energetically costly. Environments under rapid human-induced change are characterized by habitat fragmentation and may impose constraints on the energy income budget of organisms. This may, in turn, affect locomotor performance and willingness to fly. We tested flight performance and metabolic rates in meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) of two contrasted agricultural landscapes: intensively managed, nectar-poor (IL) versus extensively managed, nectar-rich landscapes (EL). Young female adults were submitted to four nectar treatments (i.e. nectar quality and quantity) in outdoor flight cages. IL individuals had better flight capacities in a flight mill and had lower resting metabolic rates (RMR) than EL individuals, except under the severest treatment. Under this treatment, RMR increased in IL individuals, but decreased in EL individuals; flight performance was maintained by IL individuals, but dropped by a factor 2.5 in EL individuals. IL individuals had more canalized (i.e. less plastic) responses relative to the nectar treatments than EL individuals. Our results show significant intraspecific variation in the locomotor and metabolic response of a butterfly to different energy income regimes relative to the landscape of origin. Ecophysiological studies help to improve our mechanistic understanding of the eco-evolutionary impact of anthropogenic environments on rare and widespread species. PMID:27147100

  7. Post-Flight Analysis of GPSR Performance During Orion Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, Lee; Mamich, Harvey; McGregor, John

    2016-01-01

    On 5 December 2014, the first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle executed a unique and challenging flight profile including an elevated re-entry velocity and steeper flight path angle to envelope lunar re-entry conditions. A new navigation system including a single frequency (L1) GPS receiver was evaluated for use as part of the redundant navigation system required for human space flight. The single frequency receiver was challenged by a highly dynamic flight environment including flight above low Earth orbit, as well as single frequency operation with ionospheric delay present. This paper presents a brief description of the GPS navigation system, an independent analysis of flight telemetry data, and evaluation of the GPSR performance, including evaluation of the ionospheric model employed to supplement the single frequency receiver. Lessons learned and potential improvements will be discussed.

  8. Calculating Launch Vehicle Flight Performance Reserve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, John M.; Pinson, Robin M.; Beard, Bernard B.

    2011-01-01

    This paper addresses different methods for determining the amount of extra propellant (flight performance reserve or FPR) that is necessary to reach orbit with a high probability of success. One approach involves assuming that the various influential parameters are independent and that the result behaves as a Gaussian. Alternatively, probabilistic models may be used to determine the vehicle and environmental models that will be available (estimated) for a launch day go/no go decision. High-fidelity closed-loop Monte Carlo simulation determines the amount of propellant used with each random combination of parameters that are still unknown at the time of launch. Using the results of the Monte Carlo simulation, several methods were used to calculate the FPR. The final chosen solution involves determining distributions for the pertinent outputs and running a separate Monte Carlo simulation to obtain a best estimate of the required FPR. This result differs from the result obtained using the other methods sufficiently that the higher fidelity is warranted.

  9. Dispersal propensity, but not flight performance, explains variation in dispersal ability.

    PubMed

    Steyn, Vernon M; Mitchell, Katherine A; Terblanche, John S

    2016-08-17

    Enhanced dispersal ability may lead to accelerated range expansion and increased rates of population establishment, thereby affecting population genetic structure and evolutionary potential. Morphological, behavioural and physiological traits that characterize dispersive individuals from residents are poorly understood for many invertebrate systems, especially in non-polymorphic pterygote species. Here we examined phenotypic differences between dispersal-prone and philopatric individuals from repeated mark-release-recapture (MRR) experiments using an invasive agricultural pest, Ceratitis capitata Comprehensive morphometric assessment and subsequent minimal adequate modelling using an information theoretic approach identified thorax mass : body mass ratio as a key predictor of disperser flies under semi-natural conditions. Performance differences in flight ability were then examined under controlled laboratory conditions to assess whether greater thorax mass : body mass ratio was associated with enhanced flight ability. The larger thorax : body mass ratio was associated with measurable differences in mean flight duration, most predominantly in males, and also by their willingness to disperse, scored as the number and duration of voluntary flights. No other measures of whole-animal flight performance (e.g. mean and peak vertical force, total or maximum flight duration) differed. Variation in voluntary behaviour may result in significant alterations of movement behaviour and realized dispersal in nature. This phenomenon may help explain intraspecific variation in the dispersal ability of insects. PMID:27488649

  10. Surpassing Mt. Everest: extreme flight performance of alpine bumble-bees.

    PubMed

    Dillon, Michael E; Dudley, Robert

    2014-02-01

    Animal flight at altitude involves substantial aerodynamic and physiological challenges. Hovering at high elevations is particularly demanding from the dual perspectives of lift and power output; nevertheless, some volant insects reside and fly at elevations in excess of 4000 m. Here, we demonstrate that alpine bumble-bees possess substantial aerodynamic reserves, and can sustain hovering flight under hypobaria at effective elevations in excess of 9000 m, i.e. higher than Mt. Everest. Modulation of stroke amplitude and not wingbeat frequency is the primary means of compensation for overcoming the aerodynamic challenge. The presence of such excess capacity in a high-altitude bumble-bee is surprising and suggests intermittent behavioural demands for extreme flight performance supplemental to routine foraging. PMID:24501268

  11. Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ray, Robert P; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    Insect wing shapes are remarkably diverse and the combination of shape and kinematics determines both aerial capabilities and power requirements. However, the contribution of any specific morphological feature to performance is not known. Using targeted RNA interference to modify wing shape far beyond the natural variation found within the population of a single species, we show a direct effect on flight performance that can be explained by physical modelling of the novel wing geometry. Our data show that altering the expression of a single gene can significantly enhance aerial agility and that the Drosophila wing shape is not, therefore, optimized for certain flight performance characteristics that are known to be important. Our technique points in a new direction for experiments on the evolution of performance specialities in animals. PMID:26926954

  12. Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Robert P.; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Insect wing shapes are remarkably diverse and the combination of shape and kinematics determines both aerial capabilities and power requirements. However, the contribution of any specific morphological feature to performance is not known. Using targeted RNA interference to modify wing shape far beyond the natural variation found within the population of a single species, we show a direct effect on flight performance that can be explained by physical modelling of the novel wing geometry. Our data show that altering the expression of a single gene can significantly enhance aerial agility and that the Drosophila wing shape is not, therefore, optimized for certain flight performance characteristics that are known to be important. Our technique points in a new direction for experiments on the evolution of performance specialities in animals. PMID:26926954

  13. Structural changes in isometrically contracting insect flight muscle trapped following a mechanical perturbation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shenping; Liu, Jun; Reedy, Mary C; Perz-Edwards, Robert J; Tregear, Richard T; Winkler, Hanspeter; Franzini-Armstrong, Clara; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Lucaveche, Carmen; Goldman, Yale E; Reedy, Michael K; Taylor, Kenneth A

    2012-01-01

    The application of rapidly applied length steps to actively contracting muscle is a classic method for synchronizing the response of myosin cross-bridges so that the average response of the ensemble can be measured. Alternatively, electron tomography (ET) is a technique that can report the structure of the individual members of the ensemble. We probed the structure of active myosin motors (cross-bridges) by applying 0.5% changes in length (either a stretch or a release) within 2 ms to isometrically contracting insect flight muscle (IFM) fibers followed after 5-6 ms by rapid freezing against a liquid helium cooled copper mirror. ET of freeze-substituted fibers, embedded and thin-sectioned, provides 3-D cross-bridge images, sorted by multivariate data analysis into ~40 classes, distinct in average structure, population size and lattice distribution. Individual actin subunits are resolved facilitating quasi-atomic modeling of each class average to determine its binding strength (weak or strong) to actin. ~98% of strong-binding acto-myosin attachments present after a length perturbation are confined to "target zones" of only two actin subunits located exactly midway between successive troponin complexes along each long-pitch helical repeat of actin. Significant changes in the types, distribution and structure of actin-myosin attachments occurred in a manner consistent with the mechanical transients. Most dramatic is near disappearance, after either length perturbation, of a class of weak-binding cross-bridges, attached within the target zone, that are highly likely to be precursors of strong-binding cross-bridges. These weak-binding cross-bridges were originally observed in isometrically contracting IFM. Their disappearance following a quick stretch or release can be explained by a recent kinetic model for muscle contraction, as behaviour consistent with their identification as precursors of strong-binding cross-bridges. The results provide a detailed model for

  14. Binding of myosin subfragment 1 to glycerinated insect flight muscle in the rigor state.

    PubMed Central

    Goody, R S; Reedy, M C; Hofmann, W; Holmes, K C; Reedy, M K

    1985-01-01

    The binding of rabbit muscle myosin subfragment 1 (S1) to glycerinated insect flight muscle fibers has been studied by low-angle x-ray diffraction, quantitative sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis, quantitative interference microscopy, and electron microscopy. Changes induced in the rigor x-ray diffraction pattern are consistent with the idea that vacant myosin-binding sites on thin filaments are filled by exogenous S1. Electron microscopy indicates that S1 permeates and labels fibers and fibrils completely. Electron micrographs also show that cross-bridges are not displaced by exogenous S1 under the conditions used, and this is supported by the unchanged mechanical stiffness of the S1-labeled fibers. The amount of bound S1, as measured by gel electrophoresis and interference microscopy, together with the magnitude of the intensity changes in the x-ray diffraction pattern, is consistent with a thick filament structure that contains four molecules of endogenous myosin per 14.5 nm of its length, but does not agree well with earlier estimates of six myosins per crown. Lack of information on possible inhibition of S1-binding by factors other than the presence of cross-bridges, e.g., troponin, render uncertain calculations of the number of attached cross-bridges in the rigor state. However, it appears that at least 75% of the endogenous myosin heads are attached. Occupancy of binding sites on thin filaments after incubation with S1 is high, probably greater than 85%, so that x-ray scattering from those parts of the structure that adhere to the symmetry of the thin filaments can be treated as diffraction from S1-decorated thin filaments. In addition, we show in thin flared X cross sections that exo-S1 heads bind to actin with the geometry described in decorated actin by Taylor, K.A., and L.A. Amos. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 9 FIGURE 10 FIGURE 11 FIGURE 12 FIGURE 14 FIGURE 15 FIGURE 16 PMID:3978197

  15. Structural Changes in Isometrically Contracting Insect Flight Muscle Trapped following a Mechanical Perturbation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shenping; Liu, Jun; Perz-Edwards, Robert J.; Tregear, Richard T.; Winkler, Hanspeter; Franzini-Armstrong, Clara; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Goldman, Yale E.; Reedy, Michael K.; Taylor, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    The application of rapidly applied length steps to actively contracting muscle is a classic method for synchronizing the response of myosin cross-bridges so that the average response of the ensemble can be measured. Alternatively, electron tomography (ET) is a technique that can report the structure of the individual members of the ensemble. We probed the structure of active myosin motors (cross-bridges) by applying 0.5% changes in length (either a stretch or a release) within 2 ms to isometrically contracting insect flight muscle (IFM) fibers followed after 5–6 ms by rapid freezing against a liquid helium cooled copper mirror. ET of freeze-substituted fibers, embedded and thin-sectioned, provides 3-D cross-bridge images, sorted by multivariate data analysis into ∼40 classes, distinct in average structure, population size and lattice distribution. Individual actin subunits are resolved facilitating quasi-atomic modeling of each class average to determine its binding strength (weak or strong) to actin. ∼98% of strong-binding acto-myosin attachments present after a length perturbation are confined to “target zones” of only two actin subunits located exactly midway between successive troponin complexes along each long-pitch helical repeat of actin. Significant changes in the types, distribution and structure of actin-myosin attachments occurred in a manner consistent with the mechanical transients. Most dramatic is near disappearance, after either length perturbation, of a class of weak-binding cross-bridges, attached within the target zone, that are highly likely to be precursors of strong-binding cross-bridges. These weak-binding cross-bridges were originally observed in isometrically contracting IFM. Their disappearance following a quick stretch or release can be explained by a recent kinetic model for muscle contraction, as behaviour consistent with their identification as precursors of strong-binding cross-bridges. The results provide a detailed model

  16. Flight performance of bumble bee as a possible pollinator in space agriculture under partial gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Mitsuhata, Masahiro; Sasaki, Masami; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Space agriculture is an advanced life support concept for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies based on biological and ecological function. Flowering plant species are core member of space agriculture to produce food and revitalize air and water. Selection of crop plant species is made on the basis of nutritional requirements to maintain healthy life of space crew. Species selected for space agriculture have several mode of reproduction. For some of plant species, insect pollination is effective to increase yield and quality of food. In terrestrial agriculture, bee is widely introduced to pollinate flower. For pollinator insect on Mars, working environment is different from Earth. Magnitude of gravity is 0.38G on Mars surface. In order to confirm feasibility of insect pollination for space agriculture, capability of flying pollinator insect under such exotic condition should be examined. Even bee does not possess evident gravity sensory system, gravity dominates flying performance and behavior. During flight or hovering, lifting force produced by wing beat sustains body weight, which is the product of body mass and gravitational acceleration. Flying behavior of bumble bee, Bombus ignitus, was documented under partial or micro-gravity produced by parabolic flight of jet plane. Flying behavior at absence of gravity differed from that under normal gravity. Ability of bee to fly under partial gravity was examined at the level of Mars, Moon and the less, to determine the threshold level of gravity for bee flying maneuver. Adaptation process of bee flying under different gravity level was evaluated as well by successive documentation of parabolic flight experiment.

  17. PTS performance by flight- and control-group macaques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, D. A.; Rumbaugh, D. M.; Richardson, W. K.; Gulledge, J. P.; Shlyk, G. G.; Vasilieva, O. N.

    2000-01-01

    A total of 25 young monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained with the Psychomotor Test System, a package of software tasks and computer hardware developed for spaceflight research with nonhuman primates. Two flight monkeys and two control monkeys were selected from this pool and performed a psychomotor task before and after the Bion 11 flight or a ground-control period. Monkeys from both groups showed significant disruption in performance after the 14-day flight or simulation (plus one anesthetized day of biopsies and other tests), and this disruption appeared to be magnified for the flight animal.

  18. In-flight disinsection as an efficacious procedure for preventing international transport of insects of public health importance.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, R. C.; Paton, R.

    1989-01-01

    Aircraft disinsection with aerosol insecticides during flight has generally been held to be inadvisable because it was assumed that the insecticides would be rapidly removed by the cabin air-conditioning system. We have developed protocols to deliver 2% d-phenothrin at a dose of 35 g per 100 m3 in various aircraft, and trials undertaken on Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft showed that their air-conditioning systems do not preclude effective disinsection. Mortality levels of 100% for Culex quinquefasciatus and Musca domestica test insects were recorded under normal operating conditions during routine scheduled passenger flights with disinsection procedures undertaken at "blocks-away" or at "top-of-descent". As a result, "top-of-descent" disinsection has been introduced as the recommended procedure for aircraft landing in Australia. PMID:2611975

  19. Control Design and Performance Analysis for Autonomous Formation Flight Experimentss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Caleb Michael

    Autonomous Formation Flight is a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing traffic in future high density airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) have made it possible for the physical demonstration and validation of autonomous formation flight concepts inexpensively and eliminates the flight risk to human pilots. This thesis discusses the design, implementation, and flight testing of three different formation flight control methods, Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID); Fuzzy Logic (FL); and NonLinear Dynamic Inversion (NLDI), and their respective performance behavior. Experimental results show achievable autonomous formation flight and performance quality with a pair of low-cost unmanned research fixed wing aircraft and also with a solo vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) quadrotor.

  20. Flight performance of the largest volant bird

    PubMed Central

    Ksepka, Daniel T.

    2014-01-01

    Pelagornithidae is an extinct clade of birds characterized by bizarre tooth-like bony projections of the jaws. Here, the flight capabilities of pelagornithids are explored based on data from a species with the largest reported wingspan among birds. Pelagornis sandersi sp. nov. is represented by a skull and substantial postcranial material. Conservative wingspan estimates (∼6.4 m) exceed theoretical maximums based on extant soaring birds. Modeled flight properties indicate that lift:drag ratios and glide ratios for P. sandersi were near the upper limit observed in extant birds and suggest that pelagornithids were highly efficient gliders, exploiting a long-range soaring ecology. PMID:25002475

  1. Wing wear reduces bumblebee flight performance in a dynamic obstacle course.

    PubMed

    Mountcastle, Andrew M; Alexander, Teressa M; Switzer, Callin M; Combes, Stacey A

    2016-06-01

    Previous work has shown that wing wear increases mortality in bumblebees. Although a proximate mechanism for this phenomenon has remained elusive, a leading hypothesis is that wing wear increases predation risk by reducing flight manoeuvrability. We tested the effects of simulated wing wear on flight manoeuvrability in Bombus impatiens bumblebees using a dynamic obstacle course designed to push bees towards their performance limits. We found that removing 22% wing area from the tips of both forewings (symmetric wear) caused a 9% reduction in peak acceleration during manoeuvring flight, while performing the same manipulation on only one wing (asymmetric wear) did not significantly reduce maximum acceleration. The rate at which bees collided with obstacles was correlated with body length across all treatments, but wing wear did not increase collision rate, possibly because shorter wingspans allow more room for bees to manoeuvre. This study presents a novel method for exploring extreme flight manoeuvres in flying insects, eliciting peak accelerations that exceed those measured during flight through a stationary obstacle course. If escape from aerial predation is constrained by acceleration capacity, then our results offer a potential explanation for the observed increase in bumblebee mortality with wing wear. PMID:27303054

  2. An unstructured mesh arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian unsteady incompressible flow solver and its application to insect flight aerodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Xiaohui; Cao, Yuanwei; Zhao, Yong

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, an unstructured mesh Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) incompressible flow solver is developed to investigate the aerodynamics of insect hovering flight. The proposed finite-volume ALE Navier-Stokes solver is based on the artificial compressibility method (ACM) with a high-resolution method of characteristics-based scheme on unstructured grids. The present ALE model is validated and assessed through flow passing over an oscillating cylinder. Good agreements with experimental results and other numerical solutions are obtained, which demonstrates the accuracy and the capability of the present model. The lift generation mechanisms of 2D wing in hovering motion, including wake capture, delayed stall, rapid pitch, as well as clap and fling are then studied and illustrated using the current ALE model. Moreover, the optimized angular amplitude in symmetry model, 45°, is firstly reported in details using averaged lift and the energy power method. Besides, the lift generation of complete cyclic clap and fling motion, which is simulated by few researchers using the ALE method due to large deformation, is studied and clarified for the first time. The present ALE model is found to be a useful tool to investigate lift force generation mechanism for insect wing flight.

  3. Flight Test Techniques Used to Evaluate Performance Benefits During Formation Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Ronald J.; Cobleigh, Brent R.; Vachon, M. Jake; SaintJohn, Clinton

    2002-01-01

    The Autonomous Formation Flight research project has been implemented at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to demonstrate the benefits of formation flight and develop advanced technologies to facilitate exploiting these benefits. Two F/A-18 aircraft have been modified to precisely control and monitor relative position, and to determine performance of the trailing airplane. Flight test maneuvers and analysis techniques have been developed to determine the performance advantages, including drag and fuel flow reductions and improvements in range factor. By flying the trailing airplane through a matrix of lateral, longitudinal, and vertical offset positions, a detailed map of the performance benefits has been obtained at two flight conditions. Significant performance benefits have been obtained during this flight test phase. Drag reductions of more than 20 percent and fuel flow reductions of more than 18 percent have been measured at flight conditions of Mach 0.56 and an altitude of 25,000 ft. The results show favorable agreement with published theory and generic predictions. An F/A-18 long-range cruise mission at Mach 0.8 and an altitude of 40,000 ft has been simulated in the optimum formation position and has demonstrated a 14-percent fuel reduction when compared with a controlled chase airplane of similar configuration.

  4. Multi-factor climate change effects on insect herbivore performance

    PubMed Central

    Scherber, Christoph; Gladbach, David J; Stevnbak, Karen; Karsten, Rune Juelsborg; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Michelsen, Anders; Albert, Kristian Rost; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Beier, Claus; Christensen, Søren

    2013-01-01

    The impact of climate change on herbivorous insects can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem processes. However, experiments investigating the combined effects of multiple climate change drivers on herbivorous insects are scarce. We independently manipulated three climate change drivers (CO2, warming, drought) in a Danish heathland ecosystem. The experiment was established in 2005 as a full factorial split-plot with 6 blocks × 2 levels of CO2 × 2 levels of warming × 2 levels of drought = 48 plots. In 2008, we exposed 432 larvae (n = 9 per plot) of the heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis Thomson), an important herbivore on heather, to ambient versus elevated drought, temperature, and CO2 (plus all combinations) for 5 weeks. Larval weight and survival were highest under ambient conditions and decreased significantly with the number of climate change drivers. Weight was lowest under the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen, and water content. Overall, drought was the most important factor for this insect herbivore. Our study shows that weight and survival of insect herbivores may decline under future climate. The complexity of insect herbivore responses increases with the number of combined climate change drivers. PMID:23789058

  5. Should I fight or should I flight? How studying insect aggression can help integrated pest management.

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni

    2015-07-01

    Aggression plays a key role all across the animal kingdom, as it allows the acquisition and/or defence of limited resources (food, mates and territories) in a huge number of species. A large part of our knowledge on aggressive behaviour has been developed on insects of economic importance. How can this knowledge be exploited to enhance integrated pest management? Here, I highlight how knowledge on intraspecific aggression can help IPM both in terms of insect pests (with a focus on the enhancement of the sterile insect technique) and in terms of biological control agents (with a focus on mass-rearing optimisation). Then, I examine what implications for IPM can be outlined from knowledge about interspecific aggressive behaviour. Besides predator-pest aggressive interactions predicted by classic biological control, I focus on what IPM can learn from (i) interspecific aggression among pest species (with special reference to competitive displacement), (ii) defensive behaviour exhibited by prey against predaceous insects and (iii) conflicts among predaceous arthropods sharing the same trophic niche (with special reference to learning/sensitisation practices and artificial manipulation of chemically mediated interactions). PMID:25582991

  6. System identification and sensorimotor determinants of flight maneuvers in an insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sponberg, Simon; Hall, Robert; Roth, Eatai

    Locomotor maneuvers are inherently closed-loop processes. They are generally characterized by the integration of multiple sensory inputs and adaptation or learning over time. To probe sensorimotor processing we take a system identification approach treating the underlying physiological systems as dynamic processes and altering the feedback topology in experiment and analysis. As a model system, we use agile hawk moths (Manduca sexta), which feed from real and robotic flowers while hovering in mid air. Moths rely on vision and mechanosensation to track floral targets and can do so at exceptionally low luminance levels despite hovering being a mechanically unstable behavior that requires neural feedback to stabilize. By altering the sensory environment and placing mechanical and visual signals in conflict we show a surprisingly simple linear summation of visual and mechanosensation produces a generative prediction of behavior to novel stimuli. Tracking performance is also limited more by the mechanics of flight than the magnitude of the sensory cue. A feedback systems approach to locomotor control results in new insights into how behavior emerges from the interaction of nonlinear physiological systems.

  7. Characterization of in-flight performance of ion propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Rawlin, Vincent K.

    1993-01-01

    In-flight measurements of ion propulsion performance, ground test calibrations, and diagnostic performance measurements were reviewed. It was found that accelerometers provided the most accurate in-flight thrust measurements compared with four other methods that were surveyed. An experiment has also demonstrated that pre-flight alignment of the thrust vector was sufficiently accurate so that gimbal adjustments and use of attitude control thrusters were not required to counter disturbance torques caused by thrust vector misalignment. The effects of facility background pressure, facility enhanced charge-exchange reactions, and contamination on ground-based performance measurements are also discussed. Vacuum facility pressures for inert-gas ion thruster life tests and flight qualification tests will have to be less than 2 mPa to ensure accurate performance measurements.

  8. The Typical Flight Performance of Blowflies: Measuring the Normal Performance Envelope of Calliphora vicina Using a Novel Corner-Cube Arena

    PubMed Central

    Bomphrey, Richard J.; Walker, Simon M.; Taylor, Graham K.

    2009-01-01

    Despite a wealth of evidence demonstrating extraordinary maximal performance, little is known about the routine flight performance of insects. We present a set of techniques for benchmarking performance characteristics of insects in free flight, demonstrated using a model species, and comment on the significance of the performance observed. Free-flying blowflies (Calliphora vicina) were filmed inside a novel mirrored arena comprising a large (1.6 m1.6 m1.6 m) corner-cube reflector using a single high-speed digital video camera (250 or 500 fps). This arrangement permitted accurate reconstruction of the flies' 3-dimensional trajectories without the need for synchronisation hardware, by virtue of the multiple reflections of a subject within the arena. Image sequences were analysed using custom-written automated tracking software, and processed using a self-calibrating bundle adjustment procedure to determine the subject's instantaneous 3-dimensional position. We illustrate our method by using these trajectory data to benchmark the routine flight performance envelope of our flies. Flight speeds were most commonly observed between 1.2 ms−1 and 2.3 ms−1, with a maximum of 2.5 ms−1. Our flies tended to dive faster than they climbed, with a maximum descent rate (−2.4 ms−1) almost double the maximum climb rate (1.2 ms−1). Modal turn rate was around 240°s−1, with maximal rates in excess of 1700°s−1. We used the maximal flight performance we observed during normal flight to construct notional physical limits on the blowfly flight envelope, and used the distribution of observations within that notional envelope to postulate behavioural preferences or physiological and anatomical constraints. The flight trajectories we recorded were never steady: rather they were constantly accelerating or decelerating, with maximum tangential accelerations and maximum centripetal accelerations on the order of 3 g. PMID:19924228

  9. Cytokinin primes plant responses to wounding and reduces insect performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report a potential role of endogenous cytokinin supply in priming plant defense against herbivory. Cytokinin priming significantly reduced weight gain by insect larvae. Unlike previously described priming by volatile compounds, priming by cytokinin did not overcome vascular restrictions on system...

  10. Landsat-4 horizon scanner flight performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilanow, S.; Chen, L. C.

    1984-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the flight data from a new design of horizon scanner flown on Landsat-4. The salient features in the data are described and demonstrated by data plots. High frequency noise must be filtered out to achieve good accuracy, but this is effectively done by 128-point averaging. Sun and moon interference effects are identified. The effects of earth oblateness and spacecraft altitude variations are modeled, and the residual systematic errors are analyzed. Most of the residual errors are apparently explained by the effects of earth radiance variation, with the winter polar regions showing the highest variability in the attitude measurements due to winter stratosphere temperature variations. In general, this sensor provides improved accuracy over those flown on previous missions.

  11. Space Shuttle propulsion performance reconstruction from flight data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, Robert M.

    1989-01-01

    The aplication of extended Kalman filtering to estimating Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) performance, specific impulse, from flight data in a post-flight processing computer program. The flight data used includes inertial platform acceleration, SRB head pressure, and ground based radar tracking data. The key feature in this application is the model used for the SRBs, which represents a reference quasi-static internal ballistics model normalized to the propellant burn depth. Dynamic states of mass overboard and propellant burn depth are included in the filter model to account for real-time deviations from the reference model used. Aerodynamic, plume, wind and main engine uncertainties are included.

  12. Evolution of avian flight: muscles and constraints on performance.

    PubMed

    Tobalske, Bret W

    2016-09-26

    Competing hypotheses about evolutionary origins of flight are the 'fundamental wing-stroke' and 'directed aerial descent' hypotheses. Support for the fundamental wing-stroke hypothesis is that extant birds use flapping of their wings to climb even before they are able to fly; there are no reported examples of incrementally increasing use of wing movements in gliding transitioning to flapping. An open question is whether locomotor styles must evolve initially for efficiency or if they might instead arrive due to efficacy. The proximal muscles of the avian wing output work and power for flight, and new research is exploring functions of the distal muscles in relation to dynamic changes in wing shape. It will be useful to test the relative contributions of the muscles of the forearm compared with inertial and aerodynamic loading of the wing upon dynamic morphing. Body size has dramatic effects upon flight performance. New research has revealed that mass-specific muscle power declines with increasing body mass among species. This explains the constraints associated with being large. Hummingbirds are the only species that can sustain hovering. Their ability to generate force, work and power appears to be limited by time for activation and deactivation within their wingbeats of high frequency. Most small birds use flap-bounding flight, and this flight style may offer an energetic advantage over continuous flapping during fast flight or during flight into a headwind. The use of flap-bounding during slow flight remains enigmatic. Flap-bounding birds do not appear to be constrained to use their primary flight muscles in a fixed manner. To improve understanding of the functional significance of flap-bounding, the energetic costs and the relative use of alternative styles by a given species in nature merit study.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528773

  13. Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Tani Performs EVA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Astronaut Daniel Tani (top center), Expedition 16 flight engineer, participates in the second of five scheduled sessions of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction continues on the International Space Station (ISS). During the 6-hour and 33-minute space walk, Tani and STS-120 mission specialist Scott Parazynski (out of frame), worked in tandem to disconnect cables from the P6 truss, allowing it to be removed from the Z1 truss. Tani also visually inspected the station's starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) and gathered samples of 'shavings' he found under the joint's multilayer insulation covers. The space walkers also outfitted the Harmony module, mated the power and data grapple fixture and reconfigured connectors on the starboard 1 (S1) truss that will allow the radiator on S1 to be deployed from the ground later. The moon is visible at lower center. The STS-120 mission launched from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A at 11:38:19 a.m. (EDT) on October 23, 2007.

  14. Challenges in modeling the X-29 flight test performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, John W.; Kania, Jan; Pearce, Robert; Mills, Glen

    1987-01-01

    Presented are methods, instrumentation, and difficulties associated with drag measurement of the X-29A aircraft. The initial performance objective of the X-29A program emphasized drag polar shapes rather than absolute drag levels. Priorities during the flight envelope expansion restricted the evaluation of aircraft performance. Changes in aircraft configuration, uncertainties in angle-of-attack calibration, and limitations in instrumentation complicated the analysis. Limited engine instrumentation with uncertainties in overall in-flight thrust accuracy made it difficult to obtain reliable values of coefficient of parasite drag. The aircraft was incapable of tracking the automatic camber control trim schedule for optimum wing flaperon deflection during typical dynamic performance maneuvers; this has also complicated the drag polar shape modeling. The X-29A was far enough off the schedule that the developed trim drag correction procedure has proven inadequate. However, good drag polar shapes have been developed throughout the flight envelope. Preliminary flight results have compared well with wind tunnel predictions. A more comprehensive analysis must be done to complete performance models. The detailed flight performance program with a calibrated engine will benefit from the experience gained during this preliminary performance phase.

  15. Challenges in modeling the X-29A flight test performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, John W.; Kania, Jan; Pearce, Robert; Mills, Glen

    1987-01-01

    The paper presents the methods, instrumentation, and difficulties associated with drag measurement of the X-29A aircraft. The initial performance objective of the X-29A program emphasized drag polar shapes rather than absolute drag levels. Priorities during the flight envelope expansion restricted the evaluation of aircraft performance. Changes in aircraft configuration, uncertainties in angle-of-attack calibration, and limitations in instrumentation complicated the analysis. Limited engine instrumentation with uncertainties in overall in-flight thrust accuracy made it difficult to obtain reliable values of coefficient of parasite drag. The aircraft was incapable of tracking the automatic camber control trim schedule for optimum wing flaperon deflection during typical dynamic performance maneuvers; this has also complicated the drag polar shape modeling. The X-29A was far enough off the schedule that the developed trim drag correction procedure has proven inadequate. Despite these obstacles, good drag polar shapes have been developed throughout the flight envelope. Preliminary flight results have compared well with wind tunnel predictions. A more comprehensive analysis must be done to complete the performance models. The detailed flight performance program with a calibrated engine will benefit from the experience gained during this preliminary performance phase.

  16. Wing-kinematics measurement and aerodynamics in a small insect in hovering flight

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xin; Sun, Mao

    2016-01-01

    Wing-motion of hovering small fly Liriomyza sativae was measured using high-speed video and flows of the wings calculated numerically. The fly used high wingbeat frequency (≈265 Hz) and large stroke amplitude (≈182°); therefore, even if its wing-length (R) was small (R ≈ 1.4 mm), the mean velocity of wing reached ≈1.5 m/s, the same as that of an average-size insect (R ≈ 3 mm). But the Reynolds number (Re) of wing was still low (≈40), owing to the small wing-size. In increasing the stroke amplitude, the outer parts of the wings had a “clap and fling” motion. The mean-lift coefficient was high, ≈1.85, several times larger than that of a cruising airplane. The partial “clap and fling” motion increased the lift by ≈7%, compared with the case of no aerodynamic interaction between the wings. The fly mainly used the delayed stall mechanism to generate the high-lift. The lift-to-drag ratio is only 0.7 (for larger insects, Re being about 100 or higher, the ratio is 1–1.2); that is, although the small fly can produce enough lift to support its weight, it needs to overcome a larger drag to do so. PMID:27168523

  17. Comparative study of solid and bristled wings in flapping flight of tiny insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrill, Christopher; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind

    2015-11-01

    Small insects such as thrips that are less than 1 mm in size fly at Reynolds numbers (Re) on the order of 10 and use wing-wing interaction during flapping. In this interaction, referred to as `clap-and-fling', the wings come in close contact with each other at the end of upstroke and rotate about the trailing edge during start of downstroke. The wings of these tiny insects consist of an array of bristles as opposed to a solid membrane. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of bristled wings on aerodynamic force generation and flow structures compared to solid wings. We used an experimental model for the study in which two model wings were prescribed to move along a simplified 2D representation of clap-and-fling kinematics. Forces were measured through the use of strain gauges and 2D phase-locked particle image velocimetry (PIV) was used to visualize the flow generated from flapping. The PIV results show that circulation of the leading edge vortices (LEVs) is attenuated when bristled wings are used. However, improved drag reduction is observed in the bristled wings. Aerodynamic efficiency variation with Re will be discussed. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (CBET 1512071).

  18. Wing-kinematics measurement and aerodynamics in a small insect in hovering flight.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xin; Sun, Mao

    2016-01-01

    Wing-motion of hovering small fly Liriomyza sativae was measured using high-speed video and flows of the wings calculated numerically. The fly used high wingbeat frequency (≈265 Hz) and large stroke amplitude (≈182°); therefore, even if its wing-length (R) was small (R ≈ 1.4 mm), the mean velocity of wing reached ≈1.5 m/s, the same as that of an average-size insect (R ≈ 3 mm). But the Reynolds number (Re) of wing was still low (≈40), owing to the small wing-size. In increasing the stroke amplitude, the outer parts of the wings had a "clap and fling" motion. The mean-lift coefficient was high, ≈1.85, several times larger than that of a cruising airplane. The partial "clap and fling" motion increased the lift by ≈7%, compared with the case of no aerodynamic interaction between the wings. The fly mainly used the delayed stall mechanism to generate the high-lift. The lift-to-drag ratio is only 0.7 (for larger insects, Re being about 100 or higher, the ratio is 1-1.2); that is, although the small fly can produce enough lift to support its weight, it needs to overcome a larger drag to do so. PMID:27168523

  19. Forward flight of birds revisited. Part 1: aerodynamics and performance.

    PubMed

    Iosilevskii, G

    2014-10-01

    This paper is the first part of the two-part exposition, addressing performance and dynamic stability of birds. The aerodynamic model underlying the entire study is presented in this part. It exploits the simplicity of the lifting line approximation to furnish the forces and moments acting on a single wing in closed analytical forms. The accuracy of the model is corroborated by comparison with numerical simulations based on the vortex lattice method. Performance is studied both in tethered (as on a sting in a wind tunnel) and in free flights. Wing twist is identified as the main parameter affecting the flight performance-at high speeds, it improves efficiency, the rate of climb and the maximal level speed; at low speeds, it allows flying slower. It is demonstrated that, under most circumstances, the difference in performance between tethered and free flights is small. PMID:26064548

  20. Flight performance during hunting excursions in Eleonora's falcon Falco eleonorae.

    PubMed

    Hedenström, A; Rosén, M; Akesson, S; Spina, F

    1999-08-01

    Among birds, falcons are high-performance flyers, in many cases adapted for aerial hunting and hence suitable targets for investigating limits to flight performance. Using an optical range finder, we measured flight tracks of Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae), a species breeding in the Mediterranean region and specialised for hunting autumn passage bird migrants, when commuting between their nesting colony and offshore hunting areas (straight transportation flight) and when searching for prey (transecting and searching flight). Airspeed during searching flight was significantly slower than during straight transportation and transecting flight, but there was no significant difference in airspeed between the latter two flight modes. Straight transportation flight was significantly faster than predicted minimum power speed. Also, during straight transportation flight, the falcons responded to head- and tailwinds by increasing their airspeed when flying into the wind. However, they did not show any significant airspeed adjustments with respect to the angle between the track and the heading, as would be expected in birds trying to maintain a constant track direction. Mean sustainable climb rate (during (greater than or equal to) 240 s) was 1.4+/-0.31 m s-1 (mean +/- s.d., N=13), which is rather a high rate for a bird the size of an Eleonora's falcon. The climb rate was used to calculate maximum load-carrying capacity and maximum sustained horizontal flapping flight speed. The mean wingbeat frequency during powered climbing flight was 4.68 Hz, which was used to estimate the mass-specific muscle work. When falcons were leaving the colony for offshore hunting, they gained altitude by slope-soaring when there was an onshore wind. We formulated a simple criterion for the required gliding-flight rate of climb during an initial slope-soaring episode when minimizing the energy cost of reaching a certain altitude far out over the sea (which is where the prey is to be found

  1. Preliminary supersonic flight test evaluation of performance seeking control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orme, John S.; Gilyard, Glenn B.

    1993-01-01

    Digital flight and engine control, powerful onboard computers, and sophisticated controls techniques may improve aircraft performance by maximizing fuel efficiency, maximizing thrust, and extending engine life. An adaptive performance seeking control system for optimizing the quasi-steady state performance of an F-15 aircraft was developed and flight tested. This system has three optimization modes: minimum fuel, maximum thrust, and minimum fan turbine inlet temperature. Tests of the minimum fuel and fan turbine inlet temperature modes were performed at a constant thrust. Supersonic single-engine flight tests of the three modes were conducted using varied after burning power settings. At supersonic conditions, the performance seeking control law optimizes the integrated airframe, inlet, and engine. At subsonic conditions, only the engine is optimized. Supersonic flight tests showed improvements in thrust of 9 percent, increases in fuel savings of 8 percent, and reductions of up to 85 deg R in turbine temperatures for all three modes. The supersonic performance seeking control structure is described and preliminary results of supersonic performance seeking control tests are given. These findings have implications for improving performance of civilian and military aircraft.

  2. Orion Launch Abort System Performance During Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, Rachel; Davidson, John; Gonzalez, Guillo

    2015-01-01

    The Orion Launch Abort System Office is taking part in flight testing to enable certification that the system is capable of delivering the astronauts aboard the Orion Crew Module to a safe environment during both nominal and abort conditions. Orion is a NASA program, Exploration Flight Test 1 is managed and led by the Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. Although the Launch Abort System Office has tested the critical systems to the Launch Abort System jettison event on the ground, the launch environment cannot be replicated completely on Earth. During Exploration Flight Test 1, the Launch Abort System was to verify the function of the jettison motor to separate the Launch Abort System from the crew module so it can continue on with the mission. Exploration Flight Test 1 was successfully flown on December 5, 2014 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37. This was the first flight test of the Launch Abort System preforming Orion nominal flight mission critical objectives. The abort motor and attitude control motors were inert for Exploration Flight Test 1, since the mission did not require abort capabilities. Exploration Flight Test 1 provides critical data that enable engineering to improve Orion's design and reduce risk for the astronauts it will protect as NASA continues to move forward on its human journey to Mars. The Exploration Flight Test 1 separation event occurred at six minutes and twenty seconds after liftoff. The separation of the Launch Abort System jettison occurs once Orion is safely through the most dynamic portion of the launch. This paper will present a brief overview of the objectives of the Launch Abort System during a nominal Orion flight. Secondly, the paper will present the performance of the Launch Abort System at it fulfilled those objectives. The lessons learned from Exploration Flight Test 1 and the other Flight Test Vehicles will certainly

  3. Design and Performance of Insect-Scale Flapping-Wing Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitney, John Peter

    Micro-air vehicles (MAVs)---small versions of full-scale aircraft---are the product of a continued path of miniaturization which extends across many fields of engineering. Increasingly, MAVs approach the scale of small birds, and most recently, their sizes have dipped into the realm of hummingbirds and flying insects. However, these non-traditional biologically-inspired designs are without well-established design methods, and manufacturing complex devices at these tiny scales is not feasible using conventional manufacturing methods. This thesis presents a comprehensive investigation of new MAV design and manufacturing methods, as applicable to insect-scale hovering flight. New design methods combine an energy-based accounting of propulsion and aerodynamics with a one degree-of-freedom dynamic flapping model. Important results include analytical expressions for maximum flight endurance and range, and predictions for maximum feasible wing size and body mass. To meet manufacturing constraints, the use of passive wing dynamics to simplify vehicle design and control was investigated; supporting tests included the first synchronized measurements of real-time forces and three-dimensional kinematics generated by insect-scale flapping wings. These experimental methods were then expanded to study optimal wing shapes and high-efficiency flapping kinematics. To support the development of high-fidelity test devices and fully-functional flight hardware, a new class of manufacturing methods was developed, combining elements of rigid-flex printed circuit board fabrication with "pop-up book" folding mechanisms. In addition to their current and future support of insect-scale MAV development, these new manufacturing techniques are likely to prove an essential element to future advances in micro-optomechanics, micro-surgery, and many other fields.

  4. Forward flight of birds revisited. Part 1: aerodynamics and performance

    PubMed Central

    Iosilevskii, G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper is the first part of the two-part exposition, addressing performance and dynamic stability of birds. The aerodynamic model underlying the entire study is presented in this part. It exploits the simplicity of the lifting line approximation to furnish the forces and moments acting on a single wing in closed analytical forms. The accuracy of the model is corroborated by comparison with numerical simulations based on the vortex lattice method. Performance is studied both in tethered (as on a sting in a wind tunnel) and in free flights. Wing twist is identified as the main parameter affecting the flight performance—at high speeds, it improves efficiency, the rate of climb and the maximal level speed; at low speeds, it allows flying slower. It is demonstrated that, under most circumstances, the difference in performance between tethered and free flights is small. PMID:26064548

  5. Orion Launch Abort System Performance on Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, R.; Davidson, J.; Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    This paper will present an overview of the flight test objectives and performance of the Orion Launch Abort System during Exploration Flight Test-1. Exploration Flight Test-1, the first flight test of the Orion spacecraft, was managed and led by the Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. This flight test was a two-orbit, high-apogee, high-energy entry, low-inclination test mission used to validate and test systems critical to crew safety. This test included the first flight test of the Launch Abort System preforming Orion nominal flight mission critical objectives. NASA is currently designing and testing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Orion will serve as NASA's new exploration vehicle to carry astronauts to deep space destinations and safely return them to earth. The Orion spacecraft is composed of four main elements: the Launch Abort System, the Crew Module, the Service Module, and the Spacecraft Adapter (Fig. 1). The Launch Abort System (LAS) provides two functions; during nominal launches, the LAS provides protection for the Crew Module from atmospheric loads and heating during first stage flight and during emergencies provides a reliable abort capability for aborts that occur within the atmosphere. The Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) consists of an Abort Motor to provide the abort separation from the Launch Vehicle, an Attitude Control Motor to provide attitude and rate control, and a Jettison Motor for crew module to LAS separation (Fig. 2). The jettison motor is used during a nominal launch to separate the LAS from the Launch Vehicle (LV) early in the flight of the second stage when it is no longer needed for aborts and at the end of an LAS abort sequence to enable deployment of the crew module's Landing Recovery System. The LAS also provides a Boost Protective Cover fairing that shields the crew module from debris and the aero-thermal environment during ascent. Although the

  6. Preliminary flight evaluation of an engine performance optimization algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lambert, H. H.; Gilyard, G. B.; Chisholm, J. D.; Kerr, L. J.

    1991-01-01

    A performance seeking control (PSC) algorithm has undergone initial flight test evaluation in subsonic operation of a PW 1128 engined F-15. This algorithm is designed to optimize the quasi-steady performance of an engine for three primary modes: (1) minimum fuel consumption; (2) minimum fan turbine inlet temperature (FTIT); and (3) maximum thrust. The flight test results have verified a thrust specific fuel consumption reduction of 1 pct., up to 100 R decreases in FTIT, and increases of as much as 12 pct. in maximum thrust. PSC technology promises to be of value in next generation tactical and transport aircraft.

  7. Optimizing aircraft performance with adaptive, integrated flight/propulsion control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, R. H.; Chisholm, J. D.; Stewart, J. F.

    1991-01-01

    The Performance-Seeking Control (PSC) integrated flight/propulsion adaptive control algorithm presented was developed in order to optimize total aircraft performance during steady-state engine operation. The PSC multimode algorithm minimizes fuel consumption at cruise conditions, while maximizing excess thrust during aircraft accelerations, climbs, and dashes, and simultaneously extending engine service life through reduction of fan-driving turbine inlet temperature upon engagement of the extended-life mode. The engine models incorporated by the PSC are continually upgraded, using a Kalman filter to detect anomalous operations. The PSC algorithm will be flight-demonstrated by an F-15 at NASA-Dryden.

  8. Into rude air: hummingbird flight performance in variable aerial environments.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Jimenez, V M; Badger, M; Wang, H; Dudley, R

    2016-09-26

    Hummingbirds are well known for their ability to sustain hovering flight, but many other remarkable features of manoeuvrability characterize the more than 330 species of trochilid. Most research on hummingbird flight has been focused on either forward flight or hovering in otherwise non-perturbed air. In nature, however, hummingbirds fly through and must compensate for substantial environmental perturbation, including heavy rain, unpredictable updraughts and turbulent eddies. Here, we review recent studies on hummingbirds flying within challenging aerial environments, and discuss both the direct and indirect effects of unsteady environmental flows such as rain and von Kármán vortex streets. Both perturbation intensity and the spatio-temporal scale of disturbance (expressed with respect to characteristic body size) will influence mechanical responses of volant taxa. Most features of hummingbird manoeuvrability remain undescribed, as do evolutionary patterns of flight-related adaptation within the lineage. Trochilid flight performance under natural conditions far exceeds that of microair vehicles at similar scales, and the group as a whole presents many research opportunities for understanding aerial manoeuvrability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528777

  9. Aging Enhances Indirect Flight Muscle Fiber Performance yet Decreases Flight Ability in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Mark S.; Lekkas, Panagiotis; Braddock, Joan M.; Farman, Gerrie P.; Ballif, Bryan A.; Irving, Thomas C.; Maughan, David W.; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2008-10-02

    We investigated the effects of aging on Drosophila melanogaster indirect flight muscle from the whole organism to the actomyosin cross-bridge. Median-aged (49-day-old) flies were flight impaired, had normal myofilament number and packing, barely longer sarcomeres, and slight mitochondrial deterioration compared with young (3-day-old) flies. Old (56-day-old) flies were unable to beat their wings, had deteriorated ultrastructure with severe mitochondrial damage, and their skinned fibers failed to activate with calcium. Small-amplitude sinusoidal length perturbation analysis showed median-aged indirect flight muscle fibers developed greater than twice the isometric force and power output of young fibers, yet cross-bridge kinetics were similar. Large increases in elastic and viscous moduli amplitude under active, passive, and rigor conditions suggest that median-aged fibers become stiffer longitudinally. Small-angle x-ray diffraction indicates that myosin heads move increasingly toward the thin filament with age, accounting for the increased transverse stiffness via cross-bridge formation. We propose that the observed protein composition changes in the connecting filaments, which anchor the thick filaments to the Z-disk, produce compensatory increases in longitudinal stiffness, isometric tension, power and actomyosin interaction in aging indirect flight muscle. We also speculate that a lack of MgATP due to damaged mitochondria accounts for the decreased flight performance.

  10. Aging Enhances Indirect Flight Muscle Fiber Performance yet Decreases Flight Ability in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Mark S.; Lekkas, Panagiotis; Braddock, Joan M.; Farman, Gerrie P.; Ballif, Bryan A.; Irving, Thomas C.; Maughan, David W.; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the effects of aging on Drosophila melanogaster indirect flight muscle from the whole organism to the actomyosin cross-bridge. Median-aged (49-day-old) flies were flight impaired, had normal myofilament number and packing, barely longer sarcomeres, and slight mitochondrial deterioration compared with young (3-day-old) flies. Old (56-day-old) flies were unable to beat their wings, had deteriorated ultrastructure with severe mitochondrial damage, and their skinned fibers failed to activate with calcium. Small-amplitude sinusoidal length perturbation analysis showed median-aged indirect flight muscle fibers developed greater than twice the isometric force and power output of young fibers, yet cross-bridge kinetics were similar. Large increases in elastic and viscous moduli amplitude under active, passive, and rigor conditions suggest that median-aged fibers become stiffer longitudinally. Small-angle x-ray diffraction indicates that myosin heads move increasingly toward the thin filament with age, accounting for the increased transverse stiffness via cross-bridge formation. We propose that the observed protein composition changes in the connecting filaments, which anchor the thick filaments to the Z-disk, produce compensatory increases in longitudinal stiffness, isometric tension, power and actomyosin interaction in aging indirect flight muscle. We also speculate that a lack of MgATP due to damaged mitochondria accounts for the decreased flight performance. PMID:18515368

  11. Effects of wing deformation on aerodynamic performance of a revolving insect wing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, Ryusuke; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Liu, Hao

    2014-12-01

    Flexible wings of insects and bio-inspired micro air vehicles generally deform remarkably during flapping flight owing to aerodynamic and inertial forces, which is of highly nonlinear fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems. To elucidate the novel mechanisms associated with flexible wing aerodynamics in the low Reynolds number regime, we have built up a FSI model of a hawkmoth wing undergoing revolving and made an investigation on the effects of flexible wing deformation on aerodynamic performance of the revolving wing model. To take into account the characteristics of flapping wing kinematics we designed a kinematic model for the revolving wing in two-fold: acceleration and steady rotation, which are based on hovering wing kinematics of hawkmoth, Manduca sexta. Our results show that both aerodynamic and inertial forces demonstrate a pronounced increase during acceleration phase, which results in a significant wing deformation. While the aerodynamic force turns to reduce after the wing acceleration terminates due to the burst and detachment of leading-edge vortices (LEVs), the dynamic wing deformation seem to delay the burst of LEVs and hence to augment the aerodynamic force during and even after the acceleration. During the phase of steady rotation, the flexible wing model generates more vertical force at higher angles of attack (40°-60°) but less horizontal force than those of a rigid wing model. This is because the wing twist in spanwise owing to aerodynamic forces results in a reduction in the effective angle of attack at wing tip, which leads to enhancing the aerodynamics performance by increasing the vertical force while reducing the horizontal force. Moreover, our results point out the importance of the fluid-structure interaction in evaluating flexible wing aerodynamics: the wing deformation does play a significant role in enhancing the aerodynamic performances but works differently during acceleration and steady rotation, which is mainly induced by

  12. PHARAO laser source flight model: Design and performances

    SciTech Connect

    Lévèque, T. Faure, B.; Esnault, F. X.; Delaroche, C.; Massonnet, D.; Grosjean, O.; Buffe, F.; Torresi, P.; Bomer, T.; Pichon, A.; Béraud, P.; Lelay, J. P.; Thomin, S.; Laurent, Ph.

    2015-03-15

    In this paper, we describe the design and the main performances of the PHARAO laser source flight model. PHARAO is a laser cooled cesium clock specially designed for operation in space and the laser source is one of the main sub-systems. The flight model presented in this work is the first remote-controlled laser system designed for spaceborne cold atom manipulation. The main challenges arise from mechanical compatibility with space constraints, which impose a high level of compactness, a low electric power consumption, a wide range of operating temperature, and a vacuum environment. We describe the main functions of the laser source and give an overview of the main technologies developed for this instrument. We present some results of the qualification process. The characteristics of the laser source flight model, and their impact on the clock performances, have been verified in operational conditions.

  13. Thermal control surfaces experiment (SOO69) flight systems performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.

    1991-01-01

    The thermal control surfaces experiment (TCSE) was the most complex hardware system aboard the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). The TCSE system consists of a scanning spectroreflectometer that measured test samples mounted on a rotatable carousel assembly. A microprocessor based data system controlled all aspects of TCSE system operation. Power was provided by four primary batteries. Flight measurement and housekeeping data were stored on a tape recorder for postflight analysis. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed by NASA, DoD, and the aerospace community. The TCSE provides valuable data on the performance of these systems in space. The TCSE flight system and its excellent performance on the LDEF mission are described. A few operational anomalies were encountered and are discussed. Initial post-flight tests show that the TCSE system remains functional although some degradation in the optical measurements were observed. The results of these tests are also presented.

  14. PHARAO laser source flight model: Design and performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lévèque, T.; Faure, B.; Esnault, F. X.; Delaroche, C.; Massonnet, D.; Grosjean, O.; Buffe, F.; Torresi, P.; Bomer, T.; Pichon, A.; Béraud, P.; Lelay, J. P.; Thomin, S.; Laurent, Ph.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we describe the design and the main performances of the PHARAO laser source flight model. PHARAO is a laser cooled cesium clock specially designed for operation in space and the laser source is one of the main sub-systems. The flight model presented in this work is the first remote-controlled laser system designed for spaceborne cold atom manipulation. The main challenges arise from mechanical compatibility with space constraints, which impose a high level of compactness, a low electric power consumption, a wide range of operating temperature, and a vacuum environment. We describe the main functions of the laser source and give an overview of the main technologies developed for this instrument. We present some results of the qualification process. The characteristics of the laser source flight model, and their impact on the clock performances, have been verified in operational conditions.

  15. Shuttle orbiter flash evaporator operational flight test performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nason, J. R.; Behrend, A. F., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The Flash evaporator System (FES is part of the Shuttle Orbiter Active Thermal Control Subsystem. The FES provides total heat rejection for the vehicle Freon Coolant Loops during ascent and entry and supplementary heat rejection during orbital mission phases. This paper reviews the performance of the FES during the first two Shuttle orbital missions (STS-1 and STS-2). A comparison of actual mission performance against design requirements is presented. Mission profiles (including Freon inlet temperature and feedwater pressure transients), control temperature, and heat load variations are evaluated. Anomalies that occurred during STS-2 are discussed along with the procedures conducted, both in-flight and post-flight, to isolate the causes. Finally, the causes of the anomalies and resulting corrective action taken for STS-3 and subsequent flights are presented.

  16. Effects of alcohol on pilot performance in simulated flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billings, C. E.; Demosthenes, T.; White, T. R.; O'Hara, D. B.

    1991-01-01

    Ethyl alcohol's known ability to produce reliable decrements in pilot performance was used in a study designed to evaluate objective methods for assessing pilot performance. Four air carrier pilot volunteers were studied during eight simulated flights in a B727 simulator. Total errors increased linearly and significantly with increasing blood alcohol. Planning and performance errors, procedural errors and failures of vigilance each increased significantly in one or more pilots and in the group as a whole.

  17. Preservation of human performance capacity under prolonged space flight conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeremin, A. V.; Bogdashevskiy, R. M.; Baburin, Y. F.

    1975-01-01

    Prophylactic measures directed toward preservation of health and maintenance of the performance ability of a man during prolonged space flight stress center on the selection of optimum work and rest cycles, physical exercises, the use of pharmacological agents, conditioning of the cardiovascular apparatus, etc. A specially selected set of hormone and pharmacological preparations is recommended to stimulate hemopoiesis.

  18. Flight performance of a rocket-borne 3He refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duband, L.; Alsop, D.; Lange, A.; Hayata, S.; Matsumoto, T.; Sato, S.

    A self-contained, recyclable 3He refrigerator suitable for use in zero-gravity has been developed. This refrigerator successfully flew on 5 September 1989, as part of an S-520 sounding rocket payload designed to measure the spectrum of the cosmic submillimetre background. This paper presents the cryogenic performance of the refrigerator during flight.

  19. Jump-Down Performance Alterations after Space Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reschke, M. F.; Kofman, I. S.; Cerisano, J. M.; Fisher, E. A.; Peters, B. T.; Miller, C. A.; Harm, D. L.; Bloomberg, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Successful jump performance requires functional coordination of visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems, which are affected by prolonged exposure to microgravity. Astronauts returning from space flight exhibit impaired ability to coordinate effective landing strategies when jumping from a platform to the ground. This study compares jump strategies used by astronauts before and after flight, changes to those strategies within a test session, and recoveries in jump-down performance parameters across several postflight test sessions. These data were obtained as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary study (Functional Task Test, FTT) designed to evaluate both astronaut postflight functional performance and related physiological changes. METHODS: Seven astronauts from short-duration (Shuttle) and three from long-duration (International Space Station) flights performed 3 two-footed jumps from a platform 30 cm high onto a force plate that measured the ground reaction forces and center-of-pressure displacement from the landings. Neuromuscular activation data were collected from the medial gastrocnemius and anterior tibialis of both legs using surface electromyography electrodes. Two load cells in the platform measured the load exerted by each foot during the takeoff phase of the jump. Data were collected in 2 preflight sessions, on landing day (Shuttle only), and 1, 6, and 30 days after flight. RESULTS: Postural settling time was significantly increased on the first postflight test session and many of the astronauts tested were unable to maintain balance on their first jump landing but recovered by the third jump, showing a learning progression in which performance improvements could be attributed to adjustments in takeoff or landing strategy. Jump strategy changes were evident in reduced air time (time between takeoff and landing) and also in increased asymmetry in foot latencies on takeoff. CONCLUSIONS: The test results revealed significant decrements

  20. Mir Cooperative Solar Array flight performance data and computational analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kerslake, T.W.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1997-12-31

    The Mir Cooperative Solar Array (MCSA) was developed jointly by the United States (US) and Russia to provide approximately 6 kW of photovoltaic power to the Russian space station Mir. The MCSA was launched to Mir in November 1995 and installed on the Kvant-1 module in May 1996. Since the MCSA photovoltaic panel modules (PPMs) are nearly identical to those of the International Space Station (ISS) photovoltaic arrays, MCSA operation offered an opportunity to gather multi-year performance data on this technology prior to its implementation on ISS. Two specially designed test sequences were executed in June and December 1996 to measure MCSA performance. Each test period encompassed 3 orbital revolutions whereby the current produced by the MCSA channels was measured. The temperature of MCSA PPMs was also measured. To better interpret the MCSA flight data, a dedicated FORTRAN computer code was developed to predict the detailed thermal-electrical performance of the MCSA. Flight data compared very favorably with computational performance predictions. This indicated that the MCSA electrical performance was fully meeting pre-flight expectations. There were no measurable indications of unexpected or precipitous MCSA performance degradation due to contamination or other causes after 7 months of operation on orbit. Power delivered to the Mir bus was lower than desired as a consequence of the retrofitted power distribution cabling. The strong correlation of experimental and computational results further bolsters the confidence level of performance codes used in critical ISS electric power forecasting. In this paper, MCSA flight performance tests are described as well as the computational modeling behind the performance predictions.

  1. Mir Cooperative Solar Array Flight Performance Data and Computational Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerslake, Thomas W.; Hoffman, David J.

    1997-01-01

    The Mir Cooperative Solar Array (MCSA) was developed jointly by the United States (US) and Russia to provide approximately 6 kW of photovoltaic power to the Russian space station Mir. The MCSA was launched to Mir in November 1995 and installed on the Kvant-1 module in May 1996. Since the MCSA photovoltaic panel modules (PPMs) are nearly identical to those of the International Space Station (ISS) photovoltaic arrays, MCSA operation offered an opportunity to gather multi-year performance data on this technology prior to its implementation on ISS. Two specially designed test sequences were executed in June and December 1996 to measure MCSA performance. Each test period encompassed 3 orbital revolutions whereby the current produced by the MCSA channels was measured. The temperature of MCSA PPMs was also measured. To better interpret the MCSA flight data, a dedicated FORTRAN computer code was developed to predict the detailed thermal-electrical performance of the MCSA. Flight data compared very favorably with computational performance predictions. This indicated that the MCSA electrical performance was fully meeting pre-flight expectations. There were no measurable indications of unexpected or precipitous MCSA performance degradation due to contamination or other causes after 7 months of operation on orbit. Power delivered to the Mir bus was lower than desired as a consequence of the retrofitted power distribution cabling. The strong correlation of experimental and computational results further bolsters the confidence level of performance codes used in critical ISS electric power forecasting. In this paper, MCSA flight performance tests are described as well as the computational modeling behind the performance predictions.

  2. Simulations on time-of-flight ERDA spectrometer performance.

    PubMed

    Julin, Jaakko; Arstila, Kai; Sajavaara, Timo

    2016-08-01

    The performance of a time-of-flight spectrometer consisting of two timing detectors and an ionization chamber energy detector has been studied using Monte Carlo simulations for the recoil creation and ion transport in the sample and detectors. The ionization chamber pulses have been calculated using Shockley-Ramo theorem and the pulse processing of a digitizing data acquisition setup has been modeled. Complete time-of-flight-energy histograms were simulated under realistic experimental conditions. The simulations were used to study instrumentation related effects in coincidence timing and position sensitivity, such as background in time-of-flight-energy histograms. Corresponding measurements were made and simulated results are compared with data collected using the digitizing setup. PMID:27587115

  3. Hawkmoth flight performance in tornado-like whirlwind vortices.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Jimenez, Victor Manuel; Mittal, Rajat; Hedrick, Tyson L

    2014-06-01

    Vertical vortex systems such as tornadoes dramatically affect the flight control and stability of aircraft. However, the control implications of smaller scale vertically oriented vortex systems for small fliers such as animals or micro-air vehicles are unknown. Here we examined the flapping kinematics and body dynamics of hawkmoths performing hovering flights (controls) and maintaining position in three different whirlwind intensities with transverse horizontal velocities of 0.7, 0.9 and 1.2 m s(-1), respectively, generated in a vortex chamber. The average and standard deviation of yaw and pitch were respectively increased and reduced in comparison with hovering flights. Average roll orientation was unchanged in whirlwind flights but was more variable from wingbeat to wingbeat than in hovering. Flapping frequency remained unchanged. Wingbeat amplitude was lower and the average stroke plane angle was higher. Asymmetry was found in the angle of attack between right and left wings during both downstroke and upstroke at medium and high vortex intensities. Thus, hawkmoth flight control in tornado-like vortices is achieved by a suite of asymmetric and symmetric changes to wingbeat amplitude, stroke plane angle and principally angle of attack. PMID:24855051

  4. Flight performance and competitive displacement of hummingbirds across elevational gradients.

    PubMed

    Altshuler, Douglas L

    2006-02-01

    Hummingbirds, with their impressive flight ability and competitive aerial contests, make ideal candidates for applying a mechanistic approach to studying community structure. Because flight costs are influenced by abiotic factors that change systematically with altitude, elevational gradients provide natural experiments for hummingbird flight ecology. Prior attempts relied on wing disc loading (WDL) as a morphological surrogate for flight performance, but recent analyses indicate this variable does not influence either territorial behavior or competitive ability. Aerodynamic power, by contrast, can be derived from direct measurements of performance and, like WDL, declines across elevations. Here, I demonstrate for a diverse community of Andean hummingbirds that burst aerodynamic power is associated with territorial behavior. Along a second elevational gradient in Colorado, I tested for correlated changes in aerodynamic power and competitive ability in two territorial hummingbirds. This behavioral analysis revealed that short-winged Selasphorus rufus males are dominant over long-winged Selasphorus platycercus males at low elevations but that the roles are reversed at higher elevations. Several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that the burst rather than sustained aerodynamic performance mediates competitive ability at high elevation. A minimum value for burst power may be required for successful competition, but other maneuverability features gain importance when all competitors have sufficient muscle power, as occurs at low elevations. PMID:16670982

  5. Performance of a blood chemistry analyzer during parabolic flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spooner, Brian S.; Claassen, Dale E.; Guikema, James A.

    1990-01-01

    The performance of the Vision System Blood Analyzer during parabolic flight on a KC-135 aircraft (NASA 930) has been tested. This fully automated instrument performed flawlessly in these trials, demonstrating its potential for efficient, reliable use in a microgravity environment. In addition to instrument capability, it is demonstrated that investigators could readily fill specially modified test packs with fluid during zero gravity, and that filled test packs could be easily loaded into VISION during an episode of microgravity.

  6. In-Flight Performance of Wide Field Camera 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Randy

    2010-01-01

    Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a powerful new UVNisible/IR imager, was installed into HST during Servicing Mission 4. After a successful commissioning in the Servicing Mission Orbital Verification program, WFC3 has been engaged in an exciting program of scientific observations. I review here the in-flight scientific performance of the instrument, addressing such topics as image quality, sensitivity, detector performance, and stability.

  7. The invertebrate myosin filament: subfilament arrangement of the solid filaments of insect flight muscles.

    PubMed Central

    Beinbrech, G; Ashton, F T; Pepe, F A

    1992-01-01

    Transverse sections (approximately 140 nm thick) of solid myosin filaments of the flight muscles of the fleshfly, Phormia terrae-novae, the honey bee, Apis mellifica, and the waterbug, Lethocerus uhleri, were photographed in a JEM model 200A electron microscope at 200 kV. The images were digitized and computer processed by rotational filtering. In each of these filaments it was found that the symmetry of the core and the wall was not the same. The power spectra of the images showed sixfold symmetry for the wall and threefold symmetry for the core of the filaments. The images of the filaments in each muscle were superimposed according to the sixfold center of the wall. These averaged images for all three muscles showed six pairs of subunits in the wall similar to those found in the wall of tubular filaments. From serial sections of the fleshfly filaments, we conclude that the subunits in the wall of the filaments represent subfilaments essentially parallel to the long axis of the filament. In each muscle there are additional subunits in the core, closely related to the subunits in the wall. Evaluation of serial sections through fleshfly filaments suggests that the relationship of the three subunits observed in the core to those in the wall varies along the length of the filaments. In waterbug filaments there are three dense and three less dense subunits for a total of six all closely related to the wall. Bee filaments have three subunits related to the wall and three subunits located eccentrically in the core of the filaments. The presence of core subunits can be related to the paramyosin content of the filaments. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 9 FIGURE 12 PMID:1617135

  8. Description and Flight Performance Results of the WASP Sounding Rocket

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Pauw, J. F.; Steffens, L. E.; Yuska, J. A.

    1968-01-01

    A general description of the design and construction of the WASP sounding rocket and of the performance of its first flight are presented. The purpose of the flight test was to place the 862-pound (391-kg) spacecraft above 250 000 feet (76.25 km) on free-fall trajectory for at least 6 minutes in order to study the effect of "weightlessness" on a slosh dynamics experiment. The WASP sounding rocket fulfilled its intended mission requirements. The sounding rocket approximately followed a nominal trajectory. The payload was in free fall above 250 000 feet (76.25 km) for 6.5 minutes and reached an apogee altitude of 134 nautical miles (248 km). Flight data including velocity, altitude, acceleration, roll rate, and angle of attack are discussed and compared to nominal performance calculations. The effect of residual burning of the second stage motor is analyzed. The flight vibration environment is presented and analyzed, including root mean square (RMS) and power spectral density analysis.

  9. Electrolysis Performance Improvement Concept Study (EPICS) Flight Experiment-Reflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, F. H.

    1997-01-01

    The Electrolysis Performance Improvement Concept Study (EPICS) is a flight experiment to demonstrate and validate in a microgravity environment the Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE) concept which was selected for the use aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for oxygen (O2) generation. It also is to investigate the impact of microgravity on electrochemical cell performance. Electrochemical cells are important to the space program because they provide an efficient means of generating O2 and hydrogen (H2) in space. Oxygen and H2 are essential not only for the survival of humans in space but also for the efficient and economical operation of various space systems. Electrochemical cells can reduce the mass, volume and logistical penalties associated with resupply and storage by generating and/or consuming these gases in space. An initial flight of the EPICS was conducted aboard STS-69 from September 7 to 8, 1995. A temperature sensor characteristics shift and a missing line of software code resulted in only partial success of this initial flight. Based on the review and recommendations of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) review team a reflight activity was initiated to obtain the remaining desired results, not achieved during the initial flight.

  10. Cassini Main Engine Assembly Cover Flight Management and Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somawardhana, Ruwan P.; Millard, Jerry M.

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini spacecraft has performed its four year Prime Mission at Saturn and is currently in orbit at Saturn performing a two year extended mission. 12Its main engine nozzles are susceptible to impact damage from micrometeoroids and on-orbit dust. The spacecraft has an articulating device known as the Main Engine Assembly (MEA) cover which can close and shield the main engines from these threats. The cover opens to allow for main engine burns that are necessary to maintain the trajectory. Periodically updated analyses of potential on-orbit dust hazard threats have resulted in the need to continue to use the MEA cover beyond its intended use and beyond its design life. This paper provides a detailed Systems-level overview of the flight management of the MEA cover device and its flight performance to date.

  11. Flight Performance and Teneral Energy Reserves of Two Genetically-Modified and One Wild-Type Strain of the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Christian; Alphey, Luke; Reiter, Paul; Koella, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The ability of sterile males to survive, disperse, find, and mate with wild females is key to the success of sterile insect technique (SIT). The Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal (RIDL) system is a genetics-based SIT strategy for Aedes aegypti. We examine two aspects of insect performance, flight potential (dispersal ability) and teneral energy reserves, by comparing wild-type (WT) males with genetically-modified lines carrying the tetracycline-repressible constructs OX513A and OX3604C. Our results show significant differences in the flight capacity of the modified lines. OX513A males bred with tetracycline covered 38% less distance, while OX3604C males reared without tetracycline spent 21% less time in flight than their WT counterparts. Such differences in flight performance should be considered when designing release programs (e.g., by placing release sites sufficiently close together to achieve adequate coverage). All mosquito lines had similar teneral carbohydrate contents, though males of the OX3604C line contained more lipids. The addition of tetracycline to the larval diet did not influence the flight potential of the males; however, it did change the teneral sugar reserves of the WT and the lipid reserves of both the WT and the OX3604C lines. PMID:22835152

  12. Juveniles exposed to embryonic corticosterone have enhanced flight performance

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Eunice H.; Love, Oliver P.; Verspoor, Jan J.; Williams, Tony D.; Rowley, Kyle; Burness, Gary

    2008-01-01

    Exposure to maternally derived glucocorticoids during embryonic development impacts offspring phenotype. Although many of these effects appear to be transiently ‘negative’, embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones is hypothesized to induce preparative responses that increase survival prospects for offspring in low-quality environments; however, little is known about how maternal stress influences longer-term survival-related performance traits in free-living individuals. Using an experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone (embryonic signal of low maternal quality), we examined potential impacts of embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress on flight performance, wing loading, muscle morphology and muscle physiology in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Here we report that fledglings exposed to experimentally increased corticosterone in ovo performed better during flight performance trials than control fledglings. Consistent with differences in performance, individuals exposed to elevated embryonic corticosterone fledged with lower wing loading and had heavier and more functionally mature flight muscles compared with control fledglings. Our results indicate that the positive effects on a survival-related trait in response to embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones may balance some of the associated negative developmental costs that have recently been reported. Moreover, if embryonic experience is a good predictor of the quality or risk of future environments, a preparative phenotype associated with exposure to apparently negative stimuli during development may be adaptive. PMID:18842541

  13. Responses of deciduous trees to elevated atmospheric CO[sub 2]: Productivity, phytochemistry, and insect performance

    SciTech Connect

    Lindroth, R.L.; Kinney, K.K.; Platz, C.L. )

    1993-04-01

    Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are expected to directly affect forest ecosystems. This research evaluated the effects of enriched CO[sub 2], on the productivity and phytochemistry of forest trees and performance of associated insects. Our experimental system consisted of three tree species (quaking aspen [Populus tremuloides], red oak [Quercus rubra], sugar maple [Acer saccharum]) and two species of leaf-feeding insects (gypsy moth [Lymantria dispar] and forest tent caterpillar [Malacosma disstria]). Three questions were evaluated: in response to enriched CO[sub 2]: (1) relative increases in tree growth rates (2) relative decreases in protein and increases in carbon-based compounds, and (3) relative reductions in insect performance. Aspen responded the most to enriched CO[sub 2], atmospheres whereas maple responded the least. Proportional growth increases, were highest for oak and least for maple. Effects of elevated CO[sub 2], on biomass allocation patterns differed among the three species. Enriched CO[sub 2], altered concentrations of primary and secondary metabolites in leaves, but the magnitude and direction of effects were species-specific. Consumption rates of insects fed high-CO[sub 2], aspen increased dramatically, but growth rates declined. Gypsy moths grew better on high-CO[sub 2], oak, whereas forest tent caterpillars were unaffected; tent caterpillars grew less on high-CO[sub 2], maple, while gypsy moths were unaffected. Changes in insect performance parameters were related to changes in foliar chemistry. This study illustrates that tree productivity and chemistry, and the performance of associated insects, will change under CO[sub 2], atmospheres predicted for the next century. Changes in higher level ecological processes, such as community structure and nutrient cycling, are also implicated. 61 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  14. APMS 3.0 Flight Analyst Guide: Aviation Performance Measuring System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jay, Griff; Prothero, Gary; Romanowski, Timothy; Lynch, Robert; Lawrence, Robert; Rosenthal, Loren

    2004-01-01

    The Aviation Performance Measuring System (APMS) is a method-embodied in software-that uses mathematical algorithms and related procedures to analyze digital flight data extracted from aircraft flight data recorders. APMS consists of an integrated set of tools used to perform two primary functions: a) Flight Data Importation b) Flight Data Analysis.

  15. Real-time in-flight engine performance and health monitoring techniques for flight research application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Ronald J.; Hicks, John W.; Wichman, Keith D.

    1991-01-01

    Procedures for real time evaluation of the inflight health and performance of gas turbine engines and related systems were developed to enhance flight test safety and productivity. These techniques include the monitoring of the engine, the engine control system, thrust vectoring control system health, and the detection of engine stalls. Real time performance techniques were developed for the determination and display of inflight thrust and for aeroperformance drag polars. These new methods were successfully shown on various research aircraft at NASA-Dryden. The capability of NASA's Western Aeronautical Test Range and the advanced data acquisition systems were key factors for implementation and real time display of these methods.

  16. Post-Flight Analysis of the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Performance During Orion Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, Andrew; Mamich, Harvey; Hoelscher, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle presented additional challenges for guidance, navigation and control as compared to a typical re-entry from the International Space Station or other Low Earth Orbit. An elevated re-entry velocity and steeper flight path angle were chosen to achieve aero-thermal flight test objectives. New IMU's, a GPS receiver, and baro altimeters were flight qualified to provide the redundant navigation needed for human space flight. The guidance and control systems must manage the vehicle lift vector in order to deliver the vehicle to a precision, coastal, water landing, while operating within aerodynamic load, reaction control system, and propellant constraints. Extensive pre-flight six degree-of-freedom analysis was performed that showed mission success for the nominal mission as well as in the presence of sensor and effector failures. Post-flight reconstruction analysis of the test flight is presented in this paper to show whether that all performance metrics were met and establish how well the pre-flight analysis predicted the in-flight performance.

  17. X-ray diffraction indicates that active cross-bridges bind to actin target zones in insect flight muscle.

    PubMed

    Tregear, R T; Edwards, R J; Irving, T C; Poole, K J; Reedy, M C; Schmitz, H; Towns-Andrews, E; Reedy, M K

    1998-03-01

    We report the first time-resolved study of the two-dimensional x-ray diffraction pattern during active contraction in insect flight muscle (IFM). Activation of demembranated Lethocerus IFM was triggered by 1.5-2.5% step stretches (risetime 10 ms; held for 1.5 s) giving delayed active tension that peaked at 100-200 ms. Bundles of 8-12 fibers were stretch-activated on SRS synchrotron x-ray beamline 16.1, and time-resolved changes in diffraction were monitored with a SRS 2-D multiwire detector. As active tension rose, the 14.5- and 7.2-nm meridionals fell, the first row line dropped at the 38.7 nm layer line while gaining a new peak at 19.3 nm, and three outer peaks on the 38.7-nm layer line rose. The first row line changes suggest restricted binding of active myosin heads to the helically preferred region in each actin target zone, where, in rigor, two-headed lead bridges bind, midway between troponin bulges that repeat every 38.7 nm. Halving this troponin repeat by binding of single active heads explains the intensity rise at 19.3 nm being coupled to a loss at 38.7 nm. The meridional changes signal movement of at least 30% of all myosin heads away from their axially ordered positions on the myosin helix. The 38.7- and 19.3-nm layer line changes signal stereoselective attachment of 7-23% of the myosin heads to the actin helix, although with too little ordering at 6-nm resolution to affect the 5.9-nm actin layer line. We conclude that stretch-activated tension of IFM is produced by cross-bridges that bind to rigor's lead-bridge target zones, comprising < or = 1/3 of the 75-80% that attach in rigor. PMID:9512040

  18. Dual Dimensionality Reduction Reveals Independent Encoding of Motor Features in a Muscle Synergy for Insect Flight Control

    PubMed Central

    Sponberg, Simon; Daniel, Thomas L.; Fairhall, Adrienne L.

    2015-01-01

    What are the features of movement encoded by changing motor commands? Do motor commands encode movement independently or can they be represented in a reduced set of signals (i.e. synergies)? Motor encoding poses a computational and practical challenge because many muscles typically drive movement, and simultaneous electrophysiology recordings of all motor commands are typically not available. Moreover, during a single locomotor period (a stride or wingstroke) the variation in movement may have high dimensionality, even if only a few discrete signals activate the muscles. Here, we apply the method of partial least squares (PLS) to extract the encoded features of movement based on the cross-covariance of motor signals and movement. PLS simultaneously decomposes both datasets and identifies only the variation in movement that relates to the specific muscles of interest. We use this approach to explore how the main downstroke flight muscles of an insect, the hawkmoth Manduca sexta, encode torque during yaw turns. We simultaneously record muscle activity and turning torque in tethered flying moths experiencing wide-field visual stimuli. We ask whether this pair of muscles acts as a muscle synergy (a single linear combination of activity) consistent with their hypothesized function of producing a left-right power differential. Alternatively, each muscle might individually encode variation in movement. We show that PLS feature analysis produces an efficient reduction of dimensionality in torque variation within a wingstroke. At first, the two muscles appear to behave as a synergy when we consider only their wingstroke-averaged torque. However, when we consider the PLS features, the muscles reveal independent encoding of torque. Using these features we can predictably reconstruct the variation in torque corresponding to changes in muscle activation. PLS-based feature analysis provides a general two-sided dimensionality reduction that reveals encoding in high dimensional

  19. High performance real-time flight simulation at NASA Langley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cleveland, Jeff I., II

    1994-01-01

    In order to meet the stringent time-critical requirements for real-time man-in-the-loop flight simulation, computer processing operations must be deterministic and be completed in as short a time as possible. This includes simulation mathematical model computational and data input/output to the simulators. In 1986, in response to increased demands for flight simulation performance, personnel at NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC), working with the contractor, developed extensions to a standard input/output system to provide for high bandwidth, low latency data acquisition and distribution. The Computer Automated Measurement and Control technology (IEEE standard 595) was extended to meet the performance requirements for real-time simulation. This technology extension increased the effective bandwidth by a factor of ten and increased the performance of modules necessary for simulator communications. This technology is being used by more than 80 leading technological developers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Included among the commercial applications of this technology are nuclear process control, power grid analysis, process monitoring, real-time simulation, and radar data acquisition. Personnel at LaRC have completed the development of the use of supercomputers for simulation mathematical model computational to support real-time flight simulation. This includes the development of a real-time operating system and the development of specialized software and hardware for the CAMAC simulator network. This work, coupled with the use of an open systems software architecture, has advanced the state of the art in real time flight simulation. The data acquisition technology innovation and experience with recent developments in this technology are described.

  20. Integrated Flight Performance Analysis of a Launch Abort System Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tartabini, Paul V.

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes initial flight performance analyses conducted early in the Orion Project to support concept feasibility studies for the Crew Exploration Vehicle s Launch Abort System (LAS). Key performance requirements that significantly affect abort capability are presented. These requirements have implications on sizing the Abort Motor, tailoring its thrust profile to meet escape requirements for both launch pad and high drag/high dynamic pressure ascent aborts. Additional performance considerations are provided for the Attitude Control Motor, a key element of the Orion LAS design that eliminates the need for ballast and provides performance robustness over a passive control approach. Finally, performance of the LAS jettison function is discussed, along with implications on Jettison Motor sizing and the timing of the jettison event during a nominal mission. These studies provide an initial understanding of LAS performance that will continue to evolve as the Orion design is matured.

  1. S-NPP OMPS Nadir In-Flight Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, S.; Flynn, L. E.; Niu, J.; Grotenhuis, M.; Beck, C. T.; Beach, E.; Zhang, Z.; Tolea, A.

    2014-12-01

    This presentation describes the results of in-flight characterization of the S-NPP Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) charge-coupled device (CCD) performance during the first nearly three years of the OMPS mission in orbit. Data from OMPS's three two-dimension CCD arrays have been collected to characterize in-flight detector behaviors. Our results show that offset, gain, and dark current rate trends remain within sensor requirement limits. System linearity performance trends are stable. The distribution of individual pixel dark rates is slowly growing as expected from pre-launch analyses. The current in-flight dark and linearity calibration corrections provide Sensor Data Records (SDRs) with insignificant error after correction of less than an average of ~0.1% in the Earth radiance retrieval. The instrument optics is less stable than predicted leading to intra-orbit wavelength scale variations as the temperature gradients vary across the instrument. Measurement-based estimates of these effects are as large a ±0.02 nm and are used to make corrections to within +-0.005 nm on a granule by granule basis. Examination of reflectivity, aerosol and ozone EDRs provide evidence of absolute calibration errors with a significant cross track variation. A soft calibration adjustment is under development to remove them.

  2. Space shuttle orbiter leading-edge flight performance compared to design goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curry, D. M.; Johnson, D. W.; Kelly, R. E.

    1983-01-01

    Thermo-structural performance of the Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia's leading-edge structural subsystem for the first five (5) flights is compared with the design goals. Lessons learned from thse initial flights of the first reusable manned spacecraft are discussed in order to assess design maturity, deficiencies, and modifications required to rectify the design deficiencies. Flight data and post-flight inspections support the conclusion that the leading-edge structural subsystem hardware performance was outstanding for the initial five (5) flights.

  3. Flight Test Performance of a High Precision Navigation Doppler Lidar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierrottet, Diego; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Petway, Larry; Barnes, Bruce; Lockard, George

    2009-01-01

    A navigation Doppler Lidar (DL) was developed at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) for high precision velocity measurements from a lunar or planetary landing vehicle in support of the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) project. A unique feature of this DL is that it has the capability to provide a precision velocity vector which can be easily separated into horizontal and vertical velocity components and high accuracy line of sight (LOS) range measurements. This dual mode of operation can provide useful information, such as vehicle orientation relative to the direction of travel, and vehicle attitude relative to the sensor footprint on the ground. System performance was evaluated in a series of helicopter flight tests over the California desert. This paper provides a description of the DL system and presents results obtained from these flight tests.

  4. Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) Absolute Navigation Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanetti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    The Orion vehicle, being design to take men back to the Moon and beyond, successfully completed its first flight test, EFT-1 (Exploration Flight Test-1), on December 5th, 2014. The main objective of the test was to demonstrate the capability of re-enter into the Earth's atmosphere and safely splash-down into the pacific ocean. This un-crewed mission completes two orbits around Earth, the second of which is highly elliptical with an apogee of approximately 5908 km, higher than any vehicle designed for humans has been since the Apollo program. The trajectory was designed in order to test a high-energy re-entry similar to those crews will undergo during lunar missions. The mission overview is shown in Figure 1. The objective of this paper is to document the performance of the absolute navigation system during EFT-1 and to present its design.

  5. Flight Performance of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dillman, Robert; DiNonno, John; Bodkin, Richard; Gsell, Valerie; Miller, Nathanael; Olds, Aaron; Bruce, Walter

    2013-01-01

    The Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3) launched July 23, 2012, from NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on a Black Brant XI suborbital sounding rocket and successfully performed its mission, demonstrating the survivability of a hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD) in the reentry heating environment and also illustrating the effect of an offset center of gravity on the HIAD's lift-to-drag ratio. IRVE-3 was a follow-on to 2009's IRVE-II mission, which demonstrated exo-atmospheric inflation, reentry survivability - without significant heating - and the aerodynamic stability of a HIAD down to subsonic flight conditions. NASA Langley Research Center is leading the development of HIAD technology for use on future interplanetary and Earth reentry missions.

  6. Expected Navigation Flight Performance for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Corwin; Wright, Cinnamon; Long, Anne

    2012-01-01

    The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission consists of four formation-flying spacecraft placed in highly eccentric elliptical orbits about the Earth. The primary scientific mission objective is to study magnetic reconnection within the Earth s magnetosphere. The baseline navigation concept is the independent estimation of each spacecraft state using GPS pseudorange measurements (referenced to an onboard Ultra Stable Oscillator) and accelerometer measurements during maneuvers. State estimation for the MMS spacecraft is performed onboard each vehicle using the Goddard Enhanced Onboard Navigation System, which is embedded in the Navigator GPS receiver. This paper describes the latest efforts to characterize expected navigation flight performance using upgraded simulation models derived from recent analyses.

  7. Performance parameters in the design of flight motion simulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Robert W.

    2012-06-01

    The desired test performance parameters influence the design of a Flight Motion Simulator (FMS) and affect its size, weight, power, electro-magnetic interference, noise, and vibration. A common desire is to specify requirements beyond the immediate need for future test programs. This may directly affect cost and schedule. Critical parameters that affect the FMS design are larger payload sizes, higher accuracies, and higher dynamic requirements. This paper provides a checklist of parameters and specification tradeoffs to be considered for the overall system performance requirements.

  8. In-flight performance of the Japanese Advanced Meteorological Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puschell, Jeffrey J.; Osgood, Roderic; Auchter, Joseph; Hurt, W. Todd; Hitomi, Miyamoto; Sasaki, Masayuki; Tahara, Yoshihiko; Tadros, Alfred; Faller, Ken; Mclaren, Mark; Sheffield, Jonathan; Gaiser, John; Kamel, Ahmed; Gunshor, Mathew

    2006-08-01

    The Japanese Advanced Meteorological Imager (JAMI) was developed by Raytheon and delivered to Space Systems/Loral as the Imager Subsystem for Japan's MTSAT-1R satellite. MTSAT-1R was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on 2005 February 26 and became formally operational on 2005 June 28. This paper compares in-flight performance of JAMI with predictions made before launch. The performance areas discussed include radiometric sensitivity (NEDT and SNR) versus spectral channel, calibration accuracy versus spectral channel derived from comparisons of JAMI and AIRS measurements and image navigation and registration.

  9. SILEX final ground testing and in-flight performance assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planche, Gilles; Laurent, Bernard; Guillen, Jean-Claude; Chorvalli, V.; Desplats, Eric

    1999-04-01

    SILEX (Semi-Conductor Inter-satellite Link EXperiment) consists of one optical terminal on-board the French LEO observation satellite SPOT 4, and another on-board the European GEO telecommunication satellite ARTEMIS. While the first part of the SILEX verification plan had been oriented towards verification at equipment and subsystem levels, the final stages have mainly been devoted to terminal and system (terminals coupling effects) verification. During this final stage, a thermal vacuum test was conducted in a class 100- cleanliness environment with optical ground support equipment of outstanding performances. The obtained tests results, used to determine software compensations and verify optical and static pointing performances, have been entered into overall system simulation models to finalize flight performances budgets. In addition, systems tests were performed on each terminal with respective partner simulator to validate system simulation models and assess link performances and robustness and to verify communication bit error rate.

  10. Perceptual and performance consequences of flight in virtual worlds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, C. Thomas; Schwirzke, Martin; Tittle, James S.

    1991-01-01

    There are two primary purposes for head-mounted systems in aeronautical settings. One is for helmet-mounted sights and teleoperated (head-slaved) weapons systems. Bennett, Johnson, Perrone, and Phatak (1988) evaluated head tracking performance during passive and controlled flight. In that study, comparisons were also made of head tracking performance in sterile and relatively complex virtual worlds. That study confirmed the robustness of head tracking performance across a wide variety of visual scenes. A second use of virtual world displays is for aircraft control. Aircraft controllability using head-mounted, panel-mounted, or simulated out-the-window scenes has been systematically examined. Those studies reported the range of rotorcraft flight tasks in which head-mounted virtual worlds provided some advantages. Two studies will be reported that examine the perceptual/performance effects of virtual worlds. The first examines head tracking performance with roll-stabilized versus non-roll stabilized virtual worlds. The purpose of the study was to (1) examine display strategies used in current display systems and (2) study the adaptability of observers to estimated glide slope angles using head-slaved versus head-stabilized imagery. The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of wide field-of-regards during final approaches to a runway.

  11. Flight controller alertness and performance during MOD shiftwork operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelly, Sean M.; Rosekind, Mark R.; Dinges, David F.; Miller, Donna L.; Gillen, Kelly A.; Gregory, Kevin B.; Aguilar, Ronald D.; Smith, Roy M.

    1994-01-01

    Decreased alertness and performance associated with fatigue, sleep loss, and circadian disruption are issues faced by a diverse range of shiftwork operations. During STS operations, MOD personnel provide 24 hr. coverage of critical tasks. A joint JSC and ARC project was undertaken to examine these issues in flight controllers during MOD shiftwork operations. An initial operational test of procedures and measures was conducted during STS-53 in Dec. 1992. The study measures included a background questionnaire, a subjective daily logbook completed on a 24 hr. basis (to report sleep patterns, work periods, etc.), and an 8 minute performance and mood test battery administered at the beginning, middle, and end of each shift period. Seventeen Flight controllers representing the 3 Orbit shifts participated. The initial results clearly support further data collection during other STS missions to document baseline levels of alertness and performance during MOD shiftwork operations. These issues are especially pertinent for the night shift operations and the acute phase advance required for the transition of day shift personnel into the night for shuttle launch. Implementation and evaluation of the countermeasure strategies to maximize alertness and performance is planned. As STS missions extend to further extended duration orbiters, timelines and planning for 24 circadian disruption will remain highly relevant in the MOD environment.

  12. Mars Exploration Rover heat rejection system performance - comparison of ground and flight data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ganapathi, Gani; Birur, Gajanana; Krylo, Robert; Tsuyuki, Glenn

    2004-01-01

    This paper will describe the various design modifications made on the MER HRS from that of Mars Pathfinder spacecraft. A description of the flight performance during the seven-month cruise of the spacecraft will be given. A comparison of the performance on the ground and the flight will be presented. Any significant deviation in the flight performance will be described.

  13. Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Post-Flight Navigation Performance Assessment Relative to the Best Estimated Trajectory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gay, Robert S.; Holt, Greg N.; Zanetti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    This paper details the post-flight navigation performance assessment of the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1). Results of each flight phase are presented: Ground Align, Ascent, Orbit, and Entry Descent and Landing. This study examines the on-board Kalman Filter uncertainty along with state deviations relative to the Best Estimated Trajectory (BET). Overall the results show that the Orion Navigation System performed as well or better than expected. Specifically, the Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement availability was significantly better than anticipated at high altitudes. In addition, attitude estimation via processing GPS measurements along with Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) data performed very well and maintained good attitude throughout the mission.

  14. Defining Exercise Performance Metrics for Flight Hardware Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beyene, Nahon M.

    2004-01-01

    The space industry has prevailed over numerous design challenges in the spirit of exploration. Manned space flight entails creating products for use by humans and the Johnson Space Center has pioneered this effort as NASA's center for manned space flight. NASA Astronauts use a suite of flight exercise hardware to maintain strength for extravehicular activities and to minimize losses in muscle mass and bone mineral density. With a cycle ergometer, treadmill, and the Resistive Exercise Device available on the International Space Station (ISS), the Space Medicine community aspires to reproduce physical loading schemes that match exercise performance in Earth s gravity. The resistive exercise device presents the greatest challenge with the duty of accommodating 20 different exercises and many variations on the core set of exercises. This paper presents a methodology for capturing engineering parameters that can quantify proper resistive exercise performance techniques. For each specified exercise, the method provides engineering parameters on hand spacing, foot spacing, and positions of the point of load application at the starting point, midpoint, and end point of the exercise. As humans vary in height and fitness levels, the methodology presents values as ranges. In addition, this method shows engineers the proper load application regions on the human body. The methodology applies to resistive exercise in general and is in use for the current development of a Resistive Exercise Device. Exercise hardware systems must remain available for use and conducive to proper exercise performance as a contributor to mission success. The astronauts depend on exercise hardware to support extended stays aboard the ISS. Future plans towards exploration of Mars and beyond acknowledge the necessity of exercise. Continuous improvement in technology and our understanding of human health maintenance in space will allow us to support the exploration of Mars and the future of space

  15. Habitability and Performance Issues for Long Duration Space Flights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitmore, Mihriban; McQuilkin, Meredith L.; Woolford, Barbara J.

    1997-01-01

    Advancing technology, coupled with the desire to explore space has resulted in increasingly longer manned space missions. Although the Long Duration Space Flights (LDSF) have provided a considerable amount of scientific research on human ability to function in extreme environments, findings indicate long duration missions take a toll on the individual, both physiologically and psychologically. These physiological and psychological issues manifest themselves in performance decrements; and could lead to serious errors endangering the mission, spacecraft and crew. The purpose of this paper is to document existing knowledge of the effects of LDSF on performance, habitability, and workload and to identify and assess potential tools designed to address these decrements as well as propose an implementation plan to address the habitability, performance and workload issues.

  16. Flight performance of BESS PolarII Aerogel Cherenkov Counter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, Kenichi

    The second scientific flight of the BESS-Polar experiment was performed in December 2007. The objective is understanding elementary particle phenomena in the early universe and propagation mechanism in the Galaxy through a search for antiparticles and antimatter in the cosmic radiation and mesurement of cosmic-ray nuclei. The BESS-Polar II scientific balloon was launched from Williams Field near the US McMurdo station in Antarctica and recorded more than 46x108 cosmic-ray events dualing a scientific balloon flight of 24.5 days. In addition to secondly production, there could be other, more exotic antiproton sources such as the evapolation of primordial black holes . Since the secondly antiproton spectrum has a sharp peak around 2 GeV, antiproton contributions well above or below this peak from other sources could cause an apparent flattening of the spectrum. For clear indentification of antiprotons against electron and muon background around the 0.2GeV 3.0GeV region, a threshold-type aerogel cherenkov counter(ACC) had been adopted. However, its performance was not high enough in the Polar I flight. The number of photoelectrons (N.pe.) was only 6 and the rejection power was 600 against more than 103 times electron and muon background. In BESS-Polar II which aims at precision measurement by vast statistics, the ACC was thoroughly redesigned to increase its rejection power while maintaining low systematic error. Improvements are described below. 1.Changing the aerogel refractive index(1.02 to 1.03): Because the focus of BESS-Polar II was on particle identification in lower energy region, the index was changed and this produced an improvement of 1.5 times N.pe. 2.Redesign of ACC Box Optimization of ACC optical geometry using Monte-Carlo simulation tuned with beam-test data gave 1.2 times N.pe. 3.Changing Aerogel block size (100x100x10mm3 to 190x280x20mm3 ) Larger aerogel blocks were adopted to reduce the inefficient area and N.pe. grew 1.1times. As a result of these

  17. Flight Performance Feasibility Studies for the Max Launch Abort System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarabini, Paul V.; Gilbert, Michael G.; Beaty, James R.

    2013-01-01

    In 2007, the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) initiated the Max Launch Abort System Project to explore crew escape system concepts designed to be fully encapsulated within an aerodynamic fairing and smoothly integrated onto a launch vehicle. One objective of this design was to develop a more compact launch escape vehicle that eliminated the need for an escape tower, as was used in the Mercury and Apollo escape systems and what is planned for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). The benefits for the launch vehicle of eliminating a tower from the escape vehicle design include lower structural weights, reduced bending moments during atmospheric flight, and a decrease in induced aero-acoustic loads. This paper discusses the development of encapsulated, towerless launch escape vehicle concepts, especially as it pertains to the flight performance and systems analysis trade studies conducted to establish mission feasibility and assess system-level performance. Two different towerless escape vehicle designs are discussed in depth: one with allpropulsive control using liquid attitude control thrusters, and a second employing deployable aft swept grid fins to provide passive stability during coast. Simulation results are presented for a range of nominal and off-nominal escape conditions.

  18. Perception and performance in flight simulators: The contribution of vestibular, visual, and auditory information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The pilot's perception and performance in flight simulators is examined. The areas investigated include: vestibular stimulation, flight management and man cockpit information interfacing, and visual perception in flight simulation. The effects of higher levels of rotary acceleration on response time to constant acceleration, tracking performance, and thresholds for angular acceleration are examined. Areas of flight management examined are cockpit display of traffic information, work load, synthetic speech call outs during the landing phase of flight, perceptual factors in the use of a microwave landing system, automatic speech recognition, automation of aircraft operation, and total simulation of flight training.

  19. Performance of the relativity mission superfluid helium flight dewar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parmley, R. T.; Bell, G. A.; Frank, D. J.; Murray, D. O.; Whelan, R. A.

    2003-10-01

    The world's largest capacity helium flight dewar has been assembled for use on the Relativity Mission, also known as Gravity Probe-B (GP-B). Acceptance tests performed include (1) weight, (2) proof pressure and leak checks, (3) vacuum bakeout, (4) main tank fill with He I, (5) parasitic heat rate tests, (6) well fill with He I from both the main tank and an external supply dewar, (7) well depletion, (8) conditioning the main tank to He II, (9) porous plug tests, (10) heat pulse meter tests, (11) transferring He II from the main tank to the well with a fountain-effect pump, (12) guard tank fill with He I with a nonvented He II main tank simulating launch pad hold, and (13) guard tank emptying. The measured performance is compared to the previously launched IRAS, COBE, and ISO cryostats. The Relativity Mission spacecraft will be launched in the time span 1999 to 2000.

  20. Flight Performance of Skylab Attitude and Pointing Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chubb, W. B.; Kennel, H. F.; Rupp, C. C.; Seltzer, S. M.

    1975-01-01

    In 1967 a paper at the AIAA Guidance, Control and Flight Dynamics Conference in Huntsville, Ala. presented for the first time the prot)osed SKYLAB Attitude and Pointing Control System (APCS) The system requirements, Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) configuration, control philosophy, and operational modes were presented and the APCS described. The Initial mission and system design requirements changed during the period of time before the SKYLAB was launched. This paper will review the Initial and final APCS requirements and goals and their relationship. The actual flight mission (and Its alterations during the flight) and known achieved APCS performance will then be presented. SKYLAB was a tremendous success in furthering man's scientific knowledge; but perhaps SKYLAB will be remembered more for the anomalies and the efforts undertaken to solve them. On May 14, 1973, the unmanned SKYLAB Orbital Workshop (OWS) was launched from Cape Kennedy. Serious hardware failures began to occur during ascent through the atmosphere and their spectre continued to haunt both the astronauts and their ground based support team. Nor were these the only surprises affecting the design and operation of the APCS. Mission requirements for pointing to various stellar targets and to nadir for earth resources experiments were added after the hardware was designed. The chance appearance of comet Kohoutek during the SKYLAB operational life-time caused NASA to add comet observation to the mission requirements and to adjust the time when the third crew would man the SKYLAB. The development of new procedures and software for the opportunity to observe this visitor to our solar system is described.

  1. Flight Performance of the HEROES Solar Aspect System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Albert Y.; Christe, Steven; Rodriguez, Marcello; Gregory, Kyle; Cramer, Alexander; Edgerton, Melissa; Gaskin, Jessica; O'Connor, Brian; Sobey, Alexander

    2014-06-01

    Hard X-ray (HXR) observations of solar flares reveal the signatures of energetic electrons, and HXR images with high dynamic range and high sensitivity can distinguish between where electrons are accelerated and where they stop. Furthermore, high-sensitivity HXR measurements may be able to detect the presence of electron acceleration in the non-flaring corona. The High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun (HEROES) balloon mission added the capability of solar observations to an existing astrophysics balloon payload, HERO, which used grazing-incidence optics for direct HXR imaging. The HEROES Solar Aspect System (SAS) was developed and built to provide pointing knowledge during solar observations to better than the ~20 arcsec FWHM angular resolution of the HXR instrument. The SAS consists of two separate systems: the Pitch-Yaw aspect System (PYAS) and the Roll Aspect System (RAS). The PYAS compares the position of an optical image of the Sun relative to precise fiducials to determine the pitch and yaw pointing offsets from the desired solar target. The RAS images the Earth's horizon in opposite directions simultaneously to determine the roll of the gondola. HEROES launched in September 2013 from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and had a successful one-day flight. We present the detailed analysis of the performance of the SAS for that flight.

  2. In-flight performances of the PAMELA magnetic spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vannuccini, Elena

    PAMELA cosmic-ray detector is orbiting around the Earth on board the Resurs DK1 satellite since June 2006. The experiment is designed to study charged particles in the cosmic radiation, being optimized in particular for antiprotons and positrons. The core of the detector is a spectrometer composed of six planes of silicon microstrip sensors, which are placed inside the cavity of a permanent magnet. The detector has been designed to determine precisely the rigidity (up to 1 TV) and the electric charge (up to berillium) of particles crossing the apparatus. The spectrometer plays a crucial role in the high-energy antiproton analysis, where the main source of background comes from protons which recostructed trajectories have a negative curvature due to the finite resolution of the tracking system ("spillover" background). In this work the in-flight performances of the spectrometer will be presented, with main focus on the momentum resolution of singly-charged particles. A key point of track reconstruction is the alignment of the tracking system, which is done with the help of the energy information provided by the calorimeter for electrons and positrons. The good quality of flight data and the agreement with simulation indicate that the instrument provides a reliable estimate of the particle rigidity over a wide energy range. Finally, the criteria applied to minimize the spillover background in the antiproton sample and extend the identification to high energy will be discussed.

  3. Flight Performance of UV Filters on the ALEXIS Satellite

    SciTech Connect

    Bloch, J.J.; Roussel-Dupre, D.; Starin, S.

    1999-07-08

    The ALEXIS (Array of Low-Energy X-ray Imaging Sensors) mission, serving as the first dedicated all-sky monitor in the extreme UV, has been collecting data since its launch in 1993. ALEXIS operates in a 70{degree} inclination orbit at an altitude of 800 km. The ALEXIS science mission is to observe the cosmic UV background and to study variability of EUV sources. The ALEXIS experiment is composed of six telescopes. Although the telescopes were only designed for a one-year technology verification mission, they are still functioning with much the same effectiveness as at the beginning of the mission. The telescopes comprise: (1) layered synthetic microstructure (LSM) spherical mirrors, (2) thin foil filters, and (3) microchannel plate (MCP) detectors, all enshrouded within the telescope body. The LSM mirrors select the bandpass for each telescope, while rejecting some of the HeII 304{angstrom} geocoronal radiation. The filters, constructed either from aluminum/carbon or Lexan/titanium/boron, serve to strongly reject the geocoronal radiation, as well as longer wavelength emission from bright OB stars. Each telescope detector consists of two plates, the outermost of which is curved to accurately match the spherical focal surface of the mirror. By reviewing the ground and flight histories, this paper analyzes the flight performance of the filters, including the effects of long term exposure and the formation of pinholes.

  4. Stability and Performance Metrics for Adaptive Flight Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stepanyan, Vahram; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje; Nguyen, Nhan; VanEykeren, Luarens

    2009-01-01

    This paper addresses the problem of verifying adaptive control techniques for enabling safe flight in the presence of adverse conditions. Since the adaptive systems are non-linear by design, the existing control verification metrics are not applicable to adaptive controllers. Moreover, these systems are in general highly uncertain. Hence, the system's characteristics cannot be evaluated by relying on the available dynamical models. This necessitates the development of control verification metrics based on the system's input-output information. For this point of view, a set of metrics is introduced that compares the uncertain aircraft's input-output behavior under the action of an adaptive controller to that of a closed-loop linear reference model to be followed by the aircraft. This reference model is constructed for each specific maneuver using the exact aerodynamic and mass properties of the aircraft to meet the stability and performance requirements commonly accepted in flight control. The proposed metrics are unified in the sense that they are model independent and not restricted to any specific adaptive control methods. As an example, we present simulation results for a wing damaged generic transport aircraft with several existing adaptive controllers.

  5. Performance optimization for rotors in hover and axial flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quackenbush, T. R.; Wachspress, D. A.; Kaufman, A. E.; Bliss, D. B.

    1989-01-01

    Performance optimization for rotors in hover and axial flight is a topic of continuing importance to rotorcraft designers. The aim of this Phase 1 effort has been to demonstrate that a linear optimization algorithm could be coupled to an existing influence coefficient hover performance code. This code, dubbed EHPIC (Evaluation of Hover Performance using Influence Coefficients), uses a quasi-linear wake relaxation to solve for the rotor performance. The coupling was accomplished by expanding of the matrix of linearized influence coefficients in EHPIC to accommodate design variables and deriving new coefficients for linearized equations governing perturbations in power and thrust. These coefficients formed the input to a linear optimization analysis, which used the flow tangency conditions on the blade and in the wake to impose equality constraints on the expanded system of equations; user-specified inequality contraints were also employed to bound the changes in the design. It was found that this locally linearized analysis could be invoked to predict a design change that would produce a reduction in the power required by the rotor at constant thrust. Thus, an efficient search for improved versions of the baseline design can be carried out while retaining the accuracy inherent in a free wake/lifting surface performance analysis.

  6. Insect contamination protection for laminar flow surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croom, Cynthia C.; Holmes, Bruce J.

    1986-01-01

    The ability of modern aircraft surfaces to achieve laminar flow was well-accepted in recent years. Obtaining the maximum benefit of laminar flow for aircraft drag reduction requires maintaining minimum leading-edge contamination. Previously proposed insect contamination prevention methods have proved impractical due to cost, weight, or inconvenience. Past work has shown that insects will not adhere to water-wetted surfaces, but the large volumes of water required for protection rendered such a system impractical. The results of a flight experiment conducted by NASA to evaluate the performance of a porous leading-edge fluid discharge ice protection system operated as an insect contamination protections system are presented. In addition, these flights explored the environmental and atmospheric conditions most suitable for insect accumulation.

  7. High performance target measurement flights from Vandenberg Air Force Base

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalfant, C. P.; Rosen, H.; Jerger, J. H.

    A description is presented of a new launch facility which is being prepared for the High Performance Target Measurement (HPTEM) booster at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB). A deactivated Atlas launch complex is currently being modified to allow the rocket to be launched from a semisilo. The underground launch operations building will contain a new control center and instrumentation room. Attention is given to the Multi-Spectral Measurement Program (MSMP), details concerning the launch facility, and a target and flight safety trajectory analysis. Construction and modification of the facility is scheduled to be completed in mid-1983. The first HPTEM launch is planned to occur in April 1984. The HPTEM launch facility can also be utilized to launch Aries I (single stage) and Aries II (two-stage) probes with minor modification.

  8. Performance of uncoated AFRSI blankets during multiple Space Shuttle flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawko, Paul M.; Goldstein, Howard E.

    1992-04-01

    Uncoated Advanced Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation (AFRSI) blankets were successfully flown on seven consecutive flights of the Space Shuttle Orbiter OV-099 (Challenger). In six of the eight locations monitored (forward windshield, forward canopy, mid-fuselage, upper wing, rudder/speed brake, and vertical tail) the AFRSI blankets performed well during the ascent and reentry exposure to the thermal and aeroacoustic environments. Several of the uncoated AFRSI blankets that sustained minor damage, such as fraying or broken threads, could be repaired by sewing or by patching with a surface coating called C-9. The chief reasons for replacing or completely coating a blanket were fabric embrittlement and fabric abrasion caused by wind erosion. This occurred in the orbiter maneuvering system (OMS) pod sidewall and the forward mid-fuselage locations.

  9. Insect-Based Vision for Autonomous Vehicles: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V.

    1999-01-01

    The aims of the project were to use a high-speed digital video camera to pursue two questions: i) To explore the influence of temporal imaging constraints on the performance of vision systems for autonomous mobile robots; To study the fine structure of insect flight trajectories with in order to better understand the characteristics of flight control, orientation and navigation.

  10. Insect-Based Vision for Autonomous Vehicles: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V.

    1999-01-01

    The aims of the project were to use a high-speed digital video camera to pursue two questions: (1) To explore the influence of temporal imaging constraints on the performance of vision systems for autonomous mobile robots; (2) To study the fine structure of insect flight trajectories in order to better understand the characteristics of flight control, orientation and navigation.

  11. Flight performance using a hyperstereo helmet-mounted display: post-flight debriefing questionnaire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalich, Melvyn E.; Rash, Clarence E.; Harding, Thomas H.; Jennings, Sion; Craig, Gregory; Stuart, Geoffrey W.

    2009-05-01

    Helmet-mounted display (HMD) designs have faced persistent head-supported mass and center of mass (CM) problems, especially HMD designs like night vision goggles (NVG) that utilize image intensification (I2) sensors mounted forward in front of the user's eyes. Relocating I2 sensors from the front to the sides of the helmet, at or below the transverse plane through the user's head CM, can resolve most of the CM problems. However, the resulting increase in the separation between the two I2 channels effectively increases the user's interpupillary distance (IPD). This HMD design is referred to as a hyperstero design and introduces the phenomenon of hyperstereopsis, a type of visual distortion where stereoscopic depth perception is exaggerated, particularly at distances under 200 feet (~60 meters). The presence of hyperstereopsis has been a concern regarding implementation of hyperstereo HMDs for rotary-wing aircraft. To address this concern, a flight study was conducted to assess the impact of hyperstereopsis on aircraft handling proficiency and pilot acceptance. Three rated aviators with differing levels of I2 and hyperstereo HMD experience conducted a series of flights that concentrated on low-level maneuvers over a two-week period. Initial and final flights were flown with a standard issue I2 device and a production hyperstereo design HMD. Interim flights were flown only with the hyperstereo HMD. Two aviators accumulated 8 hours of flight time with the hyperstereo HMD, while the third accumulated 6.9 hours. This paper presents data collected via written questionnaires completed by the aviators during the post-flight debriefings. These data are compared to questionnaire data from a previous flight investigation in which aviators in a copilot capacity, hands not on the flight controls, accumulated 8 flight hours of flight time using a hyperstereo HMD.

  12. Effect of caffeine on simulator flight performance in sleep-deprived military pilot students.

    PubMed

    Lohi, Jouni J; Huttunen, Kerttu H; Lahtinen, Taija M M; Kilpeläinen, Airi A; Muhli, Arto A; Leino, Tuomo K

    2007-09-01

    Caffeine has been suggested to act as a countermeasure against fatigue in military operations. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effect of caffeine on simulator flight performance was examined in 13 military pilots during 37 hours of sleep deprivation. Each subject performed a flight mission in simulator four times. The subjects received either a placebo (six subjects) or 200 mg of caffeine (seven subjects) 1 hour before the simulated flights. A moderate 200 mg intake of caffeine was associated with higher axillary temperatures, but it did not affect subjectively assessed sleepiness. Flight performance was similar in both groups during the four rounds flown under sleep deprivation. However, subjective evaluation of overall flight performance in the caffeine group tended to be too optimistic, indicating a potential flight safety problem. Based on our results, we do not recommend using caffeine pills in military flight operations. PMID:17937364

  13. Flight test evaluation of a method to determine the level flight performance propeller-driven aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cross, E. J., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    A procedure is developed for deriving the level flight drag and propulsive efficiency of propeller-driven aircraft. This is a method in which the overall drag of the aircraft is expressed in terms of the measured increment of power required to overcome a corresponding known increment of drag. The aircraft is flown in unaccelerated, straight and level flight, and thus includes the effects of the propeller drag and slipstream. Propeller efficiency and airplane drag are computed on the basis of data obtained during flight test and do not rely on the analytical calculations of inadequate theory.

  14. Performance of the Tachyon Time-of-Flight PET Camera

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Q.; Choong, W.-S.; Vu, C.; Huber, J. S.; Janecek, M.; Wilson, D.; Huesman, R. H.; Qi, Jinyi; Zhou, Jian; Moses, W. W.

    2015-01-01

    We have constructed and characterized a time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF PET) camera called the Tachyon. The Tachyon is a single-ring Lutetium Oxyorthosilicate (LSO) based camera designed to obtain significantly better timing resolution than the ~ 550 ps found in present commercial TOF cameras, in order to quantify the benefit of improved TOF resolution for clinically relevant tasks. The Tachyon’s detector module is optimized for timing by coupling the 6.15 × 25 mm2 side of 6.15 × 6.15 × 25 mm3 LSO scintillator crystals onto a 1-inch diameter Hamamatsu R-9800 PMT with a super-bialkali photocathode. We characterized the camera according to the NEMA NU 2-2012 standard, measuring the energy resolution, timing resolution, spatial resolution, noise equivalent count rates and sensitivity. The Tachyon achieved a coincidence timing resolution of 314 ps +/− ps FWHM over all crystal-crystal combinations. Experiments were performed with the NEMA body phantom to assess the imaging performance improvement over non-TOF PET. The results show that at a matched contrast, incorporating 314 ps TOF reduces the standard deviation of the contrast by a factor of about 2.3. PMID:26594057

  15. In-Flight Performance of the OCO-2 Cryocooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Na-Nakornpanom, Arthur; Naylor, Bret J.; Lee, Richard A. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) will have completed its first year in space on July 2, 2015. The OCO-2 instrument incorporates three bore-sighted, high-resolution grating spectrometers, designed to measure the near-infrared absorption of reflected sunlight by carbon dioxide and molecular oxygen. The cryocooler system design is coupled with the instrument's thermal control design to maximize the instrument's performance. A single-stage NGAS pulse tube cryocooler provides refrigeration to three focal plane arrays to ∼120 K via a high conductance flexible thermal strap. A variable conductance heat pipe (VCHP) based heat rejection system (HRS) transports waste heat from the instrument located inside the spacecraft to the space-viewing radiators. The HRS provides tight temperature control of the optics to 267 K and maintains the cryocooler at 300 K. Soon after entering the A-Train on August 3, 2014, the optics and focal planes were cooled to their operating temperatures. This paper provides a general overview of the cryogenic system design and reviews the in-flight cryogenic performance during the Observatory's first year.

  16. Performance of the Tachyon Time-of-Flight PET Camera

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Peng, Q.; Choong, W. -S.; Vu, C.; Huber, J. S.; Janecek, M.; Wilson, D.; Huesman, R. H.; Qi, Jinyi; Zhou, Jian; Moses, W. W.

    2015-01-23

    We have constructed and characterized a time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF PET) camera called the Tachyon. The Tachyon is a single-ring Lutetium Oxyorthosilicate (LSO) based camera designed to obtain significantly better timing resolution than the ~ 550 ps found in present commercial TOF cameras, in order to quantify the benefit of improved TOF resolution for clinically relevant tasks. The Tachyon's detector module is optimized for timing by coupling the 6.15 ×25 mm2 side of 6.15 ×6.15 ×25 mm3 LSO scintillator crystals onto a 1-inch diameter Hamamatsu R-9800 PMT with a super-bialkali photocathode. We characterized the camera according to the NEMAmore » NU 2-2012 standard, measuring the energy resolution, timing resolution, spatial resolution, noise equivalent count rates and sensitivity. The Tachyon achieved a coincidence timing resolution of 314 ps +/- 20 ps FWHM over all crystal-crystal combinations. Experiments were performed with the NEMA body phantom to assess the imaging performance improvement over non-TOF PET. We find that the results show that at a matched contrast, incorporating 314 ps TOF reduces the standard deviation of the contrast by a factor of about 2.3.« less

  17. Performance of the Tachyon Time-of-Flight PET Camera

    SciTech Connect

    Peng, Q.; Choong, W. -S.; Vu, C.; Huber, J. S.; Janecek, M.; Wilson, D.; Huesman, R. H.; Qi, Jinyi; Zhou, Jian; Moses, W. W.

    2015-01-23

    We have constructed and characterized a time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF PET) camera called the Tachyon. The Tachyon is a single-ring Lutetium Oxyorthosilicate (LSO) based camera designed to obtain significantly better timing resolution than the ~ 550 ps found in present commercial TOF cameras, in order to quantify the benefit of improved TOF resolution for clinically relevant tasks. The Tachyon's detector module is optimized for timing by coupling the 6.15 ×25 mm2 side of 6.15 ×6.15 ×25 mm3 LSO scintillator crystals onto a 1-inch diameter Hamamatsu R-9800 PMT with a super-bialkali photocathode. We characterized the camera according to the NEMA NU 2-2012 standard, measuring the energy resolution, timing resolution, spatial resolution, noise equivalent count rates and sensitivity. The Tachyon achieved a coincidence timing resolution of 314 ps +/- 20 ps FWHM over all crystal-crystal combinations. Experiments were performed with the NEMA body phantom to assess the imaging performance improvement over non-TOF PET. We find that the results show that at a matched contrast, incorporating 314 ps TOF reduces the standard deviation of the contrast by a factor of about 2.3.

  18. Insect food for astronauts: gas exchange in silkworms fed on mulberry and lettuce and the nutritional value of these insects for human consumption during deep space flights.

    PubMed

    Tong, L; Yu, X; Liu, H

    2011-10-01

    In this study, silkworm moth (Bombyx mori L.) larvae were regarded as an animal protein source for astronauts in the bioregenerative life support system during long-term deep space exploration in the future. They were fed with mulberry and stem lettuce leaves during the first three instars and the last two instars, respectively. In addition, this kind of environmental approach, which utilised inedible biomass of plants to produce animal protein of high quality, can likewise be applied terrestrially to provide food for people living in extreme environments and/or impoverished agro-ecosystems, such as in polar regions, isolated military bases, ships, submarines, etc. Respiration characteristics of the larvae during development under two main physiological conditions, namely eating and not-eating of leaves, were studied. Nutrient compositions of silkworm powder (SP), ground and freeze-dried silkworms on the 3rd day of the 5th instar larvae, including protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, were measured using international standard methods. Silkworms' respiration rates, measured when larvae were eating mulberry leaves, were higher than those of similar larvae that hadn't eaten such leaves. There was a significant difference between silkworms fed on mulberry leaves and those fed on stem lettuce in the 4th and 5th instars (P<0.01). Amounts of CO2 exhaled by the silkworms under the two physiological regimes differed from each other (P<0.01). There was also a significant difference between the amount of O2 inhaled when the insects were under the two physiological statuses (P<0.01). Moreover, silkworms' respiration quotient under the eating regime was larger than when under the not-eating regime. The SP was found to be rich in protein and amino acids in total; 12 essential vitamins, nine minerals and twelve fatty acids were detected. Moreover, 359 kcal could be generated per 100 gram of SP (dry weight). PMID:21554801

  19. Development of flight performance in the brown booby.

    PubMed

    Yoda, Ken; Kohno, Hiroyoshi; Naito, Yasuhiko

    2004-05-01

    How do birds acquire flight skills after fledging? This issue is important, as it is closely related to variation in the duration of offspring care, the causes of which remain unknown. In this study, we raised hatchling brown boobies, Sula leucogaster, and attached an acceleration data logger to each bird at fledging to record its movements. This allowed us to quantify precisely the time spent flapping, gliding and resting. The duration of foraging trips and proportion of time spent gliding during flight increased with the number of days since fledging, whereas the proportion of time spent in flight decreased. This indicates that brown boobies gradually acquire efficient flight skills during the post-fledging period, which might be the proximate cause of the long postfledging care period in this species. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to record precisely the ontogeny of flight behaviour in birds. PMID:15252995

  20. Orion Launch Abort System Jettison Motor Performance During Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, Rachel J.; Davidson, John B.; Winski, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the flight test objectives and performance of the Orion Launch Abort System during Exploration Flight Test-1. Exploration Flight Test-1, the first flight test of the Orion spacecraft, was managed and led by the Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. This flight test was a two-orbit, high-apogee, high-energy entry, low-inclination test mission used to validate and test systems critical to crew safety. This test included the first flight test of the Launch Abort System performing Orion nominal flight mission critical objectives. Although the Orion Program has tested a number of the critical systems of the Orion spacecraft on the ground, the launch environment cannot be replicated completely on Earth. Data from this flight will be used to verify the function of the jettison motor to separate the Launch Abort System from the crew module so it can continue on with the mission. Selected Launch Abort System flight test data is presented and discussed in the paper. Through flight test data, Launch Abort System performance trends have been derived that will prove valuable to future flights as well as the manned space program.

  1. Mars Exploration Rover surface mission flight thermal performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Phillips, Charles J.; Sunada, Eric T.; Kinsella, Gary M.

    2005-01-01

    NASA launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 as a part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. MER-A (Spirit) landed on Mars in Gusev Crater at 15 degrees South latitude and 175 degree East longitude on January 4, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Dec. 2004)). MER-B (Opportunity) landed on Mars in Terra Meridiani at 2 degrees South latitude and 354 degrees East longitude on January 25, 2004 (Squyres, et al., August 2004) Both rovers have well exceeded their design lifetime (90 Sols) by more than a factor of 4. Spirit and Opportunity are still healthy and continue to execute their roving science missions at the time of this writing. This paper discusses rover flight thermal performance during the surface missions of both vehicles, covering roughly the time from the MER-A landing in late Southern Summer (Ls = 328, Sol 1A) through the Southern Winter solstice (Ls = 90, Sol 255A) to nearly Southern Vernal equinox (Ls = 160 , Sol 398A).

  2. MAP Attitude Control System Design and Flight Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, S. F.; ODonnell, J. R.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) is a follow-on to the Differential Microwave Radiometer (DMR) instrument on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft. To make a full-sky map of cosmic microwave background fluctuations, a combination fast spin and slow precession motion will be used that will cover the entire celestial sphere in six months. The spin rate should be an order of magnitude higher than the precession rate, and each rate should be tightly controlled. The sunline angle should be 22.5 +/- 0.25 deg. Sufficient attitude knowledge must be provided to yield instrument pointing to a standard deviation of 1.3 arc-minutes RSS three axes. In addition, the spacecraft must be able to acquire and hold the sunline at initial acquisition, and in the event of a failure. Finally. the spacecraft must be able to slew to the proper burn orientations and to the proper off-sunline attitude to start the compound spin. The design and flight performance of the Attitude Control System on MAP that meets these requirements will be discussed.

  3. NEP Early Flight program: System performance and development considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.; George, Jeffrey A.

    1993-01-01

    A mission/system study of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for early robotic planetary science mission applications has been conducted. Subject missions considered included a Mars orbiter with a Phobos and Deimos Rendezvous; a Comet Kopff Rendezvous; a Multiple Mainbelt Asteroid Rendezvous (MMBAR); an Asteroid (Vesta) Sample Return; a Trojan Asteroid (Odysseus) Rendezvous; and a Jupiter mini Grand Tour. The purpose of the study was to determine if 'near-term' NEP technology could be used on an early NEP flight to demonstrate the technologies while conducting a useful science mission. The analysis shows that, depending upon technology readiness date, the missions could be performed with low power NEP. The technology and system development costs associated with vehicle/stage development for a candidate mission are presented. The study assumed relatively mature space electric power and space electric propulsion technologies (more advanced technologies have been already shown by others to be enabling for many outer planetary missions). Thus, a very important first step in using NEP would be taken, which would contribute valuable solar system science, as well as reduce the risks associated with using NEP for more demanding outer planetary science mission applications.

  4. Performance of active vibration control technology: the ACTEX flight experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nye, T. W.; Manning, R. A.; Qassim, K.

    1999-12-01

    This paper discusses the development and results of two intelligent structures space-flight experiments, each of which could affect architecture designs of future spacecraft. The first, the advanced controls technology experiment I (ACTEX I), is a variable stiffness tripod structure riding as a secondary payload on a classified spacecraft. It has been operating well past its expected life since becoming operational in 1996. Over 60 on-orbit experiments have been run on the ACTEX I flight experiment. These experiments form the basis for in-space controller design problems and for concluding lifetime/reliability data on the active control components. Transfer functions taken during the life of ACTEX I have shown consistent predictability and stability in structural behavior, including consistency with those measurements taken on the ground prior to a three year storage period and the launch event. ACTEX I can change its modal characteristics by employing its dynamic change mechanism that varies preloads in portions of its structure. Active control experiments have demonstrated maximum vibration reductions of 29 dB and 16 dB in the first two variable modes of the system, while operating over a remarkable on-orbit temperature range of -80 °C to 129 °C. The second experiment, ACTEX II, was successfully designed, ground-tested, and integrated on an experimental Department of Defense satellite prior to its loss during a launch vehicle failure in 1995. ACTEX II also had variable modal behavior by virtue of a two-axis gimbal and added challenges of structural flexibility by being a large deployable appendage. Although the loss of ACTEX II did not provide space environment experience, ground testing resulted in space qualifying the hardware and demonstrated 21 dB, 14 dB, and 8 dB reductions in amplitude of the first three primary structural modes. ACTEX II could use either active and/or passive techniques to affect vibration suppression. Both experiments trailblazed

  5. Enroute flight-path planning - Cooperative performance of flight crews and knowledge-based systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Philip J.; Mccoy, Elaine; Layton, Chuck; Galdes, Deb

    1989-01-01

    Interface design issues associated with the introduction of knowledge-based systems into the cockpit are discussed. Such issues include not only questions about display and control design, they also include deeper system design issues such as questions about the alternative roles and responsibilities of the flight crew and the computer system. In addition, the feasibility of using enroute flight path planning as a context for exploring such research questions is considered. In particular, the development of a prototyping shell that allows rapid design and study of alternative interfaces and system designs is discussed.

  6. Intraindividual Variability in Basic Reaction Time Predicts Middle-Aged and Older Pilots’ Flight Simulator Performance

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. Intraindividual variability (IIV) is negatively associated with cognitive test performance and is positively associated with age and some neurological disorders. We aimed to extend these findings to a real-world task, flight simulator performance. We hypothesized that IIV predicts poorer initial flight performance and increased rate of decline in performance among middle-aged and older pilots. Method. Two-hundred and thirty-six pilots (40–69 years) completed annual assessments comprising a cognitive battery and two 75-min simulated flights in a flight simulator. Basic and complex IIV composite variables were created from measures of basic reaction time and shifting and divided attention tasks. Flight simulator performance was characterized by an overall summary score and scores on communication, emergencies, approach, and traffic avoidance components. Results. Although basic IIV did not predict rate of decline in flight performance, it had a negative association with initial performance for most flight measures. After taking into account processing speed, basic IIV explained an additional 8%–12% of the negative age effect on initial flight performance. Discussion. IIV plays an important role in real-world tasks and is another aspect of cognition that underlies age-related differences in cognitive performance. PMID:23052365

  7. Bumblebee flight performance in environments of different proximity.

    PubMed

    Linander, Nellie; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie

    2016-02-01

    Flying animals are capable of navigating through environments of different complexity with high precision. To control their flight when negotiating narrow tunnels, bees and birds use the magnitude of apparent image motion (known as optic flow) generated by the walls. In their natural habitat, however, these animals would encounter both cluttered and open environments. Here, we investigate how large changes in the proximity of nearby surfaces affect optic flow-based flight control strategies. We trained bumblebees to fly along a flight and recorded how the distance between the walls--from 60 cm to 240 cm--affected their flight control. Our results reveal that, as tunnel width increases, both lateral position and ground speed become increasingly variable. We also find that optic flow information from the ground has an increasing influence on flight control, suggesting that bumblebees measure optic flow flexibly over a large lateral and ventral field of view, depending on where the highest magnitude of optic flow occurs. A consequence of this strategy is that, when flying in narrow spaces, bumblebees use optic flow information from the nearby obstacles to control flight, while in more open spaces they rely primarily on optic flow cues from the ground. PMID:26614094

  8. Instrumentation and Performance Analysis Plans for the HIFiRE Flight 2 Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruber, Mark; Barhorst, Todd; Jackson, Kevin; Eklund, Dean; Hass, Neal; Storch, Andrea M.; Liu, Jiwen

    2009-01-01

    Supersonic combustion performance of a bi-component gaseous hydrocarbon fuel mixture is one of the primary aspects under investigation in the HIFiRE Flight 2 experiment. In-flight instrumentation and post-test analyses will be two key elements used to determine the combustion performance. Pre-flight computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses provide valuable information that can be used to optimize the placement of a constrained set of wall pressure instrumentation in the experiment. The simulations also allow pre-flight assessments of performance sensitivities leading to estimates of overall uncertainty in the determination of combustion efficiency. Based on the pre-flight CFD results, 128 wall pressure sensors have been located throughout the isolator/combustor flowpath to minimize the error in determining the wall pressure force at Mach 8 flight conditions. Also, sensitivity analyses show that mass capture and combustor exit stream thrust are the two primary contributors to uncertainty in combustion efficiency.

  9. Flight performance of Skylab attitude and pointing control system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chubb, W. B.; Kennel, H. F.; Rupp, C. C.; Seltzer, S. M.

    1975-01-01

    The Skylab attitude and pointing control system (APCS) requirements are briefly reviewed and the way in which they became altered during the prelaunch phase of development is noted. The actual flight mission (including mission alterations during flight) is described. The serious hardware failures that occurred, beginning during ascent through the atmosphere, also are described. The APCS's ability to overcome these failures and meet mission changes are presented. The large around-the-clock support effort on the ground is discussed. Salient design points and software flexibility that should afford pertinent experience for future spacecraft attitude and pointing control system designs are included.

  10. Comparative aerodynamic performance of flapping flight in two bat species using time-resolved wake visualization

    PubMed Central

    Muijres, Florian T.; Johansson, L. Christoffer; Winter, York; Hedenström, Anders

    2011-01-01

    Bats are unique among extant actively flying animals in having very flexible wings, controlled by multi-jointed fingers. This gives the potential for fine-tuned active control to optimize aerodynamic performance throughout the wingbeat and thus a more efficient flight. But how bat wing performance scales with size, morphology and ecology is not yet known. Here, we present time-resolved fluid wake data of two species of bats flying freely across a range of flight speeds using stereoscopic digital particle image velocimetry in a wind tunnel. From these data, we construct an average wake for each bat species and speed combination, which is used to estimate the flight forces throughout the wingbeat and resulting flight performance properties such as lift-to-drag ratio (L/D). The results show that the wake dynamics and flight performance of both bat species are similar, as was expected since both species operate at similar Reynolds numbers (Re) and Strouhal numbers (St). However, maximum L/D is achieved at a significant higher flight speed for the larger, highly mobile and migratory bat species than for the smaller non-migratory species. Although the flight performance of these bats may depend on a range of morphological and ecological factors, the differences in optimal flight speeds between the species could at least partly be explained by differences in their movement ecology. PMID:21367776

  11. Comparative aerodynamic performance of flapping flight in two bat species using time-resolved wake visualization.

    PubMed

    Muijres, Florian T; Johansson, L Christoffer; Winter, York; Hedenström, Anders

    2011-10-01

    Bats are unique among extant actively flying animals in having very flexible wings, controlled by multi-jointed fingers. This gives the potential for fine-tuned active control to optimize aerodynamic performance throughout the wingbeat and thus a more efficient flight. But how bat wing performance scales with size, morphology and ecology is not yet known. Here, we present time-resolved fluid wake data of two species of bats flying freely across a range of flight speeds using stereoscopic digital particle image velocimetry in a wind tunnel. From these data, we construct an average wake for each bat species and speed combination, which is used to estimate the flight forces throughout the wingbeat and resulting flight performance properties such as lift-to-drag ratio (L/D). The results show that the wake dynamics and flight performance of both bat species are similar, as was expected since both species operate at similar Reynolds numbers (Re) and Strouhal numbers (St). However, maximum L/D is achieved at a significant higher flight speed for the larger, highly mobile and migratory bat species than for the smaller non-migratory species. Although the flight performance of these bats may depend on a range of morphological and ecological factors, the differences in optimal flight speeds between the species could at least partly be explained by differences in their movement ecology. PMID:21367776

  12. A flight investigation of basic performance characteristics of a teetering-rotor attack helicopter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, C. E. K., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Flight data were obtained with an instrumented AH-16 helicopter having uninstrumented, standard main-rotor blades. The data are presented to facilitate the analysis of data taken when the same vehicle was flown with instrumented main-rotor blades built with new airfoils. Test results include data on performance, flight-state parameters, pitch-link loads and blade angles for level flight, descending turns and pull-ups. Flight test procedures and the effects of both trim variations and transient phenomena on the data are discussed.

  13. The CREAM Calorimeter: Performance In Tests And Flights

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, M. H.; Ahn, H. S.; Ganel, O.; Han, J. H.; Kim, K. C.; Lutz, L.; Malinine, A.; Sina, R.; Walpole, P.; Wu, J.; Zinn, S. Y.; Allison, P.; Beatty, J. J.; Brandt, T. J.; Bagliesi, M. G.; Bigongiari, G.; Maestro, P.; Marrocchesi, P. S.; Zei, R.; Barbier, L.

    2006-10-27

    The Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass (CREAM) balloon-borne experiment, designed to directly measure cosmic-ray particle energies from {approx}1011 to {approx}1015 eV, had two successful flights since December 2004, with a total duration of 70 days. The CREAM calorimeter is comprised of 20 layers of 1 radiation length (X0) tungsten interleaved with 20 active layers each made up of fifty 1 cm wide scintillating fiber ribbons. The scintillation signals are read out with multi pixel Hybrid Photo Diodes (HPDs), VA32-HDR2/TA32C ASICs and LTC1400 ADCs. During detector construction, various tests were carried out using radioactive sources, UV-LEDs, and particle beams. We will present results from these tests and show preliminary results from the two flights.

  14. Early life disadvantage strengthens flight performance trade-offs in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    O'Hagan, Daniel; Andrews, Clare P.; Bedford, Thomas; Bateson, Melissa; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Developmental stress has been shown to affect adult flight performance in birds, with both negative and positive effects reported in the literature. Previous studies have used developmental manipulations that had substantial effects on patterns of growth. They have also examined mean levels of flight performance per individual, rather than investigating how developmental stress might alter trade-offs between different components of flight performance. We recorded multiple components of escape flight performance in 20 adult European starlings previously subjected to a manipulation likely to have altered levels of developmental stress. Siblings had been cross-fostered to nests where they were either slightly larger (advantaged treatment) or slightly smaller (disadvantaged treatment) than their competitors. The manipulation had no detectable effect on growth. However, developmental treatment affected performance in escape flights a year later by strengthening the trade-offs between different flight parameters. Disadvantaged birds faced a steeper trade-off between take-off speed and take-off angle, and a steeper trade-off between take-off angle and total time in flight, than advantaged birds. The results suggest that even subtle early life adversity that has no obvious effect on growth or size can leave a lasting legacy in the form of constraints on locomotor performance later in life. PMID:25843958

  15. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Improves Cooling System Performance

    SciTech Connect

    2011-02-22

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has a longstanding sustainability program that revolves around energy and water efficiency as well as environmental protection. MSFC identified a problematic cooling loop with six separate compressor heat exchangers and a history of poor efficiency. The facility engineering team at MSFC partnered with Flozone Services, Incorporated to implement a comprehensive water treatment platform to improve the overall efficiency of the system.

  16. Ride qualities criteria validation/pilot performance study: Flight test results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nardi, L. U.; Kawana, H. Y.; Greek, D. C.

    1979-01-01

    Pilot performance during a terrain following flight was studied for ride quality criteria validation. Data from manual and automatic terrain following operations conducted during low level penetrations were analyzed to determine the effect of ride qualities on crew performance. The conditions analyzed included varying levels of turbulence, terrain roughness, and mission duration with a ride smoothing system on and off. Limited validation of the B-1 ride quality criteria and some of the first order interactions between ride qualities and pilot/vehicle performance are highlighted. An earlier B-1 flight simulation program correlated well with the flight test results.

  17. Improving sterile male performance in support of programmes integrating the sterile insect technique against fruit flies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is being applied against fruit fly pests in many areas of the world. Currently, factories have the capacity to produce several billion sterile male insects per week and to make them available for, irradiatiation and shipment to their destinations, where the emergin...

  18. Atmospheric change alters foliar quality of host trees and performance of two outbreak insect species.

    PubMed

    Couture, John J; Meehan, Timothy D; Lindroth, Richard L

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the independent and interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and ozone (O(3)) on the foliar quality of two deciduous trees species and the performance of two outbreak herbivore species. Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera) were grown at the Aspen FACE research site in northern Wisconsin, USA, under four combinations of ambient and elevated CO(2) and O(3). We measured the effects of elevated CO(2) and O(3) on aspen and birch phytochemistry and on gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) and forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) performance. Elevated CO(2) nominally affected foliar quality for both tree species. Elevated O(3) negatively affected aspen foliar quality, but only marginally influenced birch foliar quality. Elevated CO(2) slightly improved herbivore performance, while elevated O(3) decreased herbivore performance, and both responses were stronger on aspen than birch. Interestingly, elevated CO(2) largely offset decreased herbivore performance under elevated O(3). Nitrogen, lignin, and C:N were identified as having strong influences on herbivore performance when larvae were fed aspen, but no significant relationships were observed for insects fed birch. Our results support the notion that herbivore performance can be affected by atmospheric change through altered foliar quality, but how herbivores will respond will depend on interactions among CO(2), O(3), and tree species. An emergent finding from this study is that tree age and longevity of exposure to pollutants may influence the effects of elevated CO(2) and O(3) on plant-herbivore interactions, highlighting the need to continue long-term atmospheric change research. PMID:21971584

  19. Distributed power and control actuation in the thoracic mechanics of a robotic insect.

    PubMed

    Finio, Benjamin M; Wood, Robert J

    2010-12-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of biological flight have inspired roboticists to create flapping-wing vehicles on the scale of insects and small birds. While our understanding of the wing kinematics, flight musculature and neuromotor control systems of insects has expanded, in practice it has proven quite difficult to construct an at-scale mechanical device capable of similar flight performance. One of the key challenges is the development of an effective and efficient transmission mechanism to control wing motions. Here we present multiple insect-scale robotic thorax designs capable of producing asymmetric wing kinematics similar to those observed in nature and utilized by dipteran insects to maneuver. Inspired by the thoracic mechanics of dipteran insects, which entail a morphological separation of power and control muscles, these designs show that such distributed actuation can also modulate wing motion in a robotic design. PMID:21098956

  20. Verification and Validation Plan for Flight Performance Requirements on the CEV Parachute Assembly System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Aaron L.; Olson, Leah M.

    2011-01-01

    The Crew Exploration Vehicle Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) is engaged in a multi-year design and test campaign aimed at qualifying a parachute recovery system for human use on the Orion Spacecraft. Orion has parachute flight performance requirements that will ultimately be verified through the use of Monte Carlo multi-degree of freedom flight simulations. These simulations will be anchored by real world flight test data and iteratively improved to provide a closer approximation to the real physics observed in the inherently chaotic inflation and steady state flight of the CPAS parachutes. This paper will examine the processes necessary to verify the flight performance requirements of the human rated spacecraft. The focus will be on the requirements verification and model validation planned on CPAS.

  1. Summary of shuttle data processing and aerodynamic performance comparisons for the first 11 flights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Findlay, J. T.; Kelly, G. M.; Heck, M. L.; Mcconnell, J. G.

    1984-01-01

    NASA Space Shuttle aerodynamic and aerothermodynamic research is but one part of the most comprehensive end-to-end flight test program ever undertaken considering: the extensive pre-flight experimental data base development; the multitude of spacecraft and remote measurements taken during entry flight; the complexity of the Orbiter aerodynamic configuration; the variety of flight conditions available across the entire speed regime; and the efforts devoted to flight data reduction throughout the aerospace community. Shuttle entry flights provide a wealth of research quality data, in essence a veritable flying wind tunnel, for use by researchers to verify and improve the operational capability of the Orbiter and provide data for evaluations of experimental facilities as well as computational methods. This final report merely summarizes the major activities conducted by the AMA, Inc. under NASA Contract NAS1-16087 as part of that interesting research. Investigators desiring more detailed information can refer to the glossary of AMA publications attached herein as Appendix A. Section I provides background discussion of software and methodology development to enable Best Estimate Trajectory (BET) generation. Actual products generated are summarized in Section II as tables which completely describe the post-flight products available from the first three-year Shuttle flight history. Summary results are presented in Section III, with longitudinal performance comparisons included as Appendices for each of the flights.

  2. Passive tension and stiffness of vertebrate skeletal and insect flight muscles: the contribution of weak cross-bridges and elastic filaments.

    PubMed Central

    Granzier, H L; Wang, K

    1993-01-01

    Tension and dynamic stiffness of passive rabbit psoas, rabbit semitendinosus, and waterbug indirect flight muscles were investigated to study the contribution of weak-binding cross-bridges and elastic filaments (titin and minititin) to the passive mechanical behavior of these muscles. Experimentally, a functional dissection of the relative contribution of actomyosin cross-bridges and titin and minititin was achieved by 1) comparing mechanically skinned muscle fibers before and after selective removal of actin filaments with a noncalcium-requiring gelsolin fragment (FX-45), and 2) studying passive tension and stiffness as a function of sarcomere length, ionic strength, temperature, and the inhibitory effect of a carboxyl-terminal fragment of smooth muscle caldesmon. Our data show that weak bridges exist in both rabbit skeletal muscle and insect flight muscle at physiological ionic strength and room temperature. In rabbit psoas fibers, weak bridge stiffness appears to vary with both thin-thick filament overlap and with the magnitude of passive tension. Plots of passive tension versus passive stiffness are multiphasic and strikingly similar for these three muscles of distinct sarcomere proportions and elastic proteins. The tension-stiffness plot appears to be a powerful tool in discerning changes in the mechanical behavior of the elastic filaments. The stress-strain and stiffness-strain curves of all three muscles can be merged into one, by normalizing strain rate and strain amplitude of the extensible segment of titin and minititin, further supporting the segmental extension model of resting tension development. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 PMID:8298040

  3. LPV Antiwindup Compensation for Enhanced Flight Control Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lu, Bei; Wu, Fen; Kim, Sung-Wan

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a saturation control scheme for linear parameter-varying (LPV) systems from an antiwindup control perspective. The proposed control approach is advantageous because it can be thought of as an augmented control algorithm from the existing control system. Moreover, the synthesis condition for an antiwindup compensator is formulated as a linear matrix inequality (LMI) optimization problem and can be solved efficiently. We have applied the LPV antiwindup controller to an F-16 longitudinal autopilot control system design to enhance aircraft safety and improve flight quality in a high angle of attack region.

  4. Flight test evaluation of a method to determine the level flight performance of a propeller-driven aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bridges, P. G.; Cross, E. J., Jr.; Boatwright, D. W.

    1977-01-01

    The overall drag of the aircraft is expressed in terms of the measured increment of power required to overcome a corresponding known increment of drag, which is generated by a towed drogue. The simplest form of the governing equations, D = delta D SHP/delta SHP, is such that all of the parameters on the right side of the equation can be measured in flight. An evaluation of the governing equations has been performed using data generated by flight test of a Beechcraft T-34B. The simplicity of this technique and its proven applicability to sailplanes and small aircraft is well known. However, the method fails to account for airframe-propulsion system.

  5. Synthetic and Enhanced Vision Systems for NextGen (SEVS) Simulation and Flight Test Performance Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelton, Kevin J.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Ellis,Kyle K.; Rehfeld, Sherri A.

    2012-01-01

    The Synthetic and Enhanced Vision Systems for NextGen (SEVS) simulation and flight tests are jointly sponsored by NASA's Aviation Safety Program, Vehicle Systems Safety Technology project and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The flight tests were conducted by a team of Honeywell, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and NASA personnel with the goal of obtaining pilot-in-the-loop test data for flight validation, verification, and demonstration of selected SEVS operational and system-level performance capabilities. Nine test flights (38 flight hours) were conducted over the summer and fall of 2011. The evaluations were flown in Gulfstream.s G450 flight test aircraft outfitted with the SEVS technology under very low visibility instrument meteorological conditions. Evaluation pilots flew 108 approaches in low visibility weather conditions (600 ft to 2400 ft visibility) into various airports from Louisiana to Maine. In-situ flight performance and subjective workload and acceptability data were collected in collaboration with ground simulation studies at LaRC.s Research Flight Deck simulator.

  6. Flight test report of the NASA icing research airplane: Performance, stability, and control after flight through natural icing conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jordan, J. L.; Platz, S. J.; Schinstock, W. C.

    1986-01-01

    Flight test results are presented documenting the effect of airframe icing on performance and stability and control of a NASA DHC-6 icing research aircraft. Kohlman System Research, Inc., provided the data acquisition system and data analysis under contract to NASA. Performance modeling methods and MMLE techniques were used to determine the effects of natural ice on the aircraft. Results showed that ice had a significant effect on the drag coefficient of the aircraft and a modest effect on the MMLE derived longitudinal stability coefficients (code version MMLE). Data is also presented on asymmetric power sign slip maneuvers showing rudder floating characteristics with and without ice on the vertical stabilizer.

  7. Insect herbivores, density dependence, and the performance of the perennial herb Solanum carolinense.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Nora; Halpern, Stacey L

    2012-05-01

    How insect herbivores affect plant performance is of central importance to basic and applied ecology. A full understanding of herbivore effects on plant performance requires understanding interactions (if any) of herbivore effects with plant density and size because these interactions will be critical for determining how herbivores influence plant population size. However, few studies have considered these interactions, particularly over a wide enough range of densities to detect nonlinear effects. Here we ask whether plant density and herbivores influence plant performance linearly or nonlinearly, how plant density affects herbivore damage, and how herbivores alter density dependence in transitions between plant size classes. In a large field experiment, we manipulated the density of the herbaceous perennial plant Solanum carolinense and herbivore presence in a fully crossed design. We measured plant size, sexual reproduction, and damage to plants in two consecutive years, and asexual reproduction of new stems in the second year, allowing us to characterize both plant performance and rates of transition between plant size classes across years. We found nonlinear effects of plant density on damage. Damage by herbivores and plant density both influenced sexual and asexual reproduction of S. carolinense; these effects were mostly mediated via effects on plant size. Importantly, we found that herbivores altered the pattern of linear density dependence in some transition rates (including survival and asexual reproduction) between plant size classes. These results suggest that understanding the ecological or evolutionary effects of herbivores on plant populations requires consideration of plant density and plant size, because feedbacks between density, herbivores, and plant size may complicate longer-term dynamics. PMID:22764489

  8. Visual Earth observation performance in the space environment. Human performance measurement 4: Flight experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huth, John F.; Whiteley, James D.; Hawker, John E.

    1993-01-01

    A wide variety of secondary payloads have flown on the Space Transportation System (STS) since its first flight in the 1980's. These experiments have typically addressed specific issues unique to the zero-gravity environment. Additionally, the experiments use the experience and skills of the mission and payload specialist crew members to facilitate data collection and ensure successful completion. This paper presents the results of the Terra Scout experiment, which flew aboard STS-44 in November 1991. This unique Earth Observation experiment specifically required a career imagery analyst to operate the Spaceborne Direct-View Optical System (SpaDVOS), a folded optical path telescope system designed to mount inside the shuttle on the overhead aft flight deck windows. Binoculars and a small telescope were used as backup optics. Using his imagery background, coupled with extensive target and equipment training, the payload specialist was tasked with documenting the following: (1) the utility of the equipment; (2) his ability to acquire and track ground targets; (3) the level of detail he could discern; (4) the atmospheric conditions; and (5) other in-situ elements which contributed to or detracted from his ability to analyze targets. Special emphasis was placed on the utility of a manned platform for research and development of future spaceborne sensors. The results and lessons learned from Terra Scout will be addressed including human performance and equipment design issues.

  9. The relationship between academic performanceand pilot performance in a collegiate flight training environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Carolyn A.

    While flight time has commonly been used as a measure of a pilot's skill level, little research has been performed to determine what factors are linked to predicting a pilot's performance, particularly in a training environment. If a dependable link was found, prediction of how well an individual would do in flight training would be possible. Time, money and resources could be focused on individuals who are more likely to succeed in pilot training. Therefore, this study was designed to determine if a relationship between GPA and pilot performance exists, in order to determine if academic performance can serve as a predictor of pilot performance in a training environment. The use of historical records from Middle Tennessee State University's Aerospace Department, which included GPA information and flight training records information, was used evaluate this relationship. Results of the study indicate a statistically significant modest correlation between academic performance and pilot performance between some of the variable pairings.

  10. Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism and flight performance by a hypertrehalosaemic hormone in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Christian; Brown, Mark R.

    2008-01-01

    The role of adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) in the regulation of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and flight performance was evaluated for females of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Injection of various dosages of synthetic Anoga-AKH-I increased carbohydrate levels in the haemolymph and reduced glycogen reserves in sugar-fed females but did not affect lipid levels. Anoga-AKH-I enhanced the flight performance of both intact and decapitated sugar-fed females, during a 4 hour flight period. Anoga-AKH-II had no effect on carbohydrate or lipid levels or flight performance, thus its function remains unknown. Targeted RNA-interference lowered Anoga-AKH receptor expression in sugar-fed females, consequently injections of Anoga-AKH-I failed to mobilize glycogen reserves. Taken together, these results show that a primary role for the neurohormone, Anoga-AKH-I, is to elevate trehalose levels in the haemolymph of female mosquitoes. PMID:18062987