July 2006 Issue

  July 2006
Journal of the IEST

 The July 2006 issue is 
 dedicated to 25 years of
 Space Shuttle missions and
 the Columbia story.

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Complete Tech Talk articles and technical papers’ abstracts (full text by individual sale or subscription)


This Earth view featuring the Sinai Peninsula, Red Sea, Egypt, Nile River, and Mediterranean Sea was photographed by an STS-107 crewmember onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. The picture was on a roll of unprocessed film recovered by searchers from the debris of the Columbia.

(Photos courtesy of NASA)






The Space Shuttle Columbia first made headlines in April 1981 as it lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center—the maiden flight of the world’s first reusable space vehicle. Its final news-making event, unfortunately, was its breakup over Texas during reentry February 1, 2003, with the loss of seven astronauts. The Journal of the IEST commemorates 25 years of Shuttle missions and the Columbia story in this issue (access Journal of the IEST).

Analytical Impact Models and Experimental Test Validation for the Columbia Shuttle Wing Leading Edge Panels
Kenneth Gwinn and Kurt Metzinger (Solid Mechanics Engineering, Engineering Sciences Center) and Wei-Yang Lu, Bonnie Antoun, and John Korellis (Microsystems and Materials Mechanics, Materials and Engineering Sciences Center), Sandia National Laboratories

This technical paper describes ballistic impact testing programs in the accident investigation and in the effort to return the Shuttle fleet to safe flight. This paper is the winner of the Otto Hamberg Technical Paper Award from the 22nd Aerospace Testing Seminar Proceedings.

Columbia Accident Investigation and Return-to-Flight Effort
Matthew E. Melis; Mike Pereira, PhD; Duane Revilock; and Kelly S. Carney, PhD; NASA Glenn Research Center

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board concluded that the cause of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew was a breach in the left wing leading edge reinforced carbon-carbon thermal protection system initiated by the impact of thermal insulating foam that had separated from the orbiter’s external fuel tank 81 seconds into the mission’s launch. After the investigation, impact threats from various debris sources during ascent needed to be evaluated before certifying the remaining Shuttles safe to fly again. This TechTalk article details the efforts of researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) Ballistic Impact Laboratory as they conducted several of the impact test programs supporting the accident investigation and return-to-flight efforts.

A Study on the Operation Performance of a Minienvironment System
Tengfang Xu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A minienvironment is a localized environment created by an enclosure to isolate a product or process from the surrounding environment. Prior to this study, there was little information available or published to quantify the energy performance of minienvironment systems. This technical paper presents quantitative results from a recent study of the operation performance of an open-loop minienvironment air system in a ballroom setting,

Enveloping the Shock Response Spectrum (SRS) Does Not Always Produce a Conservative Test
David O. Smallwood, Consultant

When the shock response spectrum (SRS) of a test envelops the SRS of the environment at all frequencies for a given mechanical system, typically the assumption is that a conservative test will result; that is, the peak response observed in the environment will be less than the peak response observed in the test. Other suggested measures characterizing a shock include the Fourier energy spectrum (with the assumption that the energy is larger in the test than in the environment), input duration (if the duration of the test is shorter than the duration of the environment), and peak velocity or pseudo velocity (if the peak velocity is greater in the test than in the environment). If these assumptions are met the test will be conservative. This technical paper shows that a test that complies with all of the suggested measures mentioned above could still produce a response that is smaller than the response from a hypothetical baseline environment.

Multicomponent Organic Compounds Adsorption/Desorption Model for Prediction of Lifetime of Charcoal Filter
T. Akiyama, H. Takahashi, H. Gomi, and Dr. A. Takahashi, Takasago Thermal Engineering Co. Ltd. R&D Center, Kanagawa, Japan; Dr. H. Takeda, Tokyo University of Science, Chiba, Japan

When a charcoal filter is installed in a cleanroom air-conditioning system, numerous types of organic compounds are competitively adsorbed onto adsorption sites (pores) of the activated carbon on the filter, which leads to displacement adsorption phenomenon. In an attempt to predict the lifetime of a charcoal filter designed to remove gaseous organic compounds, this technical paper details the development of a model to simulate adsorption and desorption of multicomponent organic compounds in the filter.

Numerical Investigations of Monopole Impulse Noise
Kwen Hsu, Ivanna Malinow, and Songwei Zhang; TRW Automotive

By performing direct aero-acoustic simulations, the evolution and propagation of an impulse noise generated by a high-intensity monopole source were numerically investigated. The study in this technical paper determines that monopole impulse noise is a physical process sandwiched between the linear acoustic waves generated by a pulsating sphere and the blast waves generated by weapons.

Using Expanded QFD Matrix Analysis to Establish and Link Test Instrumentation to Customer Satisfaction Attributes
Charles W. Plotkin, Ford Motor Co., Dearborn; and Kee S. Moon, San Diego State University, San Diego

This is an updated revision of the 2005 P.K. McElroy Award-winning technical paper originally presented in the 2004 Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium Proceedings. When reliability testing is performed, the focus is often on engineering metrics such as changes in part dimension or material properties that are of interest to the design engineer. This focus can result in missing failure or degradation conditions that affect customer satisfaction with the product. There is a need for a structured approach to plan the test, engineering metrics, and measurement system (instrumentation) on product or system attributes that contribute to customer satisfaction. This paper shows how a simple needs-metrics matrix (a common element used in Quality Function Deployment or QFD) can be expanded to serve as a structured tool to establish laboratory test instrumentation for objective measurements in a reliability test.

Practical Application of ISO Cleanroom Standards
Anne Marie Dixon, Cleanroom Management Associates Inc.

The original work of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 209 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments is nearly complete. When the TC sat down in 1993 to begin developing a set of international standards, members could not have predicted all of the benefits these standards provide. The US Head of Delegation, Anne Marie Dixon, offers insight into those benefits in this TechTalk article.

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