Volatile Removal Assembly Flight Experiment and KC-135 Packed Bed Experiment: Results and Lessons Learned 2000-01-2251
The Volatile Removal Assembly (VRA) is a high temperature catalytic oxidation process that will be used as the final treatment for recycled water aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The multiphase nature of the process had raised concerns as to the performance of the VRA in a micro gravity environment. To address these concerns, two experiments were designed. The VRA Flight Experiment (VRAFE) was designed to test a full size VRA under controlled conditions in micro gravity aboard the SPACEHAB module and in a 1-g environment and compare the performance results. The second experiment relied on visualization of two-phase flow through small column packed beds and was designed to fly aboard NASA's micro gravity test bed plane (KC-135). The objective of the KC-135 experiment was to understand the two-phase fluid flow distribution in a packed bed in micro gravity. On Space Transportation System (STS) flight 96 (May 1999), the VRA FE was successfully operated and in June 1999 the KC-135 packed bed testing was completed. This paper provides an overview of the experiments and a summary of the results and findings.