Air Revitalisation System Demonstrator - Testing in Closed Chamber 2000-01-2354
The development of the air revitalisation system ( AR) for a crewed spacecraft was initiated in 1985.
The selected technical approach is a three-step process consisting of (1) a solid amine water steam desorption system to concentrate (the mainly) metabolically produced carbon dioxide(CO2) from the air (2) a Sabatier reactor to reduce the CO2 to water and methane (CH4) and (3) a fixed alkaline electrolyser to reclaim from the water the oxygen O2 for the crew.
During 1996 / 1997 the AR system was successfully demonstrated on a laboratory scale configuration for a crew of three persons equivalent. During 1998 / 2000 the AR system was transformed into a rack-mounted so-called Air Revitalisation System Technology Demonstrator (ARSD) for ‘closed loop’ testing in a dedicated Closed Chamber, to demonstrate the readiness of the technology for a possible incorporation in the ISS enhancement programme.
The ARSD is successfully tested for about 600 hours controlling the CO2 concentration below the specified 400 hPa and the O2 concentration in the specified range between 20% and 21%. The system is tested for different metabolic workloads corresponding to a 3-person crew and a 7-person crew. For this purpose a metabolic simulator is used.
This paper discusses the Closed Chamber test campaign and the results.
The work was performed under contract of the European Space Agency.