Reduction System Design Status
Carbon dioxide reduction in a closed loop life support system recovers water from otherwise waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Incorporation of a carbon dioxide reduction assembly (CRA) into the International Space Station life support system frees up thousands of pounds of payload capacity in the supporting Space Shuttle that would otherwise be required to transport water. Achievement of this water recovery goal requires coordination of the CRA design to work within the existing framework of the interface systems that are either already on orbit or well advanced in their development; namely, the Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA), Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) and Water Processor Assembly (WPA).
The Oxygen Generation System (OGS) rack is in its final design phase and is scarred to accept later installation of the CRA. The CRA includes two major subassemblies: the CO2 Management System (CMS), which compresses and stores carbon dioxide, and the Sabatier reactor assembly, which reacts the CO2 with hydrogen to form water and methane. The methane is vented as a waste gas but the water is recovered for reuse. The Advanced Life Support group at the Johnson Space Center is funding the preliminary design and development phase of the CRA. The development tasks are being implemented through the Marshall Space Flight Center Node 3 program with Hamilton Sundstrand.
This paper reports the current status of the Sabatier reactor and CO2 compressor systems definition and their integration within the air revitalization system (ARS). It will discuss issues of communication and interfaces between systems and prediction of overall system performance. Also discussed are system layout and packaging, and scarring that has been included in the oxygen generation system (OGS) rack to accommodate eventual installation of the CRA.