Testing and Analysis of an Environmental System Test Stand 2003-01-2361
Thermal control systems for space application plant growth chambers offer unique challenges. The ability to control temperature and humidity independently gives greater flexibility for optimizing plant growth. Desired temperature and relative humidity range vary widely from 15°C to 35°C and 65% to 85% respectively. On top of all of these variables, the thermal control system must also be conservative in power and mass. These requirements to develop and test a robust thermal control system for space applications led to the design and development of the Environmental System Test Stand (ESTS) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). The ESTS was designed to be a size constrained, environmental control system test stand with the flexibility to allow for a variety of thermal and lighting technologies. To give greater understanding to the environmental control system, the development of the ESTS included both mathematical models and the physical test stand. Baseline experimental testing of the ESTS test stand was performed, and the results were compared with mathematical models to provide further understanding of and improvements to the ESTS.