Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2487
2003-07-07

Post-Flight Sampling and Loading Characterization of Trace Contaminant Control Subassembly Charcoal 2003-01-2487

Trace chemical contaminants produced by equipment offgassing and human metabolic processes are removed from the atmosphere of the International Space Station's U.S. Segment by a trace contaminant control subassembly (TCCS). The TCCS employs a combination of physical adsorption, thermal catalytic oxidation, and chemical adsorption processes to accomplish its task. A large bed of granular activated charcoal is a primary component of the TCCS. The charcoal contained in this bed, known as the charcoal bed assembly (CBA), is expendable and must be replaced periodically. Pre-flight engineering analyses based upon TCCS performance testing results established a service life estimate of 1 year. After nearly 1 year of cumulative in-flight operations, the first CBA was returned for refurbishment. Charcoal samples were collected and analyzed for loading to determine the best estimate for the CBA's service life. A history of in-flight TCCS operations is presented as well as a discussion of the charcoal sampling procedures and chemical analysis results. A projected service life derived from the observed charcoal loading is provided.

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