Sabatier Engineering Development Unit 2003-01-2496
To facilitate life support system loop closure on board the International Space Station (ISS), the Node 3 Oxygen Generation System (OGS) rack contains a functional scar to accommodate a future Carbon dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA). This CRA uses a Sabatier reactor to produce water from CO2 scrubbed from cabin air and hydrogen byproduct from OGS electrolysis. As part of the effort to better understand and define the functional scar, significant risk mitigation activities have been performed. To address integration risks, a CRA Engineering Development Unit (EDU) has been developed that is functionally equivalent to a flight CRA and is suitable for integrating with ground based carbon dioxide removal and oxygen generation systems.
The CRA EDU has been designed to be functionally equivalent to the Sabatier Reactor Subsystem (SRS) portion of the CRA. This paper discusses the CRA design and the major issue expected with the flight unit integration. Carbon dioxide flow control is the major area requiring development since the size of the CO2 accumulator may result in periods of CRA starvation. The capability of the CO2 flow control algorithm to effectively manage integrated CRA operations is discussed in detail.