Operational Experience with the Internal Thermal Control System Dual-Membrane Gas Trap 2003-01-2565
A dual-membrane gas trap is currently used to remove non-condensed gases (NCG) from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) coolant on board the International Space Station. The gas trap consists of concentric tube membrane pairs, comprised of outer hydrophilic tubes and inner hydrophobic fibers. Liquid coolant passes through the outer hydrophilic membrane, which traps the NCG. The inner hydrophobic fiber allows the trapped NCG to pass through and vent to the ambient atmosphere in the cabin. The purpose of the gas trap is to prevent gas bubbles from causing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pump, and the current gas trap has performed flawlessly in this regard. However, because of actual operational conditions on-orbit, its gas removal performance and operational lifetime have been affected. This paper discusses experiences with several of these dual-membrane gas traps, including on-orbit gas venting rate, effects due to the presence of nickel in the ITCS coolant, and subsequent refurbishing to remove the nickel from the gas trap.