Development of the Next Generation Gas Trap for the Space Station Internal Thermal Control System 2003-01-2566
The current dual-membrane gas trap is designed to remove non-condensed gases (NCG) from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) coolant on board the International Space Station (ISS). To date it has successfully served its purpose of preventing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pump. However, contamination in the ITCS coolant has adversely affected the gas venting rate and lifetime of the gas trap, warranting a development effort for a next-generation gas trap. Design goals are to meet or exceed the current requirements to (1) include greater operating ranges and conditions, (2) eliminate reliance on the current hydrophilic tube fabrication process, and (3) increase operational life and tolerance to particulate and microbial growth fouling. In addition, the next generation gas trap will essentially be a “drop-in” design such that no modifications to the ITCS pump package assembly (PPA) will be required, and the implementation of the new design will not affect changes to the ITCS operational conditions, interfaces, or software. This paper will present the initial membrane module design and development work which has included (1) a trade study among several conceptual designs, (2) performance modeling of a hydrophobic-only design, and (3) small-scale development test data for the hydrophobic-only design. Testing has shown that the hydrophobic-only design is capable of performing even better than the current dual-membrane design for both steady-state gas removal and gas slug removal.