‘Issues and Behaviors of Airborne Particulate Matters under Microgravity Environment’ 2004-01-2328
During several ISS missions, there were false alarms at both US and Russian smoke detectors. High local airborne particulate concentrations and interior deposits are considered the causes for such anomalies. Alternatives are proposed to replace or complement these faulty smoke detectors. The entrained zeolite particles may play a role in causing problems with check valves and air save pumps in CDRA and Vozdukh. Another incidence has been the dispersion of particulates out of Metox regeneration oven.
Particulate matters with aerodynamic diameter of 15 microns and above, which normally settle down on earth, stay airborne under micro-gravity and thereby cause the above-mentioned nuisances. The motion of such a particle along a gas stream with an initial velocity can be expressed by theoretical equations. Stokes' Law leads to the descriptions of inertial precipitation of aerosols that are important in solving the issues. The relevant parameters such as particle size, and properties as well as movement of particulates under zero gravity without external forces are described in this article.