Design of Temperature and Humidity Control Systems for Microgravity 2004-01-2457
Unique challenges arise during the design of temperature and humidity control systems (THCS) for use in microgravity. The design of the Plant Research Unit’s (PRU) THCS builds on the experience gained during the Biomass Production System (BPS) project and extends the understanding of the critical design variables and necessary technical advancements to allow for longer on-orbit operation. Previous systems have been limited by loss of prime, clogging in the porous plates and component reliability. Design of THCSs for long-duration space flight experiments requires the mitigation of these issues as well as a complete understanding of the relevant design variables. In addition to the normal design variables (e.g. mass, power, volume), a complex and interdependent relationship exists between the THCS variables including operational temperature range, operational humidity range, required humidity condensation rate and system air flow.