Redesign of the Human Metabolic Simulator 2004-01-2497
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently building a Human Metabolic Simulator (HMS) at the Johnson Space Center as part of the Advanced Life Support Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF). The purpose of ARTEF is to evaluate Environmental Control and Life Support System Technologies for Advanced Missions. The HMS is needed to reproduce the primary metabolic effects of human respiration on an enclosed atmosphere when humans cannot be present and the impact of human presence on the system is required. A HMS was designed, built and successfully operated in 2000 but larger crew size requirements and the expense of upgrade of the current system necessitate redesign. This paper addresses the redesign.
Several concepts were considered, ranging from chemical oxidation of a hydrocarbon like ethanol or ethyl acetate to carbon dioxide and water, oxidation of an iron-containing compound, or by using a fuel cell. For reasons of cost, simplicity, safety and other factors, the concept chosen includes: a molecular sieve packaged as an industrial oxygen concentrator to remove oxygen from the atmosphere, with direct carbon dioxide, water and heat injection. The water injection is done via heating water to steam with a heat exchanger and thermal effects are handled by directly adding heat to the air stream with a second heat exchanger. Both heat exchangers are supplied by a hot oil loop. The amount of oxygen removal, carbon dioxide addition, water addition and heat addition were calculated using metabolic profiles for respiration and heat, calculated using a series of empirical equations developed for International Space Station (ISS). Sketches of the Human Metabolic Simulator and the hot oil bath loop used to supply heat to the heat exchangers are included.