Evaluation of Cryofreezer Technology Through Simulation and Testing 2005-01-2869
A cryofreezer system is being evaluated as a new method of compressing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). A cryocooler is used to provide cold temperatures and heat removal while CO2 freezes and accumulates around a coldtip. The CO2 can then be stored as a liquid or high-pressure gas after it has been accumulated. This system was originally conceived as an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) application for collecting CO2 from the Mars atmosphere to be converted to methane fuel with a Sabatier reaction. In the ALS application, this system could collect CO2 from the International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) for delivery to the Sabatier reactor. The Sabatier reaction is an important part of proposed Air Revitalization System (ARS) for ALS, and technology sharing is often possible between ISRU and ARS applications in CO2 processing systems.
A prototype system developed and initially tested by Lockheed Martin Astronautics is now being evaluated in the Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). This paper will discuss testing conducted through December 2004 to examine the performance and capacity of the system under a variety of input conditions. A simulation of the system was developed simultaneously using the Aspen Custom Modeler (ACM) software package. Several approaches using varying levels of detail could be used when modeling the system. This paper will discuss the assumptions and choices made in this simulation, as well as the validity of the simulation for predicting performance of the prototype unit.