Detection of Smoke from Microgravity Fires 2005-01-2930
The history and current status of spacecraft smoke detection is discussed including a review of the state of understanding of the effect of gravity on the resultant smoke particle size. The results from a spacecraft experiment (Comparative Soot Diagnostics (CSD)) which measured microgravity smoke particle sizes are presented. Five different materials were tested producing smokes with different properties including solid aerosol smokes and liquid droplets aerosol smokes. The particulate size distribution for the solid particulate smokes increased substantially in microgravity and the results suggested a corresponding increase for the smokes consisting of a liquid aerosol. A planned follow on experiment that will resolve the issues raised by CSD is presented. Early results from this effort have provided the first measurements of the ambient aerosol environment on the ISS (International Space Station) and suggest that the ISS has very low ambient particle levels.