ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project 2005-01-3075
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate buffer concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered. The remediation steps include changes in the coolant chemistry specification, development of a suite of new antimicrobial additives, and development of devices for the removal of nickel and phosphate ions from the coolant. This paper presents an overview of the anomalies, their known and suspected system effects, their causes, and the actions being taken to remediate the coolant.