COLUMBUS ECS and Recent Developments in the International In-Orbit Infrastructure 911444
The Environmental Control System (ECS) of two of the three configurations of the Columbus Programme, namely the Columbus Attached Laboratory (APM) and the Free Flying Laboratory (MTFF) provides a micro environment in space to support safe and comfortable working conditions for the crew and necessary resources to perform experimental activities.
Recent developments in the international in-orbit infrastructure, i.e. the Space Station Freedom (SSF) with the APM as European contribution and the European elements MTFF with HERMES and the ARIANE-5 launcher are rapidly converging towards matured engineering and programmatic goals.
The restructuring activities (SSF), detailed reconsideration of key requirements (MTFF) and cost saving options task force (APM) are examples which have already, or will considerably impact the ECS of the involved Columbus flight configurations. Key issues, which to one extent have already been successfully finalised or are in elaborate development phase, are “rack interchangeability” , “reduction of EVA”, “non-serviceable Resource Module for MTFF”, “APM in Man-Tended mode”, “reduced APM length”, “optimisation of Resource Utilisation Management in view of ( initial ) reduced resources ” , to name only a few.