The Development of Fans for the International Space Station 972382
The use of rapid prototyping in the development of five fans for the International Space Station is reviewed, showing how the design cycle has been reduced by more than 75% through the use of rapid prototype hardware test articles. A case study shows how rapid prototyping was used to produce a fan's two housings and how four separate impellers were designed, fabricated and tested in a five week period. Both aerodynamic and acoustic performance of the rapid prototype hardware were validated by flight-version metal assemblies. Using the improved development process where only two parts are changed to existing space-qualified fans shows that a broad range in flow and ΔP capability exists for designs targeted to specific operating points.