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Technical Paper

Testbed for Determining the Filtering Capacities of COTS Adsorbents

A lab-scale testbed for screening and characterizing the chemical specificity of commercial “off-the-shelf” (COTS) polymer adsorbents was built and tested. COTS polymer adsorbents are suitable candidates for future trace contaminant (TC) control technologies. Regenerable adsorbents could reduce overall TC control system mass and volume by minimizing the amounts of consumables to be resupplied and stored. However, the chemical specificity of these COTS adsorbents for non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) (e.g., methanol, ethanol, dichloromethane, acetone, etc) commonly found in spacecraft is unknown. Furthermore, the effect of humidity on their filtering capacity is not well characterized. The testbed, composed of a humidifier, an incubator, and a gas generator, delivers NMVOC gas streams to conditioned sorbent tubes.
Technical Paper

Effects of Relative Humidity on the Adsorption of Dichloromethane by Carbosieve SIII

Carbosieve SIII was used to filter dichloromethane (DCM) from a simulated spacecraft gas stream. This adsorbent was tested as a possible commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) filtration solution to controlling spacecraft air quality. DCM is a halocarbon commonly used in manufacturing for cleaning and degreasing and is a typical component of equipment offgassing in spacecraft. The performance of the filter was measured in dry and humid atmospheres. A known concentration of DCM was passed through the adsorbent at a known flow rate. The adsorbent removed dichloromethane until it reached the breakthrough volume. Carbosieve SIII exposed to dry atmospheric conditions adsorbed more DCM than when exposed to humid air. Carbosieve SIII is a useful thermally regenerated adsorbent for filtering DCM from spacecraft cabin air. However, in humid environments the gas passes through the filter sooner due to co-adsorption of additional water vapor from the atmosphere.
Technical Paper

Development Status of Amine-based, Combined Humidity, CO2 and Trace Contaminant Control System for CEV

Under a NASA-sponsored technology development project, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of industry, academia, and government organizations lead by Hamilton Sundstrand is developing an amine-based humidity and CO2 removal process and prototype equipment for Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) applications. Originally this project sought to research enhanced amine formulations and incorporate a trace contaminant control capability into the sorbent. In October 2005, NASA re-directed the project team to accelerate the delivery of hardware by approximately one year and emphasize deployment on board the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) as the near-term developmental goal. Preliminary performance requirements were defined based on nominal and off-nominal conditions and the design effort was initiated using the baseline amine sorbent, SA9T.
Technical Paper

Power System Monitoring and Source Control of the Space Station Freedom DC-Power System Testbed

Unlike a terrestrial electric utility which can purchase power from a neighboring utility, the Space Station Freedom (SSF) has strictly limited energy resources; as a result, source control, system monitoring, system protection and load management are essential to the safe and efficient operation of the SSF Electric Power System (EPS). These functions are being evaluated in the DC Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) Testbed which NASA LeRC has developed at the Power System Facility (PSF) located in Cleveland, Ohio. The testbed is an ideal platform to develop, integrate, and verify power system monitoring and control algorithms. State Estimation (SE) is a monitoring tool used extensively in terrestrial electric utilities to ensure safe power system operation.