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Technical Paper

Spacecraft Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS) Systems: An Overview and Recommendations for Future Flights

As manned spacecraft have evolved into larger and more complex configurations, the mandate for preventing, detecting, and extinguishing on-board fires has grown proportionately to ensure the success of progressively ambitious missions. The closed environment and high value of manned spacecraft offer the Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS) systems designer significant challenges. With the presence of Oxygen (O2), flammable materials, and ignition sources, it is impossible to completely remove the likelihood of a spacecraft fire. Manned spacecraft contain these three ingredients for fire; therefore, it becomes profitable to review past designs of FDS systems and ground testing to determine system performance and lessons learned in the past for present and future applications.