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Technical Paper

The Columbus ECLSS First Year of Operations

The launch and activation of ESA's Columbus module in early 2008 marked the completion of more than 10 years of development. Since then the Columbus ECLS is operating, including its major European ECLSS assemblies such as Condensing Heat Exchanger (CHX), Condensate Water Separator, Cabin Fans and Sensors. The paper will report the experiences from the first year of operations in terms of events, failures and lessons learned. Examples of this is the description of some off-nominal situations (such as Condensate Removal and IMV Return Fan failure, and relevant troubleshooting), and the preparation to Columbus Reduced Condensation Mode, as requested by NASA in order to minimize the crew time needed to empty Condensate Water Tanks in US Lab.
Technical Paper

ARES - ESA's Regenerative Air Revitalisation Experiment on the International Space Station

ESA has been developing regenerative physicochemical air revitalisation technology for more than 20 years. The effort is now maturing into a flight demonstration experiment which is planned to be located in the Columbus module on ISS. The experiment shall be sized for a crew of three. It will comprise a CO2 concentration assembly, a Sabatier reactor and an electrolyser. The paper describes the adaptation of ARES to the available Columbus interfaces as well as ARES development status, performances, benefits to the ISS and operational agreements with ISS partners.
Technical Paper

Columbus ECLS Activation and Initial Operations

European Space Agency's (ESA's) Columbus module was launched on February 7, 2008. This marks the completion of more than 10 years of development. It is a major step forward for Europe in the area of Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) as Columbus contains several major assemblies which have been developed in Europe. These include the Condensing Heat Exchanger, Condensate Water Separator and the Cabin Fans. The paper gives a short overview of the system and its features and it will report the experiences from the initial activation and operations phase.
Technical Paper

Lessons Learned from the METOP Thermal Analysis and Testing

Metop (METeorological OPerational satellite) is a series of three satellites designed to monitor the climate and improve weather forecasting. This paper describes the thermal analysis, thermal testing performed, and relevant lessons learned. For the thermal analysis campaigns it focuses on: exchange and correlation of reduced thermal mathematical models established in various software formats sizes and content of the models, in particular automatic generation of reduced models from the detailed models uncertainties definitions of thermal interfaces The lessons learned from the thermal testing campaigns apply to: selection of test environment, using solar simulation and/or infra-red techniques selection of test cases based on thermal design driving parameters and/or test chamber capabilities adequate instrumentation (i.e. thermocouples, test heaters) for all critical components (un)expected events e.g.
Technical Paper

METOP PLM Thermal Balance and Thermal Vacuum Test

This paper reports on the thermal testing of METOP (METerological OPerational satellite) Payload Module Engineering Model, conducted in May/June 2001 at ESTEC’s Large Space Simulator (LSS). The paper describes the logic for the selection of the test configuration, the test phases and the performed test sequences. The test results are presented and the correlation results between predicted and measured temperatures are discussed.
Technical Paper

System Aspects for Humidity Removal under Zero Gravity

The Columbus Orbital Facility (COLUMBUS) is the main European contribution to the ISS. Its Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) subsystem consists of the Condensing Heat Exchanger and Filter Assembly (CHXFA), the Condensate Water Separator Assembly (CWSA) and the Cabin Temperature Control Unit (CTCU). The paper provides a description of the THC subsystem and its equipment focusing on the humidity removal function which has shown to be the major design challenge. Design solutions have been realised by optimising all equipment of the THC with respect to its system needs. Test results both on equipment and on THC subsystem level are presented demonstrating that the humidity removal performance is adequate to meet the system requirements in the wide operational range of COLUMBUS.
Technical Paper

Development of Automated Transfer Vehicle Cargo Carrier (ATVCC) ECLS Air Distribution System based on the MPLM and COLUMBUS Experience

In 1995 the European Space Agency did award a C/D Contract for the design & development of an ECLS Subsystem for the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) to Astrium’s ECLS ‘Center of Competence’ that built the ECLSS for Spacelab already. Actually first MPLM modules were successfully flown to the ISS with the Astrium built ECLSS qualified as ‘excellent’ by the crew having asked permission to sleep in there. In parallel the design and development of an ECLS for Europe’s Columbus module did commence and is actually close to completion. In view of the above a broad set of qualified and even space proven ECLS equipment is now ‘on-hands’ to thoroughly compose respectively derive the ECLS subsystems of future applications e.g. HabModule, CRV and Space Hotel at a limited delta design and validation effort thus fitting into the tighter financial budgets of the manned space programs to come.