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Technical Paper

Development of Pressure Swing Adsorption Technology for Spacesuit Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Removal

2006-07-17
2006-01-2203
Metabolically produced carbon dioxide (CO2) removal in spacesuit applications has traditionally been accomplished utilizing non-regenerative Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH) canisters. In recent years, regenerative Metal Oxide (MetOx) has been developed to replace the Extravehicular Mobility Unity (EMU) LiOH canister for extravehicular activity (EVA) missions in micro-gravity, however, MetOx may carry a significant weight burden for potential use in future Lunar or planetary EVA exploration missions. Additionally, both of these methods of CO2 removal have a finite capacity sized for the particular mission profile. Metabolically produced water vapor removal in spacesuits has historically been accomplished by a condensing heat exchanger within the ventilation process loop of the suit life support system.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Blood Flow Characteristics Leading to EVA Hand Injury

2009-07-12
2009-01-2471
The aim of this study was to explore if fingernail delamination injury following EMU glove use may be caused by compression-induced blood flow occlusion in the finger. During compression tests, finger blood flow decreased more than 60%, however this occurred more rapidly for finger pad compression (4 N) than for fingertips (10 N). A pressure bulb compression test resulted in 50% and 45% decreased blood flow at 100 mmHg and 200 mmHg, respectively. These results indicate that the finger pad pressure required to articulate stiff gloves is more likely to contribute to injury than the fingertip pressure associated with tight fitting gloves.
Technical Paper

A Test Plan for Sensitivity of Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Systems to Potable Water Constituents, Contaminants and Air Bubbles

2008-06-29
2008-01-2113
The Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is the baseline heat rejection technology selected for development for the Constellation lunar suit. The first SWME prototype, designed, built, and tested at Johnson Space Center in 1999 used a Teflon hydrophobic porous membrane sheet shaped into an annulus to provide cooling to the coolant loop through water evaporation to the vacuum of space. This present study describes the test methodology and planning to compare the test performance of three commercially available hollow fiber materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME, in particular, a porous hydrophobic polypropylene, and two variants that employ ion exchange through non-porous hydrophilic modified Nafion. Contamination tests will be performed to probe for sensitivities of the candidate SWME elements to ordinary constituents that are expected to be found in the potable water provided by the vehicle, the target feedwater source.
Technical Paper

Further Testing of an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

2008-06-29
2008-01-2101
In a crewed spacecraft environment, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture control are crucial. Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a stable and efficient amine-based CO2 and water vapor sorbent, SA9T, that is well suited for use in a spacecraft environment. The sorbent is efficiently packaged in pressure-swing regenerable beds that are thermally linked to improve removal efficiency and minimize vehicle thermal loads. Flows are controlled with a single spool valve. This technology has been baselined for the new Orion spacecraft, but additional data was needed on the operational characteristics of the package in a simulated spacecraft environment. One unit was tested with simulated metabolic loads in a closed chamber at Johnson Space Center during the latter part of 2006. Those test results were reported in a 2007 ICES paper.
Journal Article

Post-Landing Orion Crew Survival in Warm Ocean Areas: A Case Study in Iterative Environmental Design

2008-06-29
2008-01-2080
The Orion crew module (CM) is being designed to perform survivable land and water landings. There are many issues associated with post-landing crew survival. In general, the most challenging of the realistic Orion landing scenarios from an environmental control standpoint is the off-nominal water landing. Available power and other consumables will be very limited after landing, and it may not be possible to provide full environmental control within the crew cabin for very long after splashdown. Given the bulk and thermal insulation characteristics of the crew-worn pressure suits, landing in a warm tropical ocean area would pose a risk to crew survival from elevated core body temperatures, if for some reason the crewmembers were not able to remove their suits and/or exit the vehicle. This paper summarizes the analyses performed and conclusions reached regarding post-landing crew survival following a water landing, from the standpoint of the crew's core body temperatures.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Prototype

2008-06-29
2008-01-2166
Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a scalable evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It was designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. The MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. This system combines the functions of the Space Shuttle flash evaporator and ammonia boiler into a single compact package with improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing surface area to keep the back pressure low. The multiple layer construction of the core allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate. A full-scale unit uses multiple core sections that, combined with a novel control scheme, manage the risk of freezing the heat exchanger cores. A four-core MFE prototype was built in 2007.
Technical Paper

Development of a Test Facility for Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation

2007-07-09
2007-01-3161
Development of new air revitalization system (ARS) technology can initially be performed in a subscale laboratory environment, but in order to advance the maturity level, the technology must be tested in an end-to-end integrated environment. The Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF) at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) serves as a ground test bed for evaluating emerging ARS technologies in an environment representative of spacecraft atmospheres. At the center of the ARTEF is a hypobaric chamber which serves as a sealed atmospheric chamber for closed loop testing. A Human Metabolic Simulator (HMS) was custom-built to simulate the consumption of oxygen, and production of carbon dioxide, moisture and heat by up to eight persons. A variety of gas analyzers and dew point sensors are used to monitor the chamber atmosphere and the process flow upstream and downstream of a test article. A robust vacuum system is needed to simulate the vacuum of space.
Technical Paper

Testing of an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

2007-07-09
2007-01-3156
In a crewed spacecraft environment, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture control are crucial. Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a stable and efficient amine-based CO2 and water vapor sorbent, SA9T, that is well suited for use in a spacecraft environment. The sorbent is efficiently packaged in pressure-swing regenerable beds that are thermally linked to improve removal efficiency and minimize vehicle thermal loads. Flows are all controlled with a single spool valve. This technology has been baselined for the new Orion spacecraft. However, more data was needed on the operational characteristics of the package in a simulated spacecraft environment. A unit was therefore tested with simulated metabolic loads in a closed chamber at Johnson Space Center during the last third of 2006. Tests were run at a variety of cabin temperatures and with a range of operating conditions varying cycle time, vacuum pressure, air flow rate, and crew activity levels.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Engineering Development Unit

2007-07-09
2007-01-3205
Hamilton Sundstrand is under contract with the NASA Johnson Space Center to develop a scalable, evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It is being designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. A MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. The current Space Shuttle configuration utilizes an ammonia boiler and flash evaporator system to achieve cooling at all altitudes. With the MFE system, both functions are combined into a single compact package with significant weight reduction and improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing cross-sectional area to keep the back pressure low. Its multiple layer construction allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

2007-07-09
2007-01-3248
This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Technical Paper

Space Suit Radiator Performance in Lunar and Mars Environments

2007-07-09
2007-01-3275
During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment and the load from the electrical components. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Last year we reported on the design and initial operational assessment tests of a novel radiator designated the Radiator And Freeze Tolerant heat eXchanger (RAFT-X).
Technical Paper

Advanced Integration Matrix Education Outreach

2004-07-19
2004-01-2481
The Advanced Integration Matrix (AIM) will design a ground-based test facility for developing revolutionary integrated systems for joint human-robotic missions in order to study and solve systems-level integration issues for exploration missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This paper describes development plans for educational outreach activities related to technological and operational integration scenarios similar to the challenges that will be encountered through this project. The education outreach activities will provide hands-on, interactive exercises to allow students of all levels to experience design and operational challenges similar to what NASA deals with everyday in performing the integration of complex missions. These experiences will relate to and impact students' everyday lives by demonstrating how their interests in science and engineering can develop into future careers, and reinforcing the concepts of teamwork and conflict resolution.
Technical Paper

Immobilized Microbe Microgravity Water Processing System (IMMWPS) Flight Experiment Integrated Ground Test Program

2002-07-15
2002-01-2355
This paper provides an overview of the IMMWPS Integrated Ground Test Program, completed at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) during October and November 2001. The JSC Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) has developed the IMMWPS orbital flight experiment to test the feasibility of a microbe-based water purifier for use in zero-gravity conditions. The IMMWPS design utilizes a Microbial Processor Assembly (MPA) inoculated with facultative anaerobes to convert organic contaminants in wastewater to carbon dioxide and biomass. The primary purpose of the ground test program was to verify functional operations and procedures. A secondary objective was to provide initial ground data for later comparison to on-orbit performance. This paper provides a description of the overall test program, including the test article hardware and the test sequence performed to simulate the anticipated space flight test program. In addition, a summary of significant results from the testing is provided.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit Performance of the Major Constituent Analyzer

2002-07-15
2002-01-2404
The Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) was activated on-orbit on 2/13/01 and provided essentially continuous readings of partial pressures for oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and water in the ISS atmosphere. The MCA plays a crucial role in the operation of the Laboratory ECLSS and EVA operations from the airlock. This paper discusses the performance of the MCA as compared to specified accuracy requirements. The MCA has an on-board self-calibration capability and the frequency of this calibration could be relaxed with the level of instrument stability observed on-orbit. This paper also discusses anomalies the MCA experienced during the first year of on-orbit operation. Extensive Built In Test (BIT) and fault isolation capabilities proved to be invaluable in isolating the causes of anomalies. The process of fault isolation is discussed along with development of workaround solutions and implementation of permanent on-orbit corrections.
Technical Paper

Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex: Facility Description and Testing Objectives

1997-07-01
972342
As a key component in its ground test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has been developing a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated bioregenerative life support systems with human test crews. This facility, the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex), is currently under development at the Johnson Space Center. The BIO-Plex is comprised of a set of interconnected test chambers with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting test crews of four individuals for periods exceeding one year. The life support systems to be tested will consist of both biological and physicochemical technologies and will perform all required air revitalization, water recovery, biomass production, food processing, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated command and control functions.
Technical Paper

Development and Evaluation of an Advanced Water-Jacketed High Intensity Discharge Lamp

2003-07-07
2003-01-2455
During the period July 2001 to March 2002, the performance of a water-jacketed high intensity discharge lamp of advanced design was evaluated within a lamp test stand at The University of Arizona (UA), Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) in Tucson, Arizona. The lamps and test stand system were developed by Mr. Phil Sadler of Sadler Machine Company, Tempe, Arizona, and supported by a Space Act Agreement between NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC) and UA. The purpose was for long term testing of the prototype lamp and demonstration of an improved procedure for use of water-jacketed lamps for plant production within the close confines of controlled environment facilities envisioned by NASA within Bioregenerative Life Support Systems. The lamp test stand consisted of six, 400 watt water-cooled, high pressure sodium HID lamps, mounted within a framework.
Technical Paper

ARPCS2AT2: A Tool for Atmospheric Pressure and Composition Control Analysis

2003-07-07
2003-01-2437
A generalized computer program for analysis of pressure and composition in multiple volume systems has been under development by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 1976. This paper describes the most recent developments in the program. These improvements include the expansion of the program to nine volumes, improvements to the model of the International Space Station (ISS) carbon dioxide removal system, and addition of a detailed Sabatier carbon dioxide reduction mode. An evaluation of the feasibility of adding of trace contaminant tracking was also performed. This paper will also present the results of an analysis that compares model predictions with ISS flight data for carbon dioxide (CO2) maintenance.
Technical Paper

Early Results of an Integrated Water Recovery System Test

2001-07-09
2001-01-2210
The work presented in this paper summarizes the early results of an integrated advanced water recovery system test conducted by the Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) at NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC). The system design and the results of the first two months of operation are presented. The overall objective of this test is to demonstrate the capability of an integrated advanced water recovery system to produce potable quality water for at least six months. Each subsystem is designed for operation in microgravity. The primary treatment system consists of a biological system for organic carbon and ammonia removal. Dissolved solids are removed by reverse osmosis and air evaporation systems. Finally, ion exchange technology in combination with photolysis or photocatalysis is used for polishing of the effluent water stream. The wastewater stream consists of urine and urine flush water, hygiene wastewater and a simulated humidity condensate.
Technical Paper

The Porous Plate Sublimator as the X-38/CRV (Crew Return Vehicle) Orbital Heat Sink

1999-07-12
1999-01-2004
A porous plate sublimator (based on an existing Lunar Module LM-209 design) is baselined as a heat rejection device for the X-38 vehicle due to its simplicity, reliability, and flight readiness. The sublimator is a passive device used for rejecting heat to the vacuum of space by sublimating water to obtain efficient heat rejection in excess of 1,000 Btu/lb of water. It is ideally suited for the X-38/CRV mission as it requires no active control, has no moving parts, has 100% water usage efficiency, and is a well-proven technology. Two sublimators have been built and tested for the X-38 program, one of which will fly on the NASA V-201 space flight demonstrator vehicle in 2001. The units satisfied all X-38 requirements with margin and have demonstrated excellent performance. Minor design changes were made to the LM-209 design for improved manufacturability and parts obsolescence.
Technical Paper

Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems Human-Rated Test Facility: An Overview

1993-07-01
932241
NASA's future missions to explore the solar system will be long-duration missions and could last years at a time. Human life support systems required for these missions must operate with very high reliability for long periods of time and must be highly regenerative, requiring minimum resupply. Such life support systems will make use of combining higher plants, microorganisms, and physicochemical processes to recycle air and water, process wastes, and produce food. Development of regenerative life support systems will be a pivotal capability for missions to the moon and Mars. One key step in the development process for these systems is the establishment of a human-rated test facility specifically tailored for evaluation of closed, regenerative life support systems--one in which long-duration testing can take place involving human test crews.
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