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Technical Paper

Testing of Commercial Hollow Fiber Membranes for Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator

Three commercial off-the-shelf hollow fiber membrane evaporators, which were modified for low pressure, were tested as potential spacesuit water membrane evaporator (SWME) heat rejection technologies at pressures below 33 pascals in a vacuum chamber. Water quality was controlled in a series of 25 tests, first by simulating potable water that was reclaimed from wastewater and then by changing periodically to simulate the ever-concentrating make-up of the circulating coolant over that which is predicted over the course of 100 extravehicular activities. Two of the systems, which are comprised of nonporous tubes with hydrophilic molecular channels as the water vapor transport mechanism, were severely impacted by increasing concentrations of cations in the water. One of the systems, which was based on hydrophobic porous polypropylene tubes, was not affected by the degrading water quality or the presence of microbes. The polypropylene system, the SWME 1, was selected for further testing.
Journal Article

Hollow Fiber Space Suit Water Membrane Evaporator Development for Lunar Missions

The Space Suit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is a baseline heat rejection technology that was selected to develop the Constellation Program lunar suit. The Hollow Fiber (HoFi) SWME is being considered for service in the Constellation Space Suit Element Portable Life Support Subsystem to provide cooling to the thermal loop via water evaporation to the vacuum of space. Previous work [1] described the test methodology and planning that are entailed in comparing the test performance of three commercially available HoFi materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME: (1) porous hydrophobic polypropylene, (2) porous hydrophobic polysulfone, and (3) ion exchange through nonporous hydrophilic-modified Nafion®.
Technical Paper

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

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

ASDA - Advanced Suit Design Analyzer Computer Program

ASDA was developed to evaluate the heat and mass transfer characteristics of advanced pressurized suit design concepts for use in low pressure or vacuum planetary environments. The model incorporates a generalized 3-layer suit, constructed with the Systems Integrated Numerical Differencing Analyzer '85 (SINDA '85), with a 41- node FORTRAN routine that simulates the transient heat transfer and respiratory processes of a human body in a suited environment. User options for the suit include a liquid cooled garment, a removable jacket, a CO2/H2O permeable layer and a phase change layer. The model also has an option to isolate flowing oxygen in the helmet from stagnant or flowing gas in the torso and limbs. Options for the environment include free and forced convection with a user input atmosphere, incident solar/infrared fluxes, radiation to a background sink and radiation and conduction to a surface. Results from a study of Mars suit concepts will also be presented.
Technical Paper

Shuttle Launch Entry Suit Liquid Cooling System Thermal Performance

A thermoelectric liquid cooling system recently developed at the Johnson Space Center was evaluated in manned and unmanned ground tests as an alternative to the Space Shuttle launch and entry suit personal fan. The liquid cooling system provided superior cooling in environments simulating flight deck conditions during launch and postlanding.