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Technical Paper

Overview of NASA's Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project

2009-07-12
2009-01-2436
NASA's Constellation Program includes the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, are manned space vehicles while the third element is broader and includes several subelements including Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The upcoming planned missions involving these systems and vehicles include several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal environment, many of these risks and challenges are associated with the vehicles' thermal control system. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) includes the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP consists of several technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned risks and design challenges is the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project.
Journal Article

A History of Space Toxicology Mishaps: Lessons Learned and Risk Management

2009-07-12
2009-01-2591
After several decades of human spaceflight, the community of space-faring nations has accumulated a diverse and sometimes harrowing history of toxicological events that have plagued human space endeavors almost from the very beginning. Some lessons have been learned in ground-based test beds and others were discovered the hard way - when human lives were at stake in space. From such lessons one can build a risk-management framework for toxicological events to minimize the probability of a harmful exposure, while recognizing that we cannot predict all possible events. Space toxicologists have learned that relatively harmless compounds can be converted by air revitalization systems into compounds that cause serious harm to the crew.
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

Inhibition of Biofilm Formation on the Service and Performance Heat Exchanger by Quorum Sensing Inhibition

2007-07-09
2007-01-3143
Shortly after installation of the service and performance heat exchanger (SPCU HX) in 2001, samples collected from the coolant fluid indicated the presence of nickel accompanied by a subsequent decrease in phosphate concentration along with a high microbial load. When the SPCU HX was replaced and evaluated post-flight, it was expected that the heat exchanger would have significant biofilm and corrosion present given the composition of the coolant fluid; however, there was no evidence of either. Early results from two experiments imply that the heat exchanger materials themselves are inhibiting biofilm formation. This paper discusses the results of one set of experiments and puts forward the inhibition of quorum sensing as a possible mechanism for the lack of biofilm formation.
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

Thermal Analysis of Lightweight Liquid Cooling Garments Using Highly Conductive Materials

2005-07-11
2005-01-2972
This paper presents the analysis findings of a study reducing the overall mass of the lightweight liquid cooling garment (LCG). The LCG is a garment worn by crew to actively cool the body, for spacesuits and launch/entry suits. A mass reduction of 66% was desired for advanced missions. A thermal math model of the LCG was developed to predict its performance when various mass-reducing changes were implemented. Changes included varying the thermal conductivity and thickness of the garment or of the coolant tubes servicing the garment. A second model was developed to predict behavior of the suit when the cooling tubes were to be removed, and replaced with a highly-conducting (waterless) material. Findings are presented that show significant reductions in weight are theoretically possible by improving conductivity in the garment material.
Technical Paper

Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model, to Evaluate Liquid Cooling Garments

2005-07-11
2005-01-2971
An Advanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM), is used to evaluate liquid cooling garments (LCG) for advanced space suits for extravehicular applications and launch and entry suits. The manikin is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermoregulatory system. ADAM's thermal response to a baseline LCG was measured.The local effectiveness of the LCG was determined. These new thermal comfort tools permit detailed, repeatable measurements and evaluation of LCGs. Results can extend to other personal protective clothing including HAZMAT suits, nuclear/biological/ chemical protective suits, fire protection suits, etc.
Technical Paper

Crew Exploration Vehicle Environmental Control and Life Support Fire Protection Approach

2007-07-09
2007-01-3255
As part of preparing for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) worked on developing the requirements to manage the fire risk. The new CEV poses unique challenges to current fire protection systems. The size and configuration of the vehicle resembles the Apollo capsule instead of the current Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. The smaller free air volume and fully cold plated avionic bays of the CEV requires a different approach in fire protection than the ones currently utilized. The fire protection approach discussed in this paper incorporates historical lessons learned and fire detection and suppression system design philosophy spanning from Apollo to the International Space Station.
Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity of Lofty Nonwovens in Space and Planetary Vacuum Environment

2001-07-09
2001-01-2166
For planetary exploration, new thermal insulation materials are needed to deal with unique environmental conditions presented to extravehicular activity (EVA). The thermal insulation material and system used in the existing space suit were specifically designed for low orbit environment. They are not adequate for low vacuum condition commonly found in planetary environments with a gas atmosphere. This study attempts to identify the types of lofty nonwoven thermal insulation materials and the construction parameters that yield the best performance for such application. Lofty nonwovens with different construction parameters are evaluated for their thermal conductivity performance. Three different types of fiber material: solid round fiber, hollow fiber, and grooved fiber, with various denier, needling intensity, and web density were evaluated.
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

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

Demonstration of Oxygen Production on the Moon and Mars

1997-07-01
972498
Scientists and engineers at NASA are currently developing flight instruments which will demonstrate oxygen production on the Moon and Mars. REGA will extract oxygen from the lunar regolith, measure implanted solar wind and indigenous gases, and monitor the lunar atmosphere. MIP will demonstrate oxygen production on Mars, along with key supporting technologies including filtration, atmospheric acquisition and compression, thermal management, solar cell performance, and dust removal.
Technical Paper

Enhanced Performance Evaporative Heat Sinks for Space Applications

1998-07-13
981779
An evaporative heat sink has been designed and built by AlliedSignal for NASA's Johnson Space Center. The unit is a demonstrator of a primary heat exchanger for NASA's prototype Crew Return Vehicle (CRV), designated the X-38. The primary heat exchanger is responsible for rejecting the heat produced by both the flight crew and the avionics. Spacecraft evaporative heat sinks utilize space vacuum as a resource to control the vapor pressure of a liquid. For the X-38, water has been chosen as the heat transport fluid. A portion of this coolant flow is bled off for use as the evaporant. At sufficiently low pressures, the water can be made to boil at temperatures approaching its freezing point. Heat transferred to liquid water in this state will cause the liquid to evaporate, thus creating a heat sink for the spacecraft's coolant loop. The CRV mission requires the heat exchanger to be compact and low in mass.
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

Performance Testing of an Advanced Lightweight Freezable Radiator

2006-07-17
2006-01-2232
During extravehicular activities (EVAs) it is crucial to keep the astronaut comfortable. Currently, a sublimator rejects to space both the astronaut's metabolic heat and that produced by the Portable Life Support System. In doing so, it consumes up to 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water; the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. While acceptable for low earth orbit, resupply for moon and interplanetary missions will be too costly. Fortunately, the amount of water consumed can be greatly reduced if most of the heat load is radiated to space. However, the radiator must reject heat at the same rate that it is generated to prevent heat stroke or frostbite. Herein, we report on a freezable radiator and heat exchanger to proportionally control the heat rejection rate.
Technical Paper

Chemical Characterization of U.S. Lab Condensate

2006-07-17
2006-01-2016
Approximately 50% of the water consumed by International Space Station crewmembers is water recovered from cabin humidity condensate. Condensing heat exchangers in the Russian Service Module (SM) and the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) are used to control cabin humidity levels. In the SM, humidity condensate flows directly from the heat exchanger to a water recovery system. In the USOS, a metal bellows tank located in the US Laboratory Module (LAB) collects and stores condensate, which is periodically off-loaded in about 20-liter batches to Contingency Water Containers (CWCs). The CWCs can then be transferred to the SM and connected to a Condensate Feed Unit that pumps the condensate from the CWCs into the water recovery system for processing. Samples of the condensate in the tank are collected during the off-loads and returned to Earth for analyses.
Technical Paper

Development of the Advanced Life Support Systems Integration Research Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center

1992-07-01
921317
Future NASA manned missions to the moon and Mars will require development of robust regenerative life support system technologies which offer high reliability and minimal resupply. To support the development of such systems, early ground-based test facilities will be required to demonstrate integrated, long-duration performance of candidate regenerative air revitalization, water recovery, and thermal management systems. The advanced life support Systems Integration Research Facility (SIRF) is one such test facility currently being developed at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). The SIRF, when completed, will accommodate unmanned and subsequently manned integrated testing of advanced regenerative life support technologies at ambient and reduced atmospheric pressures.
Technical Paper

Design of a Shuttle Air and Water Prefilter for Reduced Gravity Operation

1992-07-01
921161
The Space Shuttle humidity separator prefilter was developed to remove debris from the air/water stream that flows from the cabin condensing heat exchanger to the humidity separator. Debris in this flow stream has caused humidity separator pitot tube clogging and subsequent water carryover on several Shuttle flights. The first design concept of the prefilter was flown on STS-40 in June, 1991. The prefilter was installed on-orbit. Video footage of its operation revealed that the prefilter did not pass water at a constant rate, resulting in a tendency to slug the humidity separator. The results from this flight test have resulted in a complete redesign of the prefilter. In this paper the first prefilter design is described, the flight results from STS-40 are examined, and the on-orbit performance of the prefilter is explained. The redesigned prefilter is described with emphasis on the features that should allow successful reduced gravity operation.
Technical Paper

Neutral Buoyancy Portable Life Support System Performance Study

1991-07-01
911346
A system performance study on a portable life support system being developed for use in the Weightless Environment Training Facility (WETF) and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) has been completed. The Neutral Buoyancy Portable Life Support System (NBPLSS) will provide life support to suited astronauts training for extravehicular activity (EVA) under water without the use of umbilicals. The basic configuration is characterized by the use of medium pressure (200 - 300 psi) cryogen (liquid nitrogen/oxygen mixture) which provides cooling within the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), the momentum which enables flow in the vent loop, and oxygen for breathing. NBPLSS performance was analyzed by using a modified Metabolic Man program to compare competing configurations. Maximum sustainable steady state metabolic rates and transient performance based on a typical WETF metabolic rate profile were determined and compared.
Technical Paper

The Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility: Testbed Development and Testing to Understand Evolution to Regenerative Life Support

1996-07-01
961592
As part of its integrated system test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has undertaken the development of a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated, regenerative biological and physicochemical life support systems. This facility--the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility (HRTF) is currently being built at the Johnson Space Center. The HRTF is comprised of a series of interconnected chambers with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting a test crew of four for periods exceeding one year. The life support system will consist of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform air revitalization, water recovery, food production, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated command and control functions. Currently, a portion of this multichamber facility has been constructed and is being outfitted with basic utilities and infrastructure.
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