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Technical Paper

Ultralight Fabric Reflux Tube (UFRT) Thermal/Vacuum Test

1996-07-01
961455
Spacecraft thermal control systems are essential to provide the necessary thermal environment for the crew and to ensure that the equipment functions adequately on space missions. The Ultralight Fabric Reflux Tube (UFRT) was developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a lightweight radiator concept to be used on planetary surface-type missions (e.g., Moon, Mars). The UFRT consists of a thin-walled tube (acting as the fluid boundary), overwrapped with a low-mass ceramic fabric (acting as the primary pressure boundary). The tubes are placed in an array in the vertical position with the evaporators at the lower end. Heat is added to the evaporators, which vaporizes the working fluid. The vapor travels to the condenser end section and condenses on the inner wall of the thin-walled tube. The resulting latent heat is radiated to the environment. The fluid condensed on the tube wall is then returned to the evaporator by gravity.
Technical Paper

Orbiter Flash Evaporator: Flight Experience and Improvements

1997-07-01
972262
The Flash Evaporator Subsystem (FES) provides active cooling for the Shuttle Orbiter vehicle during the ascent and re-entry phases of the flight and provides supplemental cooling to the radiators while on-orbit. This paper describes the design and operation of the FES and summarizes the operational flight experience to date. As the fleet of orbiters grows older, contamination and corrosion are two issues on which attention has focused. A discussion of these conditions and the subsequent design changes and operational workarounds will be summarized.
Technical Paper

Proof of Concept High Lift Heat Pump for a Lunar Base

1998-07-13
981683
When a permanent human outpost is established on the Moon, various methods may be used to reject the heat generated by the base. One proposed concept is the use of a heat pump operating with a vertical, flow-through thermal radiator mounted on a Space Station type habitation module [1]. Since the temperature of the lunar surface varies over the day, the vertical radiator sink temperatures can reach much higher levels than the comfort and even survivability requirements of a habitation module. A high temperature lift heat pump will not only maintain a comfortable habitation module temperature, but will also decrease the size of the radiators needed to reject the waste heat. Thus, the heat pump will also decrease the mass of the entire thermal system. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) have tested a High Lift Heat Pump design and are developing the next generation heat pump based on information and experience gained from this testing.
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

Shuttle Launch Entry Suit Liquid Cooling System Thermal Performance

1995-07-01
951546
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.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Lift Heat Pump Refrigerant and Thermodynamic Cycle Selection

1994-06-01
941272
This paper describes the process and analysis used to select a refrigerant and thermodynamic cycle as the basis of a vapor compression heat pump requiring a high temperature lift. Use of a vapor compression heat pump versus other types was based on prior work performed for the Electric Power Research Institute. A high lift heat pump is needed to enable a thermal control system to remove heat down to 275K from a habitable volume when the external thermal environment is severe. For example, a long term habitat will reject heat from a space radiator to a 325K environment. The first step in the selection process was to perform an optimization trade study, quantifying the effect of radiator operating temperature and heat pump efficiency on total system mass; then, select the radiator operating temperature corresponding to the lowest system mass. Total system mass included radiators, all heat pump components and the power supply system.
Technical Paper

Development, Performance and Flight Test Results of the Cabin Air Cleaner (CAC) for the Shuttle Orbiter

1994-06-01
941253
Debris and particulate filtration problems have been persistent during flights on the Space Shuttle Orbiter since STS-6. Analysis of the Orbiter Environmental and Life Support System (ECLSS) indicated that both the volumetric flows and velocities were essentially designed for ventilation, heat removal, and gas blending with minimal consideration for debris removal. The baseline Orbiter filtration system consisted of a single 300 micron filter at the inlet of the cabin fan primarily to protect the cabin fan hardware. This filter was increased to 70 microns and additional filters added after some hardware failures occurred. However, these changes did not clean the environment as expected. An evaluation of the size and type of debris in the cabin air determined that the debris is able to “short-circuit” the cabin filtration system and remains in the cabin air causing the crew discomfort.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Methods for Remediating Biofilms in Spacecraft Potable Water Systems

1994-06-01
941388
Controlling microbial growth and biofilm formation in spacecraft water-distribution systems is necessary to protect the health of the crew. Methods to decontaminate the water system in flight may be needed to support long-term missions. We evaluated the ability of iodine and ozone to kill attached bacteria and remove biofilms formed on stainless steel coupons. The biofilms were developed by placing the coupons in a manifold attached to the effluent line of a simulated spacecraft water-distribution system. After biofilms were established, the coupons were removed and placed in a treatment manifold in a separate water treatment system where they were exposed to the chemical treatments for various periods. Disinfection efficiency over time was measured by counting the bacteria that could be recovered from the coupons using a sonication and plate count technique. Scanning electron microscopy was also used to determine whether the treatments actually removed the biofilm.
Technical Paper

Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Debris/Contamination

1992-07-01
921345
Debris in the Orbiter crew compartment of early Shuttle missions created crew health concerns and physiological discomfort, and was the cause of some equipment malfunctions. Debris from Orbiters during flight and processing was analyzed, quantized, and evaluated to determine its source. Records were kept on the amount of debris vacuumed by the crew during on-orbit cleaning and the amount found on air-cooled avionics boxes during ground turnaround. After ground turnaround operations at Kennedy Space Center and Palmdale were reviewed from a facility, materials use, and materials control standpoint, the following remedial steps were taken.
Technical Paper

First Lunar Outpost Extravehicular Life Support System Evaluation

1993-07-01
932188
A preliminary evaluation of several portable life support system (PLSS) concepts which could be used during the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission extravehicular activities (EVA's) has been performed. The weight, volume and consumables characteristics for the various PLSS concepts were estimated. Thermal effects of day and night EVA's on PLSS consumables usage and hardware requirements were evaluated. The benefit of adding a radiator and the total PLSS weight to be carried by the astronaut were also evaluated for each of the concepts. The results of the evaluation were used to provide baseline weight, volume and consumables characteristics of the PLSS to be used on the 45 day FLO mission. The benefit of radiators was shown to be substantial. Considerable consumables savings were predicted for EVA schedules with a high concentration of nighttime EVA's versus daytime EVA's.
Technical Paper

Advanced Design Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2009-07-12
2009-01-2406
Absorption cooling using a lithium chloride/water heat pump can enable lightweight and effective thermal control for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suits without venting water to the environment. The key components in the system are an absorber/radiator that rejects heat to space and a flexible evaporation cooling garment that absorbs heat from the crew member, This paper describes progress in the design, development, and testing of the absorber/radiator and evaporation cooling garment. New design concepts and fabrication approaches will significantly reduce the mass of the absorber/radiator. We have also identified materials and demonstrated fabrication approaches for production of a flexible evaporation cooling garment, Data from tests of the system's modular components have validated the design models and allowed predictions of the size and weight of a complete system.
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.
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

Ventilation Transport Trade Study for Future Space Suit Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-2115
A new and advanced portable life support system (PLSS) for space suit surface exploration will require a durable, compact, and energy efficient system to transport the ventilation stream through the space suit. Current space suits used by NASA circulate the ventilation stream via a ball-bearing supported centrifugal fan. As NASA enters the design phase for the next generation PLSS, it is necessary to evaluate available technologies to determine what improvements can be made in mass, volume, power, and reliability for a ventilation transport system. Several air movement devices already designed for commercial, military, and space applications are optimized in these areas and could be adapted for EVA use. This paper summarizes the efforts to identify and compare the latest fan and bearing technologies to determine candidates for the next generation PLSS.
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

Lightweight, Flexible, and Freezable Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2008-06-29
2008-01-2112
We have completed preliminary tests that show the feasibility of an innovative concept for a spacesuit thermal control system using a lightweight, flexible heat pump/radiator. The heat pump/radiator is part of a regenerable LiCI/water absorption cooling device that absorbs an astronaut's metabolic heat and rejects it to the environment via thermal radiation at a relatively high temperature. We identified key design specifications for the system, demonstrated that it is feasible to fabricate the flexible radiator, measured the heat rejection capability of the radiator, and assessed the effects on overall mass of the PLSS. We specified system design features that will enable the flexible absorber/radiator to operate in a wide range of space exploration environments. The materials used to fabricate the flexible absorber/radiator samples were all found to be low off-gassing and many have already been qualified for use in space.
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

Weathering of Thermal Control Coatings

2007-07-09
2007-01-3020
Spacecraft radiators reject heat to their surroundings. Radiators can be deployable or mounted on the body of the spacecraft. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle is to use body mounted radiators. Coatings play an important role in heat rejection. The coatings provide the radiator surface with the desired optical properties of low solar absorptance and high infrared emittance. These specialized surfaces are applied to the radiator panel in a number of ways, including conventional spraying, plasma spraying, or as an appliqué. Not specifically designed for a weathering environment, little is known about the durability of conventional paints, coatings, and appliqués upon exposure to weathering and subsequent exposure to solar wind and ultraviolet radiation exposure. In addition to maintaining their desired optical properties, the coatings must also continue to adhere to the underlying radiator panel.
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

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.
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