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Technical Paper

Removing Dust from Confined Air Volumes - A Toy Model

Most environments inhabited by living beings have dust. Much of that dust comes from the continuous flaking of our own skin and atmosphere borne particles of submicron size. Dust mites seem to play an important role in integrating fine scale dust, which they consume to grow, resulting in larger length scale dust. Dust continues to agglomerate and grow. Air filters are designed to remove dust and control dust agglomeration. We report a simple scaling law, based on kinematic simulations of dust filtration through a one dimensional idealized filter. The results reveal insights regarding how filters may clog in time. Our results may be of use to someone interested in designing customized air filters for optimum dust removal in an environment with a known dust distribution.
Technical Paper

Membranes on Mars for In-Situ Resource Utilization Processes

The goal of this project is the development and characterization of synthetic membranes for the separation and purification of CO2 from the Martian atmosphere for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) applications such as in-situ propellant production. Candidate materials should have high selectivity for carbon dioxide over nitrogen and argon, and a glass transition temperature of -40 °C or less to remain in rubbery state at low temperature for high permeance (flux/driving force). Membrane materials we identified include the rubbery polymers poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) and the copolymer poly(dimethyl, methylphenyl siloxane) (PMPS). Pure and mixed gas permeation experiments with CO2, N2 and Ar were performed with these membrane materials in the temperature range -25 to 21 °C. In experiments with the commercially available PDMS membranes, the pure gas CO2 permeability increases from 1932 Barrers to 2755 Barrers as the temperature decreases from 22 to -30 °C.
Technical Paper

Handheld Fine Water Mist Extinguisher for Spacecraft

Fine water mist has become a commercial technology for fire suppression in multiple applications. With funding from NASA, ADA Technologies, Inc. (ADA) is developing a handheld fine water mist fire extinguisher for use on manned spacecraft and in future planetary habitats. This design employs only water and nitrogen as suppression agents to allow local refill and reuse. The prototype design incorporates features to generate a uniform fine water mist regardless of the direction of the gravitational vector or lack of gravity altogether. The system has been proven to extinguish open fires and hidden fire scenarios in tests conducted at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). This design can be deployed as a portable extinguisher or as an automated system for local fire protection in instrument racks or storage spaces. Continued development will result in prototype hardware suitable for use on future manned spacecraft.
Technical Paper

Advances in Development of a Fine Water Mist Portable Fire Extinguisher

ADA Technologies, Inc. has designed and built a microgravity-tolerant portable fire extinguisher prototype for use in manned spacecraft and planetary habitats. This device employs Fine Water Mist (FWM) as the fire extinguishing agent, and is refillable from standard stores on long-duration missions. The design uses a single storage tank for minimal mass and volume. The prototype employs a dual-fluid atomizer concept where the pressurant gas (nitrogen) also enhances the water atomization process to generate a droplet size distribution in the optimum diameter range of 10 to 50 micrometers. The expanding discharge gas plume carries the mist to the immediate vicinity of the fire where its extensive surface area promotes high heat transfer rates. A series of 80 fire suppression tests was recently completed to evaluate design options for the hardware and validate performance on three representative fire scenarios.
Technical Paper

Effect of Diesel Fuel Chemistry on Regulated Emissions at High Altitude

The effect of diesel cetane number, total aromatic content T90, and fuel nitrogen content on regulated emissions (HC, CO, NOx, and PM) from a 1991 DDC Series 60 engine were measured Emissions tests were conducted using the EPA heavy-duty transient test (CFR 40 Part 86 Subpart N) at a laboratory located 5,280 feet (1609 m) above sea level. The objective of this work was to determine if the effect of fuel chemistry at high altitude is similar to what is observed at sea level and to examine the effect of specific fuel chemistry variables on emissions. An initial tea series was conducted to examine the effect of cetane number and aromatics. Transient emissions for this test series indicated much higher (50 to 75%) particulate emissions at high altitude than observed on the same model engine and similar fuels at sea level.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Diesel Sulfur Content and Oxidation Catalysts on Transient Emissions at High Altitude from a 1995 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Urban Bus Engine

Regulated emissions (THC, CO, NOx, and PM) and particulate SOF and sulfate fractions were determined for a 1995 Detroit Diesel Series 50 urban bus engine at varying fuel sulfur levels, with and without catalytic converters. When tested on EPA certification fuel without an oxidation catalyst this engine does not appear to meet the 1994 emissions standards for heavy duty trucks, when operating at high altitude. An ultra-low (5 ppm) sulfur diesel base stock with 23% aromatics and 42.4 cetane number was used to examine the effect of fuel sulfur. Sulfur was adjusted above the 5 ppm level to 50, 100, 200, 315 and 500 ppm using tert-butyl disulfide. Current EPA regulations limit the sulfur content to 500 ppm for on highway fuel. A low Pt diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) was tested with all fuels and a high Pt diesel oxidation catalyst was tested with the 5 and 50 ppm sulfur fuels.