Helmet Exhalation Capture System (HECS) Sizing Evaluation for an Advanced Space Suit Portable Life Support System
As part of NASA's initiative to develop an advanced portable life support system (PLSS), a baseline schematic has been chosen that includes gaseous oxygen in a closed circuit ventilation configuration. Supply oxygen enters the suit at the back of the helmet, passes over the astronaut's body, and is extracted at the astronaut's wrists and ankles through the liquid cooling and ventilation garment (LCVG). The extracted gases are then treated using a rapid cycling amine (RCA) system for carbon dioxide and water removal and activated carbon for trace gas removal before being mixed with makeup oxygen and reintroduced into the helmet. Thermal control is provided by a suit water membrane evaporator (SWME). As an extension of the original schematic development, NASA evaluated several Helmet Exhalation Capture System (HECS) configurations as alternatives to the baseline.