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Technical Paper

The Influence of Microbiology on Spacecraft Design and Controls: A Historical Perspective of the Shuttle and International Space Station Programs

2006-07-17
2006-01-2156
For over 40 years, NASA has been putting humans safely into space in part by minimizing microbial risks to crew members. Success of the program to minimize such risks has resulted from a combination of engineering and design controls as well as active monitoring of the crew, food, water, hardware, and spacecraft interior. The evolution of engineering and design controls is exemplified by the implementation of HEPA filters for air treatment, antimicrobial surface materials, and the disinfection regimen currently used on board the International Space Station. Data from spaceflight missions confirm the effectiveness of current measures; however, fluctuations in microbial concentrations and trends in contamination events suggest the need for continued diligence in monitoring and evaluation as well as further improvements in engineering systems. The knowledge of microbial controls and monitoring from assessments of past missions will be critical in driving the design of future spacecraft.
Technical Paper

System Engineering and Integration of Controls for Advanced Life Support

2006-07-17
2006-01-2121
The Advanced Integration Matrix (AIM) project at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) was chartered to study and solve systems-level integration issues for exploration missions. One of the first issues identified was an inability to conduct trade studies on control system architectures due to the absence of mature evaluation criteria. Such architectures are necessary to enable integration of regenerative life support systems. A team was formed to address issues concerning software and hardware architectures and system controls.. The team has investigated what is required to integrate controls for the types of non-linear dynamic systems encountered in advanced life support. To this end, a water processing bioreactor testbed is being developed which will enable prototyping and testing of integration strategies and technologies.
Technical Paper

Spacesuit Radiation Shield Design Methods

2006-07-17
2006-01-2110
Meeting radiation protection requirements during EVA is predominantly an operational issue with some potential considerations for temporary shelter. The issue of spacesuit shielding is mainly guided by the potential of accidental exposure when operational and temporary shelter considerations fail to maintain exposures within operational limits. In this case, very high exposure levels are possible which could result in observable health effects and even be life threatening. Under these assumptions, potential spacesuit radiation exposures have been studied using known historical solar particle events to gain insight on the usefulness of modification of spacesuit design in which the control of skin exposure is a critical design issue and reduction of blood forming organ exposure is desirable.
Technical Paper

The Design and Testing of a Fully Redundant Regenerative CO2 Removal System (RCRS) for the Shuttle Orbiter

2001-07-09
2001-01-2420
Research into increased capacity solid amine sorbents has found a candidate (SA9T) that will provide enough increase in cyclic carbon dioxide removal capacity to produce a fully redundant Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System (RCRS). This system will eliminate the need for large quantities of backup LiOH, thus gaining critical storage space on board the shuttle orbiter. This new sorbent has shown an ability to package two fully redundant (four) sorbent beds together with their respective valves, fans and plumbing to create two operationally independent systems. The increase in CO2 removal capacity of the new sorbent will allow these two systems to fit within the envelope presently used by the RCRS. This paper reports on the sub-scale amine testing performed in support of the development effort. In addition, this paper will provide a preliminary design schematic of a fully redundant RCRS.
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

Extravehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool (EVAS_SAT) for Advanced Spacesuit Systems

2007-07-09
2007-01-3208
An effort was initiated by NASA/JSC in 2001 to develop an Extravehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool (EVAS_SAT) for the sizing of Extravehicular Activity System (EVAS) architecture and studies. Its intent was to support space suit development efforts and to aid in conceptual designs for future human exploration missions. Its basis was the Life Support Options Performance Program (LSOPP), a spacesuit and portable life support system (PLSS) sizing program developed for NASA/JSC circa 1990. EVAS_SAT estimates the mass, power, and volume characteristics for user-defined EVAS architectures, including Suit Systems, Airlock Systems, Tools and Translation Aids, and Vehicle Support equipment. The tool has undergone annual changes and has been updated as new data have become available. Certain sizing algorithms have been developed based on industry standards, while others are based on the LSOPP sizing routines.
Technical Paper

Multifunctional Fiber Batteries for Next Generation Space Suits

2007-07-09
2007-01-3173
As next generation space suit concepts enable extravehicular activity (EVA) mission capability to extend beyond anything currently available today, revolutionary advances in life support technologies are required to achieve anticipated NASA mission profiles that may measure years in duration and require hundreds of sorties. Since most life support systems require power, increased mass and volume efficiency of the energy storage materials can have a dramatic impact on reducing the overall weight of next generation space suits. This paper details the development of a multifunctional fiber battery to address these needs.
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

Continuously Regenerable Freeze-Out CO2 Control Technology

2007-07-09
2007-01-3270
Carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology development for portable life support systems (PLSS) has traditionally concentrated in the areas of solid and liquid chemical sorbents and semi-permeable membranes. Most of these systems are too heavy in gravity environments, require prohibitive amounts of consumables for operation on long term planetary missions, or are inoperable on the surface of Mars due to the presence of a CO2 atmosphere. This paper describes the effort performed to mature an innovative CO2 removal technology that meets NASA's planetary mission needs while adhering to the important guiding principles of simplicity, reliability, and operability. A breadboard cryogenic carbon dioxide scrubber for an ejector-based cryogenic PLSS was developed, designed, and tested. The scrubber freezes CO2 and other trace contaminants out of expired ventilation loop gas using cooling available from a liquid oxygen (LOX) based PLSS.
Technical Paper

Overview of Potable Water Systems on Spacecraft Vehicles and Applications for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

2007-07-09
2007-01-3259
Providing water necessary to maintain life support has been accomplished in spacecraft vehicles for over forty years. This paper will investigate how previous U.S. space vehicles provided potable water. The water source for the spacecraft, biocide used to preserve the water on-orbit, water stowage methodology, materials, pumping mechanisms, on-orbit water requirements, and water temperature requirements will be discussed. Where available, the hardware used to provide the water and the general function of that hardware will also be detailed. The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV or Orion) water systems will be generically discussed to provide a glimpse of how similar they are to water systems in previous vehicles. Conclusions, questions, and recommendations on strategies that could be applied to CEV based on previous spacecraft water system lessons learned will be made.
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

IVA/EVA Life Support Umbilical System

2007-07-09
2007-01-3228
For NASA's Constellation Program, an Intravehicular Activity (IVA) and Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Life Support Umbilical System (LSUS) will be required to provide environmental protection to the suited crew during Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) cabin contamination or depressurization and contingency EVAs. The LSUS will provide the crewmember with ventilation, cooling, power, communication, and data, and will also serve as a crew safety restraint during contingency EVAs. The LSUS will interface with the Vehicle Interface Assembly (VIA) in the CEV and the Suit Connector on the suit. This paper describes the effort performed to develop concept designs for IVA and EVA umbilicals, universal multiple connectors, handling aids and stowage systems, and VIAs that meet NASA's mission needs while adhering to the important guiding principles of simplicity, reliability, and operability.
Technical Paper

Wissler Simulations of a Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

2006-07-17
2006-01-2238
In order to provide effective cooling for astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVAs), a liquid cooling and ventilation garment (LCVG) is used to remove heat by a series of tubes through which cooling water is circulated. To better predict the effectiveness of the LCVG and determine possible modifications to improve performance, computer simulations dealing with the interaction of the cooling garment with the human body have been run using the Wissler Human Thermal Model. Simulations have been conducted to predict the heat removal rate for various liquid cooled garment configurations. The current LCVG uses 48 cooling tubes woven into a fabric with cooling water flowing through the tubes. The purpose of the current project is to decrease the overall weight of the LCVG system. In order to achieve this weight reduction, advances in the garment heat removal rates need to be obtained.
Technical Paper

Nanoscale Materials for Human Spaceflight Applications: Regenerable Carbon Dioxide Removal Using Single-wall Carbon Nanotubes

2006-07-17
2006-01-2195
The challenges of missions to the Moon and Mars presents NASA with the need for more advanced life support systems, including better technologies for CO2 removal in spacecraft atmospheres and extravehicular mobility units (EMU). Amine-coated single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) have been proposed as a potential solution because of their high surface area and thermal conductivity. Initial research demonstrated the need for functionalization of SWCNT to obtain optimal adherence of the amine to the SWCNT support phase [1]. Recent efforts focus on the development of new methods to chemically bond amines to SWCNT. Synthesis and characterization methods for these materials are discussed and some preliminary materials characterization data are presented. The CO2 adsorption capacity for several versions of SWCNT supported amine-based CO2 scrubber materials is also determined.
Technical Paper

Phase II Testing of Liquid Cooling Garments Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model

2006-07-17
2006-01-2239
An ADvanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM) developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is used to evaluate NASA’s liquid cooling garments (LCGs) used in advanced spacesuits. The manikin has 120 separate heated/sweating zones and is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermo-regulatory system. Previous testing showed the thermal sensation and comfort followed expected trends as the LCG inlet fluid temperature was changed. The Phase II test data demonstrates the repeatability of ADAM by retesting the baseline LCG. Skin and core temperature predictions using ADAM in an LCG/arctic suit combination are compared to NASA physiological data to validate the manikin/model. An additional Orlan LCG configuration is assessed using the manikin and compared to the baseline LCG.
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

Advanced Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem Packaging Design

2006-07-17
2006-01-2202
This paper discusses the Portable Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) packaging design work done by the NASA and Hamilton Sundstrand in support of the 3 future space missions; Lunar, Mars and zero-g. The goal is to seek ways to reduce the weight of PLSS packaging, and at the same time, develop a packaging scheme that would make PLSS technology changes less costly than the current packaging methods. This study builds on the results of NASA's in-house 1998 study, which resulted in the “Flex PLSS” concept. For this study the present EMU schematic (low earth orbit) was used so that the work team could concentrate on the packaging. The Flex PLSS packaging is required to: protect, connect, and hold the PLSS and its components together internally and externally while providing access to PLSS components internally for maintenance and for technology change without extensive redesign impact. The goal of this study was two fold: 1.
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

Emergency Oxygen System Evaluation for Exploration PLSS Applications

2006-07-17
2006-01-2208
The Portable Life Support System (PLSS) emergency oxygen system is being reexamined for the next generation of suits. These suits will be used for transit to Low Earth Orbit, the Moon and to Mars as well as on the surface of the Moon and Mars. Currently, the plan is that there will be two different sets of suits, but there is a strong desire for commonality between them for construction purposes. The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate what the emergency PLSS requirements are and how they might best be implemented. Options under consideration are enlarging the tanks on the PLSS, finding an alternate method of storage/delivery, or providing additional O2 from an external source. The system that shows the most promise is the cryogenic oxygen system with a composite dewar which uses a buddy system to split the necessary oxygen between two astronauts.
Technical Paper

Development of a Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator

2006-07-17
2006-01-2217
Sublimators have been used for heat rejection for a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Sublimators are excellent candidates for heat rejection devices on future vehicles like the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), and future spacesuits. One of the drawbacks of previous designs was sensitivity to contamination in the feedwater. Undissolved contaminants can be removed with filters, but dissolved contaminants would be left in the pores of the porous plates in which the feedwater freezes and sublimates. These contaminants build up and clog the relatively small pores (~3–6 μm), thereby blocking the flow of the feedwater, reducing the available area for freezing and sublimation, and degrading the performance of the sublimator. For the X-38 program, a new sublimator design was developed by NASA-JSC that is less sensitive to contaminants.
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