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Technical Paper

Cascade Distillation Subsystem Development: Progress Toward a Distillation Comparison Test

2009-07-12
2009-01-2401
Recovery of potable water from wastewater is essential to the success of long-duration human missions to the moon and Mars. Honeywell International and a team from the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) are developing a wastewater processing subsystem that is based on centrifugal vacuum distillation. The wastewater processor, which is referred to as the cascade distillation subsystem (CDS), uses an efficient multistage thermodynamic process to produce purified water. A CDS unit employing a five-stage distiller engine was designed, built, and delivered to the NASA JSC Advanced Water Recovery Systems Development Facility for performance testing; an initial round of testing was completed in fiscal year 2008 (FY08). Based, in part, on FY08 testing, the system is now in development to support an Exploration Life Support Project distillation comparison test that is expected to begin in 2009.
Technical Paper

Development of a Test Facility for Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation

2007-07-09
2007-01-3161
Development of new air revitalization system (ARS) technology can initially be performed in a subscale laboratory environment, but in order to advance the maturity level, the technology must be tested in an end-to-end integrated environment. The Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF) at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) serves as a ground test bed for evaluating emerging ARS technologies in an environment representative of spacecraft atmospheres. At the center of the ARTEF is a hypobaric chamber which serves as a sealed atmospheric chamber for closed loop testing. A Human Metabolic Simulator (HMS) was custom-built to simulate the consumption of oxygen, and production of carbon dioxide, moisture and heat by up to eight persons. A variety of gas analyzers and dew point sensors are used to monitor the chamber atmosphere and the process flow upstream and downstream of a test article. A robust vacuum system is needed to simulate the vacuum of space.
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

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

2007-07-09
2007-01-3248
This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Technical Paper

Thermal Engineering of Mars Entry Carbon/Carbon Non-Ablative Aeroshell - Part 2

2000-07-10
2000-01-2404
Candidate Aeroshell Test models composed of a quasi-isotropic Carbon/Carbon(C/C) front face sheet (F/S), eggcrate core, C/C back F/S, Carbon Aerogel insulation, C/C radiation shield and the C/C close-out were constructed based on the analytical temperature predictions presented in Part One of this work[1]. The analytical results obtained for a simulated Mars entry of a 2.9 meter diameter cone shaped Carbon-Carbon Aeroshell demonstrated the feasibility of the design. These results showed that the maximum temperature the front F/S reached during the decent was 1752 °C with the resulting rear temperature reaching 326 °C in the thermal model. Part Two of this work documents the thermal modeling and correlation for the Mars Aeroshell test sample and fixture. A finite difference, SINDA/G, thermal math model of the test fixture and sample was generated and correlated to data from an arc jet test conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center's interactive heating facility.
Technical Paper

The Mars Thermal Environment and Radiator Characterization (MTERC) Experiment

2000-07-10
2000-01-2402
Radiators will be used on Mars to reject excess heat from various processes and surfaces and will help temper the climate of any future manned habitats. Radiator performance is a function of the radiator size (area), the emissivity, ε, of the radiator surface, the radiator temperature, local environmental conditions, and the effective sky temperature to which it radiates. The effective sky temperature of Mars is not known. Previous estimates have ranged between 80 K to 170 K. Also, it is not known how dust accumulation and other environmental effects act to change the performance of a radiator as a function of time. The MTERC Experiment is designed to gather data to address these unknowns. This paper will describe the operational theory and the configuration of the MTERC experiment hardware and will discuss results of MTERC performance testing.
Technical Paper

Early Results of an Integrated Water Recovery System Test

2001-07-09
2001-01-2210
The work presented in this paper summarizes the early results of an integrated advanced water recovery system test conducted by the Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) at NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC). The system design and the results of the first two months of operation are presented. The overall objective of this test is to demonstrate the capability of an integrated advanced water recovery system to produce potable quality water for at least six months. Each subsystem is designed for operation in microgravity. The primary treatment system consists of a biological system for organic carbon and ammonia removal. Dissolved solids are removed by reverse osmosis and air evaporation systems. Finally, ion exchange technology in combination with photolysis or photocatalysis is used for polishing of the effluent water stream. The wastewater stream consists of urine and urine flush water, hygiene wastewater and a simulated humidity condensate.
Technical Paper

Capillary Limit in a Loop Heat Pipe with Dual Evaporators

2002-07-15
2002-01-2503
This paper describes a study on the capillary limit of a loop heat pipe (LHP) with two evaporators and two condensers. Both theoretical analysis and experimental investigation are performed. Experimental tests conducted include heat load to one evaporator only, even heat loads to both evaporators, and uneven heat loads to both evaporators. Test results show that after the capillary limit is exceeded, vapor will penetrate through the wick of the weaker evaporator, and the compensation chamber (CC) of that evaporator will control the loop operating temperature regardless of which CC has been in control prior to the event. Because the evaporator can tolerate vapor bubbles, the loop can continue to work after vapor penetration. As the loop operating temperature increases, the system pressure drop actually decreases due to a decrease in liquid and vapor viscosities. Thus, the loop may reach a new steady state at a higher operating temperature after vapor penetration.
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

Sojourner Mars Rover Thermal Performance

1998-07-13
981685
The Sojourner Rover landed on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Mission. The mission lasted almost three months during which the thermal design of the Rover was tested. This paper summarizes the Rover's design and performance as well as post-mission model correlation.
Technical Paper

Sorbent Bed Acquisition and Compression of Carbon Dioxide from the Mars Atmosphere

2000-07-10
2000-01-2237
Human exploration of Mars as well as unmanned sample return missions from Mars can benefit greatly from the use of propellants produced from the resources available from the atmosphere of Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production (ISPP) system is to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Mars atmosphere and compress it for further chemical processing. One system that performs this step is called a Mars Atmosphere Acquisition and Compression (MAAC) unit. A simple prototype MAAC was developed by JPL as part of the Mars ISPP Precursor (MIP) experiment package for inclusion on the Mars 2001 Surveyor Lander. The MAAC consists of a valved enclosure packed with a sorbent material which selectively adsorbs CO2 from the Mars atmosphere (valves open), desorbs and compresses the acquired CO2 by heating (valves closed) and then delivers the pressurized CO2 to an oxygen generating system where the CO2 is electrolyzed to produce oxygen.
Technical Paper

Testing of an Integrated Air Revitalization System

1995-07-01
951661
Long-duration missions in space will require regenerative air revitalization processes. Human testing of these regenerative processes is necessary to provide focus to the system development process and to provide realistic metabolic and hygiene inputs. To this end, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), under the sponsorship of NASA Headquarters Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, is implementing an Early Human Testing (EHT) Project. As part of this project, an integrated physicochemical Air Revitalization System (ARS) is being developed and tested in JSC's Life Support Systems Integration Facility (LSSIF). The components of the ARS include a Four-Bed Molecular Sieve (4BMS) Subsystem for carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, a Sabatier CO2 Reduction Subsystem (CRS), and a Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE)™ Oxygen Generation Subsystem (OGS). A Trace Contaminant Control Subsystem (TCCS) will be incorporated at a later date.
Technical Paper

Dehumidification Via Membrane Separation for Space-Based Applications

1988-07-01
881037
This paper describes the development of a membrane-based dehumidification process for space-based applications, such as spacecraft cabins and extra-vehicular-activity (EVA) space suits. Results presented are from 1) screening tests conducted to determine the efficacy of various membranes to separate water vapor from air, and 2) parametric and long-term tests of membranes operated at conditions that simulate the range of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity [RH]) expected in the planned space station. Also included in this paper is a discussion of preliminary designs of membrane-based dehumidification processes for the space station and EVA space suits. These designs result in compact and energy-efficient systems that offer significant advantages over conventional dehumidification processes.
Technical Paper

Progress on Development of the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility

1995-07-01
951691
NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has included as part of its long-range planning 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. As the designated NASA Field Center responsible for integration and testing of advanced life support systems, Johnson Space Center has undertaken the development of such a facility--the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility (HRTF). As conceived, the HRTF is an interconnected five-chamber facility with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting a test crew of four for periods exceeding one year. The life support system which sustains the crew consists of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform air revitalization, water recovery, food production, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated control and monitoring functions.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design and Flight Experience of the Mars Exploration Rover Spacecraft Computer-Controlled, Propulsion Line Heaters

2004-07-19
2004-01-2412
As part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 and successfully landed both of them on Mars in January of 2004. The cruise stage of each spacecraft (S/C) housed most of the hardware needed to complete the cruise from Earth to Mars, including the propulsion system. Propulsion lines brought hydrazine propellant from tanks under the cruise stage to attitude-control thrusters located on the periphery of the cruise stage. Hydrazine will freeze in the propellant lines if it reaches temperatures below 1.7°C. Thermal control of the propulsion lines was a mission critical function of the thermal subsystem; a frozen propellant line could have resulted in loss of attitude control and complete loss of the S/C.
Technical Paper

Advanced Integration Matrix Education Outreach

2004-07-19
2004-01-2481
The Advanced Integration Matrix (AIM) will design a ground-based test facility for developing revolutionary integrated systems for joint human-robotic missions in order to study and solve systems-level integration issues for exploration missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This paper describes development plans for educational outreach activities related to technological and operational integration scenarios similar to the challenges that will be encountered through this project. The education outreach activities will provide hands-on, interactive exercises to allow students of all levels to experience design and operational challenges similar to what NASA deals with everyday in performing the integration of complex missions. These experiences will relate to and impact students' everyday lives by demonstrating how their interests in science and engineering can develop into future careers, and reinforcing the concepts of teamwork and conflict resolution.
Technical Paper

Mars Exploration Rover Thermal Test Program Overview

2004-07-19
2004-01-2310
In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landed on the surface of Mars to begin their mission as robotic geologists. A year prior to these historic landings, both rovers and the spacecraft that delivered them to Mars, were completing a series of environmental tests in facilities at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This paper describes the test program undertaken to validate the thermal design and verify the workmanship integrity of both rovers and the spacecraft. The spacecraft, which contained the rover within the aeroshell, were tested in a 7.5 m diameter thermal vacuum chamber. Thermal balance was performed for the near earth (hot case) condition and for the near Mars (cold case) condition. A solar simulator was used to provide the solar boundary condition on the solar array. IR lamps were used to simulate the solar heat load on the aeroshell for the off-sun attitudes experienced by the spacecraft during its cruise to Mars.
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.
Technical Paper

Immobilized Microbe Microgravity Water Processing System (IMMWPS) Flight Experiment Integrated Ground Test Program

2002-07-15
2002-01-2355
This paper provides an overview of the IMMWPS Integrated Ground Test Program, completed at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) during October and November 2001. The JSC Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) has developed the IMMWPS orbital flight experiment to test the feasibility of a microbe-based water purifier for use in zero-gravity conditions. The IMMWPS design utilizes a Microbial Processor Assembly (MPA) inoculated with facultative anaerobes to convert organic contaminants in wastewater to carbon dioxide and biomass. The primary purpose of the ground test program was to verify functional operations and procedures. A secondary objective was to provide initial ground data for later comparison to on-orbit performance. This paper provides a description of the overall test program, including the test article hardware and the test sequence performed to simulate the anticipated space flight test program. In addition, a summary of significant results from the testing is provided.
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