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Technical Paper

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle

2006-07-17
2006-01-2219
The design of a vacuum-swing adsorption process to remove metabolic water, metabolic carbon dioxide, and metabolic and equipment generated trace contaminant gases from the crew exploration vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. For the CEV, the sorbent-based atmosphere revitalization (SBAR) system must remove all metabolic water, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. Design and development of a prototype SBAR, a full scale and subscale facility test stand, and other aspects of the SBAR development program is discussed.
Technical Paper

Space Laboratory on a Tabletop – A Next Generation ECLSS Design and Diagnostic Tool

2005-07-11
2005-01-2766
This paper describes the development plan for a comprehensive research and diagnostic tool for aspects of advanced life support systems in space-based laboratories. Specifically, it aims to build a high fidelity tabletop model that can be used for the purpose of risk mitigation, failure mode analysis, contamination tracking, and testing reliability. The work envisions a comprehensive approach involving experimental work coupled with numerical simulation to develop this diagnostic tool. The use of an index matching fluid (fluid that matches the refractive index of cast acrylic, the model material) allows making the entire model (with complex internal geometry) transparent and hence conducive to non-intrusive optical diagnostics. Experimental and modeling work to date will be presented.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion Potential in the International Space Station Internal Active Thermal Control System Heat Exchanger Materials: A 6-Month Study

2005-07-11
2005-01-3077
The fluid in the Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) of the International Space Station (ISS) is water based. The fluid in the ISS Laboratory Module and Node 1 initially contained a mix of water, phosphate (corrosion control), borate (pH buffer), and silver sulfate (Ag2SO4) (microbial control) at a pH of 9.5±0.5. Over time, the chemistry of the fluid changed. Fluid changes included a pH drop from 9.5 to 8.3 due to diffusion of carbon dioxide (CO2) through Teflon® (DuPont) hoses, increases in dissolved nickel (Ni) levels, deposition of silver (Ag) to metal surfaces, and precipitation of the phosphate (PO4) as nickel phosphate (NiPO4). The drop in pH and unavailability of a antimicrobial has provided an environment conducive to microbial growth. Microbial levels in the fluid have increased from <10 colony-forming units (CFUs)/100 mL to 106 CFUs/100 mL.
Technical Paper

Advanced Fiber-Optic Monitoring System for Space-flight Applications

2005-07-11
2005-01-2877
Researchers at Luna Innovations Inc. and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) are developing an integrated fiber-optic sensor system for real-time monitoring of chemical contaminants and whole-cell bacterial pathogens in water. The system integrates interferometric and evanescent-wave optical fiber-based sensing methodologies to provide versatile measurement capability for both micro- and nano-scale analytes. Sensors can be multiplexed in an array format and embedded in a totally self-contained laboratory card for use with an automated microfluidics platform.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (ISS CDRA) Concepts and Advancements

2005-07-11
2005-01-2892
An important aspect of air revitalization for life support in spacecraft is the removal of carbon dioxide from cabin air. Several types of carbon dioxide removal systems are in use or have been proposed for use in spacecraft life support systems. These systems rely on various removal techniques that employ different architectures and media for scrubbing CO2, such as permeable membranes, liquid amine, adsorbents, and absorbents. Sorbent systems have been used since the first manned missions. The current state of key technology is the existing International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA), a system that selectively removes carbon dioxide from the cabin atmosphere. The CDRA system was launched aboard UF-2 in February 2001 and resides in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory module. During the past four years, the CDRA system has experienced operational limitations.
Journal Article

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System 2008/2009

2009-07-12
2009-01-2445
The design and evaluation of a Vacuum-Swing Adsorption (VSA) system to remove metabolic water and metabolic carbon dioxide from a spacecraft atmosphere is presented. The approach for Orion and Altair is a VSA system that removes not only 100 percent of the metabolic CO2 from the atmosphere, but also 100% of the metabolic water as well, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. The design and development of an Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Sorbent Based Atmosphere Revitalization system, including test articles, a facility test stand, and full-scale testing in late 2008 and early 2009 is discussed.
Technical Paper

Life Support Requirements and Technology Challenges for NASA's Constellation Program

2008-06-29
2008-01-2018
NASA's Constellation Program, which includes the mission objectives of establishing a permanently-manned lunar Outpost, and the exploration of Mars, poses new and unique challenges for human life support systems that will require solutions beyond the Shuttle and International Space Station state of the art systems. In particular, the requirement to support crews for extended durations at the lunar outpost with limited resource resupply capability will require closed-loop regenerative life support systems with minimal expendables. Planetary environmental conditions such as lunar dust and extreme temperatures, as well as the capability to support frequent and extended-duration Extra-vehicular Activity's (EVA's) will be particularly challenging.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle 2007/2008

2008-06-29
2008-01-2082
The design of a Vacuum-Swing Adsorption (VSA) system to remove metabolic water and metabolic carbon dioxide from the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. The approach for Orion is a VSA system that removes not only 100 percent of the metabolic CO2 from the atmosphere, but also 100% of the metabolic water as well, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. The design and development of the Sorbent Based Atmosphere Regeneration (SBAR) system, including test articles, a facility test stand, and full-scale testing in late 2007 and early 2008 is discussed.
Technical Paper

Crew Exploration Vehicle Environmental Control and Life Support Design Reference Missions

2007-07-09
2007-01-3041
In preparation for the contract award of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) produced two design reference missions for the vehicle. The design references used teams of engineers across the agency to come up with two configurations. This process helped NASA understand the conflicts and limitations in the CEV design, and investigate options to solve them.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle 2006/2007

2007-07-09
2007-01-3254
The design of a vacuum-swing adsorption process to remove metabolic water, metabolic carbon dioxide, and metabolic and equipment generated trace contaminant gases from the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. For Orion, the approach is taken that all metabolic water must be removed by the Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System (SBAR), a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. Design and development of a prototype SBAR, a facility test stand, and subsequent testing of the SBAR in late 2006 and early 2007 is discussed.
Technical Paper

Status of the International Space Station Nodes 2/3 Environmental Control and Life Support System

2002-07-15
2002-01-2490
The International Space Station (ISS) modules Nodes 2 and 3 are progressing through the design phase into integration, test, and verification. This paper gives a status of the Nodes 2 and 3 Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) design progress since 1999 (ICES paper 1999-01-2146). The Node 2 Design Review 2 was completed in March 2001. Node 2 is currently in the hardware integration/test phase at Alenia Spazio. The ECLSS for Node 2 includes inter- and intramodule ventilation, temperature and humidity control, distribution of atmosphere samples, low pressure and recharge oxygen and nitrogen, fuel cell and wastewater, and fire detection and suppression. Changes/challenges since 1999 have included the addition of a low temperature loop coolant bypass around the Common Cabin Air Assembly condensing heat exchanger and resolution of common hardware and verification issues. The current status of hardware integration and testing is also discussed.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: International Space Station Recipient Mode Test Results and Lessons Learned

1997-07-01
972375
A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the Water Recovery and Management (WRM) system and Waste Management (WM) urinal design for the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) of the International Space Station (ISS). Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 128 days in recipient mode configuration to evaluate the accumulation of contaminants in the water system and to assess the performance of various modifications to the WRM and WM hardware. No accumulation of contaminants were detected in the product water over the course of the recipient mode test. An additional 18 days were conducted in donor mode to assess the ability of the system to removal viral contaminants, to monitor the breakthrough of organic contaminants through the multifiltration bed, and for resolving anomalies that occurred during the test.
Technical Paper

Summary of Current and Future MSFC International Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support System Activities

1997-07-01
972331
The paper provides a summary of current work accomplished under technical task agreement (TTA) by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) regarding the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) as well as future planning activities in support of the International Space Station(ISS).Current activities computer model development, component design and development, subsystem/integrated system testing, life testing, and government furnished equipment delivered to the ISS program. A long range plan for the MSFC ECLSS test facility is described whereby the current facility would be upgraded to support integrated station ECLSS operations. ECLSS technology development efforts proposed to be performed under the Advanced Engineering Technology Development (AETD) program are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Enhancing the Human Factors Engineering Role in an Austere Fiscal Environment

2003-07-07
2003-01-2538
An austere fiscal environment in the aerospace community creates pressure to reduce program costs, often minimizing or even deleting human interface requirements from the design process. With the assumption that the flight crew can recover, in real time, from a poorly human factored space vehicle design, the classical crew interface requirements have either been not included in the design or not properly funded, even though they are carried as requirements. Cost cuts have also affected the quality of retained human factors engineering personnel. Planning is ongoing to correct these issues. Herein are techniques for ensuring that human interface requirements are integrated with flight design from proposal through verification and launch activation.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Sustaining Engineering: A Ground-Based Test Bed for Evaluating Integrated Environmental Control and Life Support System and Internal Thermal Control System Flight Performance

2000-07-10
2000-01-2249
As the International Space Station's (ISS's) various habitable modules are placed in service on orbit, the need to provide for sustaining engineering becomes increasingly important to ensure the proper function of critical onboard systems. Chief among these are the environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) and the internal thermal control system (ITCS). Without either, life on board the ISS would prove difficult or nearly impossible. For this reason, a ground-based ECLSS/ITCS hardware performance simulation capability has been developed at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The ECLSS/ITCS sustaining engineering test bed will be used to assist the ISS program in resolving hardware anomalies and performing periodic performance assessments. The ISS flight configuration being simulated by the test bed is described as well as ongoing activities related to its preparation for supporting ISS Mission 5A.
Technical Paper

Vapor Compression Distillation Urine Processor Lessons Learned from Development and Life Testing

1999-07-12
1999-01-1954
Vapor Compression Distillation (VCD) is the chosen technology for urine processing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Development and life testing over the past several years have brought to the forefront problems and solutions for the VCD technology. Testing between 1992 and 1998 has been instrumental in developing estimates of hardware life and reliability. It has also helped improve the hardware design in ways that either correct existing problems or enhance the existing design of the hardware. The testing has increased the confidence in the VCD technology and reduced technical and programmatic risks. This paper summarizes the test results and changes that have been made to the VCD design.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: Closed Hygiene and Potable Loop Test Results and Lesson Learned

1992-07-01
921117
A series of tests has been conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the performance of a Space Station Freedom (SSF) pre-development water recovery system. Potable, hygiene, and urine reclamation subsystems were integrated with end-use equipment items and successfully operated for a total of 35 days, including 23 days in closed-loop mode with man-in-the-loop. Although several significant subsystem physical anomalies were encountered, reclaimed potable and hygiene water routinely met current SSF water quality specifications. This paper summarizes the test objectives, system design, test activities/protocols, significant results/anomalies, and major lessons learned.
Technical Paper

Process Material Management in the Space Station Environment

1988-07-01
880996
The Space Station provides a unique facility for conducting material processing and life science experiments under microgravity conditions. These conditions place special requirements on the U.S. Laboratory for storing and transporting chemicals and process fluids, reclaiming water from selected experiments, treating and storing experiment wastes, and providing vacuum utilities. To meet these needs and provide a safe laboratory environment, the Process Material Management System (PMMS) is being developed. Preliminary design requirements and concepts related to the PMMS are addressed in addition to discussing the MSFC PMMS breadboard test facility and a preliminary plan for validating the overall system design. The system contains a fluid handling subsystem which manages process fluids required by each experiment while a chemical storage facility safely stores potentially hazardous chemicals.
Technical Paper

Aquatic Biofilms and Their Responses to Disinfection and Invading Species

1992-07-01
921211
A primary concern in creating a water reclamation system for long-duration manned space flight is the control of microbial contamination which can jeopardize water quality, compromise human health, and degrade constituent materials of the system. The microbial ecology facility in the Analytical and Physical Chemistry Branch of the Materials and Processes Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is addressing this concern by means of experiments investigating the interaction of bacterial species in the development of a biofilm and their response to the introduction of additional species or to disinfection. Both static and recycling water systems are used. In static experiments, varied sequence and timing of species introduction in binary bacterial biofilms on 316L stainless steel elucidate the mechanisms involved in biofilm formation.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Integrated Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem Testing

1996-07-01
961519
Testing of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. Laboratory baseline configuration of the Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem (ARS) by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been conducted as part of the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) design and development program. This testing addressed specific questions with respect to the control and performance of the baseline ARS subassemblies in the ISS U.S. Laboratory configuration. The test used pressurized oxygen injection, a mass spectrometric major constituent analyzer (MCA), a four-bed molecular sieve carbon dioxide removal assembly (CDRA), and a trace contaminant control subassembly (TCCS) to maintain the atmospheric composition in a sealed chamber within ISS specifications. Human metabolic processes for a crew of four are simulated according to projected ISS mission timelines. The Integrated ARS Test (IART) builds upon previous integrated ECLSS testing conducted at MSFC between 1987 and 1992.
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