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Technical Paper

ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project - 2006 Update

2006-07-17
2006-01-2161
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered.
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

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Engineering Development Unit

2007-07-09
2007-01-3205
Hamilton Sundstrand is under contract with the NASA Johnson Space Center to develop a scalable, evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It is being designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. A MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. The current Space Shuttle configuration utilizes an ammonia boiler and flash evaporator system to achieve cooling at all altitudes. With the MFE system, both functions are combined into a single compact package with significant weight reduction and improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing cross-sectional area to keep the back pressure low. Its multiple layer construction allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate.
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

Performance Testing of an Advanced Lightweight Freezable Radiator

2006-07-17
2006-01-2232
During extravehicular activities (EVAs) it is crucial to keep the astronaut comfortable. Currently, a sublimator rejects to space both the astronaut's metabolic heat and that produced by the Portable Life Support System. In doing so, it consumes up to 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water; the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. While acceptable for low earth orbit, resupply for moon and interplanetary missions will be too costly. Fortunately, the amount of water consumed can be greatly reduced if most of the heat load is radiated to space. However, the radiator must reject heat at the same rate that it is generated to prevent heat stroke or frostbite. Herein, we report on a freezable radiator and heat exchanger to proportionally control the heat rejection rate.
Technical Paper

Recent Operational Experience with the Internal Thermal Control System Dual-Membrane Gas Trap

2004-07-19
2004-01-2428
A dual-membrane gas trap is currently used to remove gas bubbles from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) coolant on board the International Space Station. The gas trap consists of concentric tube membrane pairs, comprised of outer hydrophilic tubes and inner hydrophobic fibers. Liquid coolant passes through the outer hydrophilic membrane, which traps the gas bubbles. The inner hydrophobic fiber allows the trapped gas bubbles to pass through and vent to the ambient atmosphere in the cabin. The gas removal performance and operational lifetime of the gas trap have been affected by contamination in the ITCS coolant. However, the gas trap has performed flawlessly with regard to its purpose of preventing gas bubbles from causing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pump. This paper discusses on-orbit events over the course of the last year related to the performance and functioning of the gas trap.
Technical Paper

Effects of Surfactant Contamination on the Next Generation Gas Trap for the ISS Internal Thermal Control System

2004-07-19
2004-01-2429
The current dual-membrane gas trap is designed to remove gas bubbles from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) coolant on board the International Space Station (ISS). To date it has successfully served its purpose of preventing gas bubbles from causing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pumps. However, contamination in the ITCS coolant has adversely affected the gas venting rate and lifetime of the gas trap, warranting a development effort for a next-generation gas trap. Previous testing has shown that a hydrophobic-only design is capable of performing even better than the current dual-membrane design for both steady-state gas removal and gas slug removal in clean deionized water. This paper presents results of testing to evaluate the effects of surfactant contamination on the steady-state performance of the hydrophobic-only design.
Technical Paper

Freeze Tolerant Radiator for Advanced EMU

2004-07-19
2004-01-2263
The current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) system provides thermal control using a sublimator to reject both the heat produced by the astronaut's metabolic activity as well as the heat produced by the Portable Life Support Unit (PLSS). This sublimator vents up to eight pounds of water each Extravehicular Activity (EVA). If this load could be radiated to space, the amount of water that would need to be sublimated could be greatly reduced. There is enough surface area on the EMU that almost all of the heat can be rejected by radiation. Radiators, however, reject heat at a relatively constant rate, while the astronaut generates heat at a variable rate. To accommodate this variable heat load, NASA is developing a new freeze tolerant radiator where the tubes can selectively freeze to “turn down” the radiator and adjust to the heat rejection requirement. This radiator design significantly reduces the amount of expendable water needed for the sublimator.
Technical Paper

Inhibition of Biofilm Formation on the Service and Performance Heat Exchanger by Quorum Sensing Inhibition

2007-07-09
2007-01-3143
Shortly after installation of the service and performance heat exchanger (SPCU HX) in 2001, samples collected from the coolant fluid indicated the presence of nickel accompanied by a subsequent decrease in phosphate concentration along with a high microbial load. When the SPCU HX was replaced and evaluated post-flight, it was expected that the heat exchanger would have significant biofilm and corrosion present given the composition of the coolant fluid; however, there was no evidence of either. Early results from two experiments imply that the heat exchanger materials themselves are inhibiting biofilm formation. This paper discusses the results of one set of experiments and puts forward the inhibition of quorum sensing as a possible mechanism for the lack of biofilm formation.
Technical Paper

Lightweight, Flexible, and Freezable Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2008-06-29
2008-01-2112
We have completed preliminary tests that show the feasibility of an innovative concept for a spacesuit thermal control system using a lightweight, flexible heat pump/radiator. The heat pump/radiator is part of a regenerable LiCI/water absorption cooling device that absorbs an astronaut's metabolic heat and rejects it to the environment via thermal radiation at a relatively high temperature. We identified key design specifications for the system, demonstrated that it is feasible to fabricate the flexible radiator, measured the heat rejection capability of the radiator, and assessed the effects on overall mass of the PLSS. We specified system design features that will enable the flexible absorber/radiator to operate in a wide range of space exploration environments. The materials used to fabricate the flexible absorber/radiator samples were all found to be low off-gassing and many have already been qualified for use in space.
Technical Paper

A Test Plan for Sensitivity of Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Systems to Potable Water Constituents, Contaminants and Air Bubbles

2008-06-29
2008-01-2113
The Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is the baseline heat rejection technology selected for development for the Constellation lunar suit. The first SWME prototype, designed, built, and tested at Johnson Space Center in 1999 used a Teflon hydrophobic porous membrane sheet shaped into an annulus to provide cooling to the coolant loop through water evaporation to the vacuum of space. This present study describes the test methodology and planning to compare the test performance of three commercially available hollow fiber materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME, in particular, a porous hydrophobic polypropylene, and two variants that employ ion exchange through non-porous hydrophilic modified Nafion. Contamination tests will be performed to probe for sensitivities of the candidate SWME elements to ordinary constituents that are expected to be found in the potable water provided by the vehicle, the target feedwater source.
Technical Paper

Ventilation Transport Trade Study for Future Space Suit Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-2115
A new and advanced portable life support system (PLSS) for space suit surface exploration will require a durable, compact, and energy efficient system to transport the ventilation stream through the space suit. Current space suits used by NASA circulate the ventilation stream via a ball-bearing supported centrifugal fan. As NASA enters the design phase for the next generation PLSS, it is necessary to evaluate available technologies to determine what improvements can be made in mass, volume, power, and reliability for a ventilation transport system. Several air movement devices already designed for commercial, military, and space applications are optimized in these areas and could be adapted for EVA use. This paper summarizes the efforts to identify and compare the latest fan and bearing technologies to determine candidates for the next generation PLSS.
Technical Paper

Overview of NASA's Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project

2009-07-12
2009-01-2436
NASA's Constellation Program includes the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, are manned space vehicles while the third element is broader and includes several subelements including Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The upcoming planned missions involving these systems and vehicles include several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal environment, many of these risks and challenges are associated with the vehicles' thermal control system. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) includes the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP consists of several technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned risks and design challenges is the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project.
Technical Paper

Advanced Design Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2009-07-12
2009-01-2406
Absorption cooling using a lithium chloride/water heat pump can enable lightweight and effective thermal control for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suits without venting water to the environment. The key components in the system are an absorber/radiator that rejects heat to space and a flexible evaporation cooling garment that absorbs heat from the crew member, This paper describes progress in the design, development, and testing of the absorber/radiator and evaporation cooling garment. New design concepts and fabrication approaches will significantly reduce the mass of the absorber/radiator. We have also identified materials and demonstrated fabrication approaches for production of a flexible evaporation cooling garment, Data from tests of the system's modular components have validated the design models and allowed predictions of the size and weight of a complete system.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Prototype

2008-06-29
2008-01-2166
Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a scalable evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It was designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. The MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. This system combines the functions of the Space Shuttle flash evaporator and ammonia boiler into a single compact package with improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing surface area to keep the back pressure low. The multiple layer construction of the core allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate. A full-scale unit uses multiple core sections that, combined with a novel control scheme, manage the risk of freezing the heat exchanger cores. A four-core MFE prototype was built in 2007.
Technical Paper

Development of the Next Generation Gas Trap for the Space Station Internal Thermal Control System

2003-07-07
2003-01-2566
The current dual-membrane gas trap is designed to remove non-condensed gases (NCG) from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) coolant on board the International Space Station (ISS). To date it has successfully served its purpose of preventing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pump. However, contamination in the ITCS coolant has adversely affected the gas venting rate and lifetime of the gas trap, warranting a development effort for a next-generation gas trap. Design goals are to meet or exceed the current requirements to (1) include greater operating ranges and conditions, (2) eliminate reliance on the current hydrophilic tube fabrication process, and (3) increase operational life and tolerance to particulate and microbial growth fouling.
Technical Paper

The State of ISS ATCS Design, Assembly and Operation

2003-07-07
2003-01-2513
The International Space Station (ISS) Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) (Ref. 1,2) has changed over the past several years to address problems and to improve its assembly and operation on-orbit. This paper captures the ways in which the Internal (I) ATCS and External (E) ATCS have changed design characteristics and operations both for the system currently operating on-orbit and the new elements of the system that are about to be added and/or activated. The rationale for changes in ATCS design, assembly and operation will provide insights into the lessons learned during ATCS development. The state of the assembly of the integrated ATCS will be presented to provide a status of the build-up of the system. The capabilities of the on-orbit system will be presented with a summary of the elements of the ISS ATCS that are functional on-orbit plus the plans for launch of remaining parts of the integrated ISS ATCS.
Technical Paper

Enhanced Performance Evaporative Heat Sinks for Space Applications

1998-07-13
981779
An evaporative heat sink has been designed and built by AlliedSignal for NASA's Johnson Space Center. The unit is a demonstrator of a primary heat exchanger for NASA's prototype Crew Return Vehicle (CRV), designated the X-38. The primary heat exchanger is responsible for rejecting the heat produced by both the flight crew and the avionics. Spacecraft evaporative heat sinks utilize space vacuum as a resource to control the vapor pressure of a liquid. For the X-38, water has been chosen as the heat transport fluid. A portion of this coolant flow is bled off for use as the evaporant. At sufficiently low pressures, the water can be made to boil at temperatures approaching its freezing point. Heat transferred to liquid water in this state will cause the liquid to evaporate, thus creating a heat sink for the spacecraft's coolant loop. The CRV mission requires the heat exchanger to be compact and low in mass.
Technical Paper

Proof of Concept High Lift Heat Pump for a Lunar Base

1998-07-13
981683
When a permanent human outpost is established on the Moon, various methods may be used to reject the heat generated by the base. One proposed concept is the use of a heat pump operating with a vertical, flow-through thermal radiator mounted on a Space Station type habitation module [1]. Since the temperature of the lunar surface varies over the day, the vertical radiator sink temperatures can reach much higher levels than the comfort and even survivability requirements of a habitation module. A high temperature lift heat pump will not only maintain a comfortable habitation module temperature, but will also decrease the size of the radiators needed to reject the waste heat. Thus, the heat pump will also decrease the mass of the entire thermal system. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) have tested a High Lift Heat Pump design and are developing the next generation heat pump based on information and experience gained from this testing.
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