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Technical Paper

Performance Characterization of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization Based on Integrated Tests with Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reduction Assemblies

2006-07-17
2006-01-2126
CO2 removal, recovery and reduction are essential processes for a closed loop air revitalization system in a crewed spacecraft. Typically, a compressor is required to recover the low pressure CO2 that is being removed from the spacecraft in a swing bed adsorption system. This paper describes integrated tests of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor (TSAC) with high-fidelity systems for carbon dioxide removal and reduction assemblies (CDRA and Sabatier reactor). It also provides details of the TSAC operation at various CO2 loadings. The TSAC is a solid-state compressor that has the capability to remove CO2 from a low-pressure source, and subsequently store, compress, and deliver it at a higher pressure. TSAC utilizes the principle of temperature-swing adsorption compression and has no rapidly moving parts.
Technical Paper

Guidance for Trade Studies of Flight-Equivalent Hardware

2007-07-09
2007-01-3223
Spacecraft hardware trade studies compare options primarily on mass while considering impacts to cost, risk, and schedule. Historically, other factors have been considered in these studies, such as reliability, technology readiness level (TRL), volume and crew time. In most cases, past trades compared two or more technologies across functional and TRL boundaries, which is an uneven comparison of the technologies. For example, low TRL technologies with low mass were traded directly against flight-proven hardware without consideration for requirements and the derived architecture. To provide for even comparisons of spacecraft hardware, trades need to consider functionality, mission constraints, integer vs. real number of flight hardware units, and mass growth allowances by TRL.
Technical Paper

Characterization of the Three Phase Catalytic Wet Oxidation Process in the International Space Station (ISS) Water Processor Assembly

2000-07-10
2000-01-2252
A three phase catalytic mathematical model was developed for analysis and optimization of the volatile reactor assembly (VRA) used on International Space Station (ISS) Water Processor. The Langmuir-Hinshelwood Hougen-Watson (L-H) expression was used to describe the surface reaction rate. Small column experiments were used to determine the L-H rate parameters. The test components used in the experiments were acetic acid, acetone, ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol and propionic acid. These compounds are the most prevalent ones found in the influent to the VRA reactor. The VRA model was able to predict performance of small column data and experimental data from the VRA flight experiment.
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

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

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

Evaluation of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Ammonia Sorbents and Carbon Monoxide Oxidation Catalysts

2008-06-29
2008-01-2097
Designers of future space vehicles envision simplifying the Atmosphere Revitalization (AR) system by combining the functions of trace contaminant (TC) control and carbon dioxide removal into one swing-bed system. Flow rates and bed sizes of the TC and CO2 systems have historically been very different. There is uncertainty about the ability of trace contaminant sorbents to adsorb adequately in a high-flow or short bed length configurations, and to desorb adequately during short vacuum exposures. This paper describes preliminary results of a comparative experimental investigation into adsorbents for trace contaminant control. Ammonia sorbents and low temperature catalysts for CO oxidation are the foci. The data will be useful to designers of AR systems for Constellation. Plans for extended and repeated vacuum exposure of ammonia sorbents are also presented.
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 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 Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project Phase III 90-day Test: The Crew Perspective

1998-07-13
981702
The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) Phase III test examined the use of biological and physicochemical life support technologies for the recovery of potable water from waste water, the regeneration of breathable air, and the maintenance of a shirt-sleeve environment for a crew of four persons for 91 days. This represents the longest duration ground-test of life support systems with humans performed in the United States. This paper will describe the test from the inside viewpoint, concentrating on three major areas: maintenance and repair of life support elements, the scientific projects performed primarily in support of the International Space Station, and numerous activities in the areas of public affairs and education outreach.
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: 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

Solid Polymer Electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly Life Testing at MSFC - The First Year

1997-07-01
972376
A two year test program has been initiated to evaluate the effects of extended duration operation on a solid polymer electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA); in particular the cell stack and membrane phase separators. As part of this test program, the OGA was integrated into the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Water Recovery Test (WRT) Stage 10, a six month test, to use reclaimed water directly from the water processor product water storage tanks. This paper will document results encountered and evaluated thus far in the life testing program.
Technical Paper

Diode-Laser Spectral Absorption-Based Gas Species Sensor for Life Support Applications

1997-07-01
972388
We present the development of a semiconductor diode laser spectral absorption based gas species sensor for oxygen concentration measurements, intended for life support system monitoring and control applications. Employing a novel self-compensating, noise cancellation detection approach, we experimentally demonstrate better than 1% accuracy, linearity, and stability for monitoring breathing air conditions with 0.2 second response time. We also discuss applications of this approach to CO2 sensing.
Technical Paper

Development of a Hydrophilic, Antimicrobial Coating for Condensing Heat Exchangers

1997-07-01
972408
Condensing heat exchangers (CHX) are used in many applications, including space life support systems, to control temperature and humidity. Temperature control is achieved by transfer of the heat load to a circulating coolant. Simultaneously, humidity control is provided by cooling the air below its dew point, and separating the condensed water from the gas flow. In space, the condensate does not drain from the heat exchanger because of the absence of gravity. To overcome this problem, slurping condensing heat exchangers have been developed that combine a hydrophilic coating on the air flow passages and an additional slurping section added to the air outlet of the heat exchanger to achieve efficient air-water separation. For short missions such as those typical for shuttle flights, microbial proliferation in the coatings has not been a major issue, despite the fact that the coatings are continuously moist and an ideal breeding ground for microbial species.
Technical Paper

Summary of Resources for the International Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support System

1997-07-01
972332
The assembly complete Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system for the International Space Station (ISS) will consist of components and subsystems in both the U.S. and International partner elements which together will perform the functions of Temperature and Humidity Control (THC), Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS), Atmosphere Revitalization (AR), Water Recovery and Management (WRM), Waste Management (WM), Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS), and Vacuum System (VS) for the station. Due to limited resources available on ISS, detailed attention is given to minimizing and tracking all resources associated with all systems, beginning with estimates during the hardware development phase through measured actuals when flight hardware is built and delivered. A comprehensive summary of resources consumed by the U.S.
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

Performance of the Atmosphere Revitalization System During Phase II of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project

1997-07-01
972418
The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP), formerly known as the Early Human Testing Initiative (EHTI), was established to perform the necessary research, technology development, integration, and verification of regenerative life support systems to provide safe, reliable, and self-sufficient human life support systems. Four advanced life support system test phases make up LMLSTP. Phase I of the test program demonstrated the use of plants to provide the atmosphere revitalization requirements of a single test subject for 15 days. The primary objective of the Phase II test was to demonstrate an integrated regenerative life support system capable of sustaining a human crew of four for 30 days in a closed chamber. The third test phase, known as Phase IIA, served as a demonstration of International Space Station (ISS) representative life support technology, supporting a human crew of four for 60 days.
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