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Technical Paper

Development of a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster System

A three-year program to develop a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster (D2HET) system began 15 months ago as part of the NASA Advanced Cross-Enterprise Technology Development initiative. The system is expected to reduce significantly the power processing, complexity, weight, and cost over conventional low-voltage systems. The D2HET will employ solar arrays that operate at voltages greater than 300V, and will be an enabling technology for affordable planetary exploration. It will also be a stepping-stone in the production of the next generation of power systems for Earth orbiting satellites. This paper provides a general overview of the program and reports the first year's findings from both theoretical and experimental components of the program.
Technical Paper

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

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

Human-rating Automated and Robotic Systems — How HAL Can Work Safely with Astronauts

Long duration human space missions, as planned in the Vision for Space Exploration, will not be possible without applying unprecedented levels of automation to support the human endeavors. The automated and robotic systems must carry the load of routine “housekeeping” for the new generation of explorers, as well as assist their exploration science and engineering work with new precision. Fortunately, the state of automated and robotic systems is sophisticated and sturdy enough to do this work — but the systems themselves have never been human-rated as all other NASA physical systems used in human space flight have. Our intent in this paper is to provide perspective on requirements and architecture for the interfaces and interactions between human beings and the astonishing array of automated systems; and the approach we believe necessary to create human-rated systems and implement them in the space program.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Mars In-Situ Propellant Production

In-situ production of oxygen and methane for utilization as a return propellant from Mars for both sample-return and manned missions is currently being developed by NASA in cooperation with major aerospace companies. Various technologies are being evaluated using computer modeling and analysis at the system level. An integrated system that processes the carbon dioxide in the Mars atmosphere to produce liquid propellants has been analyzed. The system is based on the Sabatier reaction that utilizes carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methane and water. The water is then electrolyzed to produce hydrogen and oxygen. While the hydrogen is recycled, the propellant gases are liquefied and stored for later use. The process model considers the surface conditions on Mars (temperature, pressure, composition), energy usage, and thermal integration effects on the overall system weight and size. Current mission scenarios require a system that will produce 0.7 kg of propellant a day for 500 days.
Technical Paper

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

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

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

Columbus Orbital Facility Condensing Heat Exchanger and Filter Assembly

Space environmental control systems must control cabin temperature and humidity. This can be achieved by transferring the heat load to a circulating coolant, condensing the humidity, and separating the condensate from the air stream. In addition, environmental control systems may be required to remove particulate matter from the air stream. An assembly comprised of a filter, a condensing heat exchanger, a thermal control valve, and a liquid carryover sensor, is used to achieve all these requirements. A condensing heat exchanger and filter assembly (CHXFA) is being developed and manufactured by SECAN/AlliedSignal under a contract from Dornier Daimler-Benz as part of a European Space Agency program. The CHXFA is part of the environmental control system of the Columbus Orbital Facility (COF), the European laboratory module of the International Space Station (ISS).
Technical Paper

Performance Qualification Test of the ISS Water Processor Assembly (WPA) Expendables

The Water Processor Assembly (WPA) for use on the International Space Station (ISS) includes various technologies for the treatment of waste water. These technologies include filtration, ion exchange, adsorption, catalytic oxidation, and iodination. The WPA hardware implementing portions of these technologies, including the Particulate Filter, Multifiltration Bed, Ion Exchange Bed, and Microbial Check Valve, was recently qualified for chemical performance at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Waste water representing the quality of that produced on the ISS was generated by test subjects and processed by the WPA. Water quality analysis and instrumentation data was acquired throughout the test to monitor hardware performance. This paper documents operation of the test and the assessment of the hardware performance.
Technical Paper

Rotary Drum Separator and Pump for the Sabatier Carbon Dioxide Reduction System

A trade study conducted in 2001 selected a rotary disk separator as the best candidate to meet the requirements for an International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA). The selected technology must provide micro-gravity gas/liquid separation and pump the liquid from 69 kPa (10 psia) at the gas/liquid interface to 124 kPa (18 psia) at the wastewater bus storage tank. The rotary disk concept, which has pedigree in other systems currently being built for installation on the ISS, failed to achieve the required pumping head within the allotted power. The separator discussed in this paper is a new design that was tested to determine compliance with performance requirements in the CRA. The drum separator and pump (DSP) design is similar to the Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA) Rotary Separator Accumulator (RSA) in that it has a rotating assembly inside a stationary housing driven by a integral internal motor[1].
Technical Paper

Characterization of Condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF)

Life Sciences research on Space Station will utilize rats to study the effects of the microgravity environment on mammalian physiology and to develop countermeasures to those effects for the health and safety of the crew. The animals will produce metabolic water which must be reclaimed to minimize logistics support. The condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) flown on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) in October 1993 was used as an analog to determine the type and quantity of constituents which the Space Station (SS) water reclamation system will have to process. The most significant organics present in the condensate were 2-propanol, glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1,2-propanediol, acetic acid, acetone, total proteins, urea and caprolactam while the most significant inorganic was ammonia. Microbial isolates included Xanthomonas, Sphingobacterium, Pseudomonas, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Chrysosporium.
Technical Paper

Process Material Management in the Space Station Environment

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

Periodic 10 K Metal Hydride Sorption Cryocooler System

A program is being performed to design, fabricate, and test a metal hydride sorption cryocooler system capable of supplying periodic refrigeration at 10 K. The system is intended to cool a focal plane array for a low-earth orbit satellite. The refrigeration is effected by sublimating solid hydrogen at 10 K. The solid hydrogen is produced in a batch process by cooling, solidifying, and subcooling liquid hydrogen formed at 30 K by a Joule-Thomson expansion. The spent hydrogen from the sublimation and Joule-Thomson expansion is absorbed by two metal hydride sorption bed assemblies.
Technical Paper

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

A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the latest 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) with higher fidelity hardware and integration than has been achieved in previous integrated tests. Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 116 days to evaluate the impacts of changes made as a result of the redesign from Space Station Freedom (SSF) to the ISS. This testing marked the first occasion in which the WRM was automated at the system level, allowing for evaluation of the hardware performance under ISS operating conditions. It was also the first time a “flight-like” Process Control Water Quality Monitor (PCWQM) and a WM urinal were tested in an integrated system.