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Technical Paper

First Human Testing of the Orion Atmosphere Revitalization Technology

2009-07-12
2009-01-2456
A system of amine-based carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor sorbent in pressure-swing regenerable beds has been developed by Hamilton Sundstrand and is baselined for the Orion Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS). In two previous years at this conference, reports were presented on extensive Johnson Space Center (JSC) testing of the technology, which was performed in a representative environment with simulated human metabolic loads. The next step in developmental testing at JSC was to use real human loads in the spring of 2008.
Technical Paper

Integrated Atmosphere Revitalization System Description and Test Results

1983-07-11
831110
Regenerative-type subsystems are being tested at JSC to provide atmosphere revitalization functions of oxygen supply and carbon dioxide (CO2) removal for a future Space Station. Oxygen is supplied by an electrolysis subsystem, developed by General Electric, Wilmington, Mass., which uses the product water from either the CO2 reduction subsystem or a water reclamation process. CO2 is removed and concentrated by an electrochemical process, developed by Life Systems, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. The concentrated CO2 is reduced in a Sabatier process with the hydrogen from the electrolysis process to water and methane. This subsystem is developed by Hamilton Standard, Windsor Locks, Conn. These subsystems are being integrated into an atmosphere revitalization group. This paper describes the integrated test configuration and the initial checkout test. The feasibility and design compatibility of these subsystems integrated into an air revitalization system is discussed.
Technical Paper

An Advanced Carbon Reactor Subsystem for Carbon Dioxide Reduction

1986-07-14
860995
Reduction of metabolic carbon dioxide is one of the essential steps in physiochemical air revitalization for long-duration manned space missions. Under contract with NASA Johnson Space Center, Hamilton Standard is developing an Advanced Carbon Reactor Subsystem (ACRS) to produce water and dense solid carbon from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The ACRS essentially consists of a Sabatier Methanation Reactor (SMR) to reduce carbon dioxide with hydrogen to methane and water, a gas-liquid separator to remove product water from the methane, and a Carbon Formation Reactor (CFR) to pyrolyze methane to carbon and hydrogen. The hydrogen is recycled to the SMR, while the produce carbon is periodically removed from the CFR. The SMR is well-developed, while the CFR is under development. In this paper, the fundamentals of the SMR and CFR processes are presented and results of Breadboard CFR testing are reported.
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

Testing of an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

2007-07-09
2007-01-3156
In a crewed spacecraft environment, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture control are crucial. Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a stable and efficient amine-based CO2 and water vapor sorbent, SA9T, that is well suited for use in a spacecraft environment. The sorbent is efficiently packaged in pressure-swing regenerable beds that are thermally linked to improve removal efficiency and minimize vehicle thermal loads. Flows are all controlled with a single spool valve. This technology has been baselined for the new Orion spacecraft. However, more data was needed on the operational characteristics of the package in a simulated spacecraft environment. A unit was therefore tested with simulated metabolic loads in a closed chamber at Johnson Space Center during the last third of 2006. Tests were run at a variety of cabin temperatures and with a range of operating conditions varying cycle time, vacuum pressure, air flow rate, and crew activity levels.
Technical Paper

Continuously Regenerable Freeze-Out CO2 Control Technology

2007-07-09
2007-01-3270
Carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology development for portable life support systems (PLSS) has traditionally concentrated in the areas of solid and liquid chemical sorbents and semi-permeable membranes. Most of these systems are too heavy in gravity environments, require prohibitive amounts of consumables for operation on long term planetary missions, or are inoperable on the surface of Mars due to the presence of a CO2 atmosphere. This paper describes the effort performed to mature an innovative CO2 removal technology that meets NASA's planetary mission needs while adhering to the important guiding principles of simplicity, reliability, and operability. A breadboard cryogenic carbon dioxide scrubber for an ejector-based cryogenic PLSS was developed, designed, and tested. The scrubber freezes CO2 and other trace contaminants out of expired ventilation loop gas using cooling available from a liquid oxygen (LOX) based PLSS.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Effect of Age on Shuttle Orbiter Lithium Hydroxide Canister Performance

2005-07-11
2005-01-2768
Recent efforts have been pursued to establish the usefulness of Space Shuttle Orbiter lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters beyond their certified two-year shelf life, at which time they are currently considered “expired.” A stockpile of Orbiter LiOH canisters are stowed on the International Space Station (ISS) as a backup system for maintaining ISS carbon dioxide Canisters with older (CO2) control. Canister with older pack dates must routinely be replaced with newly packed canisters off-loaded from the Orbiter Middeck. Since conservation of upmass is critical for every mission, the minimization of canister swap-out rate is paramount. LiOH samples from canisters with expired dates that had been returned from the ISS were tested for CO2 removal performance at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD). Through this test series and subsequent analysis, performance degradation was established.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Cryofreezer Technology Through Simulation and Testing

2005-07-11
2005-01-2869
A cryofreezer system is being evaluated as a new method of compressing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). A cryocooler is used to provide cold temperatures and heat removal while CO2 freezes and accumulates around a coldtip. The CO2 can then be stored as a liquid or high-pressure gas after it has been accumulated. This system was originally conceived as an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) application for collecting CO2 from the Mars atmosphere to be converted to methane fuel with a Sabatier reaction. In the ALS application, this system could collect CO2 from the International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) for delivery to the Sabatier reactor. The Sabatier reaction is an important part of proposed Air Revitalization System (ARS) for ALS, and technology sharing is often possible between ISRU and ARS applications in CO2 processing systems.
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

Improvement of Risk Assessment from Space Radiation Exposure for Future Space Exploration Missions

2007-07-09
2007-01-3116
Protecting astronauts from space radiation exposure is an important challenge for mission design and operations for future exploration-class and long-duration missions. Crew members are exposed to sporadic solar particle events (SPEs) as well as to the continuous galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). If sufficient protection is not provided the radiation risk to crew members from SPEs could be significant. To improve exposure risk estimates and radiation protection from SPEs, detailed evaluations of radiation shielding properties are required. A model using a modern CAD tool ProE™, which is the leading engineering design platform at NASA, has been developed for this purpose. For the calculation of radiation exposure at a specific site, the cosine distribution was implemented to replicate the omnidirectional characteristic of the 4π particle flux on a surface.
Technical Paper

Validation Studies of the GRNTRN Code for Radiation Transport

2007-07-09
2007-01-3118
To meet the challenge of future deep space programs an accurate and efficient engineering code for analyzing the shielding requirements against high-energy galactic heavy radiations is needed. Such engineering design codes require establishing validation processes using laboratory ion beams and space flight measurements in realistic geometries. In consequence, a new version of the HZETRN code capable of simulating HZE ions with either laboratory or space boundary conditions is currently under development. The new code, GRNTRN, is based on a Green's function approach to the solution of Boltzmann's transport equation and like its predecessor is deterministic in nature. Code validation in the laboratory environment is addressed by showing that GRNTRN accurately predicts energy loss spectra as measured by solid-state detectors in ion beam experiments.
Technical Paper

Further Testing of an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

2008-06-29
2008-01-2101
In a crewed spacecraft environment, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture control are crucial. Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a stable and efficient amine-based CO2 and water vapor sorbent, SA9T, that is well suited for use in a spacecraft environment. The sorbent is efficiently packaged in pressure-swing regenerable beds that are thermally linked to improve removal efficiency and minimize vehicle thermal loads. Flows are controlled with a single spool valve. This technology has been baselined for the new Orion spacecraft, but additional data was needed on the operational characteristics of the package in a simulated spacecraft environment. One unit was tested with simulated metabolic loads in a closed chamber at Johnson Space Center during the latter part of 2006. Those test results were reported in a 2007 ICES paper.
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

Toxicological Assessment of the International Space Station Atmosphere with Emphasis on Metox Canister Regeneration

2003-07-07
2003-01-2647
Space-faring crews must have safe breathing air throughout their missions to ensure adequate performance and good health. Toxicological assessment of air quality depends on the standards that define acceptable air quality, measurements of pollutant levels during the flight, and reports from the crew on their in-flight perceptions of air quality. Air samples returned from ISS on flights 8A, UF2, 9A, and 11A were analyzed for trace pollutants. On average, the air during this period of operations was safe for human respiration. However, about 3 hours into the regeneration of 2 Metox canisters in the U.S. airlock on 20 February 2002 the crew reported an intolerable odor that caused them to stop the regeneration, take refuge in the Russian segment, and scrub air in the U.S. segment for 30 hours. Analytical data from grab samples taken during the incident showed that the pollutants released were characteristic of nominal air pollutants, but were present in much higher concentrations.
Technical Paper

ARPCS2AT2: A Tool for Atmospheric Pressure and Composition Control Analysis

2003-07-07
2003-01-2437
A generalized computer program for analysis of pressure and composition in multiple volume systems has been under development by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 1976. This paper describes the most recent developments in the program. These improvements include the expansion of the program to nine volumes, improvements to the model of the International Space Station (ISS) carbon dioxide removal system, and addition of a detailed Sabatier carbon dioxide reduction mode. An evaluation of the feasibility of adding of trace contaminant tracking was also performed. This paper will also present the results of an analysis that compares model predictions with ISS flight data for carbon dioxide (CO2) maintenance.
Technical Paper

A Lightweight EVA Emergency System

2003-07-07
2003-01-2447
TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) is developing a compact, lightweight ExtraVehicular activity (EVA) emergency system that provides 30-minute life-support in the case of system or component failures in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The system uses a low ventilation rate to reduce the amount of stored oxygen, reducing the associated weight and volume penalty. Operation of the system requires an effective sorbent that would remove carbon dioxide and moisture from the suit. We are developing a regenerable sorbent that is suitable for the conceptual system. Recently, we tested the sorbent performance in an adiabatic reactor setup simulating representative EVA emergency conditions. This paper summarizes results of these adiabatic tests.
Technical Paper

Solar Proton Event Observations at Mars with MARIE

2003-07-07
2003-01-2329
The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft Martian Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE) is a solid-state silicon telescope high-energy particle detector designed to measure galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) and solar particle events (SPEs) in the 20 – 500 MeV/nucleon energy range. In this paper we discuss the instrument design and focus on the observations and measurements of SPEs at Mars. These are the first-ever SPE measurements at Mars. The measurements are compared with the geostationary GOES satellite SPE measurements. We also discuss some of the current interplanetary particle propagation and diffusion theories and models. The MARIE SPE measurements are compared with these existing models.
Technical Paper

Zirconia Electrolysis Cells for Oxygen Generation from Carbon Dioxide for Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization Applications

1998-07-13
981655
A zirconia electroysis cell is an all-solid state (mainly ceramic) device consisting of two electrodes separated by a dense zirconia electrolyte. The cell electrochemically reduces carbon dioxide to oxygen and carbon monoxide at elevated temperatures (800 to 1000°C). The zirconia electrolysis cell provides a simple, lightweight, low-volume system for Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) applications. This paper describes the fabrication process and discusses the electrochemical performance and other properties of zirconia electrolysis cells made by the tape calendering method. Electrolytes produced by this method are very thin (micrometer-thick); the thin electrolyte reduces ohmic losses in the cell, permitting efficient operation at temperatures of 800°C or below.
Technical Paper

Utilizing Exploration Life Support Technology on ISS - a Bold New Approach

1998-07-13
981808
A new life support approach is proposed for use on the International Space Station (ISS). This involves advanced technologies for water recovery and air revitalization, tested at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), including bioprocessing, reverse-osmosis and distillation, low power carbon dioxide removal, non-expendable trace contaminant control, and carbon dioxide reduction.
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.
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