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Technical Paper

Multifunctional Fiber Batteries for Next Generation Space Suits

2007-07-09
2007-01-3173
As next generation space suit concepts enable extravehicular activity (EVA) mission capability to extend beyond anything currently available today, revolutionary advances in life support technologies are required to achieve anticipated NASA mission profiles that may measure years in duration and require hundreds of sorties. Since most life support systems require power, increased mass and volume efficiency of the energy storage materials can have a dramatic impact on reducing the overall weight of next generation space suits. This paper details the development of a multifunctional fiber battery to address these needs.
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

Innovative Schematic Concept Analysis for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

2006-07-17
2006-01-2201
Conceptual designs for a space suit Personal Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) were developed and assessed to determine if upgrading the system using new, emerging, or projected technologies to fulfill basic functions would result in mass, volume, or performance improvements. Technologies were identified to satisfy each of the functions of the PLSS in three environments (zero-g, Lunar, and Martian) and in three time frames (2006, 2010, and 2020). The viability of candidate technologies was evaluated using evaluation criteria such as safety, technology readiness, and reliability. System concepts (schematics) were developed for combinations of time frame and environment by assigning specific technologies to each of four key functions of the PLSS -- oxygen supply, waste removal, thermal control, and power. The PLSS concepts were evaluated using the ExtraVehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool, software created by NASA to analyze integrated system mass, volume, power and thermal loads.
Technical Paper

Advanced Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem Packaging Design

2006-07-17
2006-01-2202
This paper discusses the Portable Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) packaging design work done by the NASA and Hamilton Sundstrand in support of the 3 future space missions; Lunar, Mars and zero-g. The goal is to seek ways to reduce the weight of PLSS packaging, and at the same time, develop a packaging scheme that would make PLSS technology changes less costly than the current packaging methods. This study builds on the results of NASA's in-house 1998 study, which resulted in the “Flex PLSS” concept. For this study the present EMU schematic (low earth orbit) was used so that the work team could concentrate on the packaging. The Flex PLSS packaging is required to: protect, connect, and hold the PLSS and its components together internally and externally while providing access to PLSS components internally for maintenance and for technology change without extensive redesign impact. The goal of this study was two fold: 1.
Technical Paper

Access Systems for Partial Gravity Exploration & Rescue: Results from Prototype Testing in an Analog Environment

2007-07-09
2007-01-3033
An EVA simulation with a medical contingency scenario was conducted in 2006 with the NASA Haughton-Mars and EVA Physiology System and Performance Projects, to develop medical contingency management and evacuation techniques for planetary surface exploration. A rescue/evacuation system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract an injured astronaut up a slope of15-25° and into a surface mobility rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care. Further research is recommended to evaluate the effects of reduced gravity and to develop synergies with other surface systems for carrying out the contingency procedures.
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

Pulmonary Toxicity of Lunar Highland Dust

2009-07-12
2009-01-2379
Lunar dust exposures occurred during the Apollo missions while the crew was in the lunar module on the moon's surface and especially when micro-gravity conditions were attained during rendezvous in lunar orbit. Crews reported that the dust was irritating to the eyes, and in some cases, respiratory symptoms were elicited. NASA's current vision for lunar exploration includes stays of 6 months on the lunar surface hence the health effects of periodic exposure to lunar dust in the habitat need to be assessed. NASA is performing this assessment with a series of in vitro and in vivo tests with authentic lunar dust. Our approach is to “calibrate” the intrinsic toxicity of lunar dust by comparison to a relatively low toxicity dust (TiO2) and a highly toxic dust (quartz) using intrapharyngeal instillation of the dusts to mice. A battery of indices of toxicity is assessed at various time points after the instillations.
Technical Paper

Cascade Distillation Subsystem Development Testing

2008-06-29
2008-01-2195
Recovery of potable water from wastewater is essential for the success of long-term manned missions to the moon and Mars. Honeywell International and the team consisting of Thermodistillation Company (Kyiv, Ukraine) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Crew and Thermal Systems Division are developing a wastewater processing subsystem that is based on centrifugal vacuum distillation. The Wastewater Processing Cascade Distillation Subsystem (CDS) utilizes an innovative and efficient multi-stage thermodynamic process to produce purified water. The rotary centrifugal design of the system also provides gas/liquid phase separation and liquid transport under microgravity conditions. A five-stage prototype of the subsystem was built, delivered and integrated into the NASA JSC Advanced Water Recovery Systems Development Facility for development testing.
Technical Paper

Development of a Gravity Independent Nitrification Biological Water Processor

2003-07-07
2003-01-2560
Biological water processors are currently being developed for application in microgravity environments. Work has been performed to develop a single-phase, gravity independent anoxic denitrification reactor for organic carbon removal [1]. As a follow on to this work it was necessary to develop a gravity independent nitrification reactor in order to provide sufficient nitrite and nitrate to the organic carbon oxidation reactor for the complete removal of organic carbon. One approach for providing the significant amounts of dissolved oxygen required for nitrification is to require the biological reactor design to process two-phase gas and liquid in micro-gravity. This paper addresses the design and test results overview for development of a tubular, two-phase, gravity independent nitrification biological water processor.
Technical Paper

Membrane-Based Bioprocessor for Life Support Wastewater Reclamation

1998-07-13
981611
Although bioprocessors have been successfully tested in ground test experiments as primary wastewater processors [1, 2 and 3], the transition required for operation of a bioprocessor in microgravity is complicated by the absence of gravity and buoyancy-driven convection. Gases are present in the wastewater bioprocessor from numerous sources including aeration, metabolic production and operation. This paper presents an innovative approach to the delivery of metabolically-required oxygen to a bioprocessor. A bioprocessor that provides oxygen delivery and bacterial support using membranes has been developed and tested during the past two years. Bench-top laboratory results have demonstrated that Total Organic Carbon (TOC) degradation above 95%, and nitrification above 80% can be maintained, while denitrification typically ranged between 5-25% in a membrane bioprocessor system (MBS).
Technical Paper

Energy Analysis of an Enclosed, Long-Duration Planetary Habitat Test-Bed

1998-07-13
981711
An energy balance was performed on the life support equipment used during the Phase III, 90-day, human Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project at the Johnson Space Center. The purpose of the analysis was to account for all the energy sources, uses, and losses in the test-bed. Knowledge from this task may allow more energy efficient designs to be developed. Control volumes were defined and energy balance equations were generated for major systems. The analyses succeeded in balancing the energy fairly well for several systems. Further, the data showed that inefficiencies existed, and means of design optimization were subsequently suggested.
Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis of Potable Water and Humidity Condensate: Phase One Final Results and Lessons Learned

1999-07-12
1999-01-2028
Twenty-nine recycled water, eight stored (ground-supplied) water, and twenty-eight humidity condensate samples were collected on board the Mir Space Station during the Phase One Program (1995-1998). These samples were analyzed to determine potability of the recycled and ground-supplied water, to support the development of water quality monitoring procedures and standards, and to assist in the development of water reclamation hardware. This paper describes and summarizes the results of these analyses and lists the lessons learned from this project. Results show that the recycled water and stored water on board Mir, in general, met NASA, Russian Space Agency (RSA), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
Technical Paper

Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) Suits Redesign and Implementation at Kennedy Space Center

2005-07-11
2005-01-2959
The Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) suits, worn at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) have been updated from the original 1970's design. The suits were renamed Propellant Handlers Ensemble (PHE) but are still commonly referred to as SCAPE. Several modifications to the suit were done over the last 20 years to improve the design for operational use. However, anthropometric changes in the user population over time have not been addressed. The following study addressed anthropometric concerns in the current SCAPE population. It was found that all suits had at least one area in which the recommended upper limit was exceeded by technicians. The most common areas to exceed the upper limit were: waist circumference, chest circumference and upper thigh circumference. Forearm circumference posed the least concern unless using long gauntlet glove which cause the twist lock ring to be located at the forearm rather than the wrist.
Technical Paper

Development Status of the VPCAR Water Processor Assembly

2003-07-07
2003-01-2626
The purification of waste water is a critical element of any long-duration space mission. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system offers the promise of a technology requiring low quantities of expendable material that is suitable for exploration missions. NASA has funded an effort to produce an engineering development unit specifically targeted for integration into the NASA Johnson Space Center's Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility (INTEGRITY) formally known in part as the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Test Complex (Bio-Plex) and the Advanced Water Recovery System Development Facility. The system includes a Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator redesigned with micro-gravity operation enhancements, which evaporates wastewater and produces water vapor with only volatile components as contaminants. Volatile contaminants, including organics and ammonia, are oxidized in a catalytic reactor while they are in the vapor phase.
Journal Article

Design Description and Initial Characterization Testing of an Active Heat Rejection Radiator with Digital Turn-Down Capability

2009-07-12
2009-01-2419
NASA's proposed lunar lander, Altair, will be exposed to vastly different external temperatures following launch till its final destination on the moon. In addition, the heat rejection is lowest at the lowest environmental temperatures (0.5 kW @ 4K) and highest at the highest environmental temperature (4.5 kW @ 215K). This places a severe demand on the radiator design to handle these extreme turn-down requirements. A radiator with digital turn-down capability is currently under study at JPL as a robust means to meet the heat rejection demands and provide freeze protection while minimizing mass and power consumption. Turndown is achieved by independent control of flow branches with isolating latch valves and a gear pump to evacuate the isolated branches. A bench-top test was conducted to characterize the digital radiator concept. Testing focused on the demonstration of proper valve sequencing to achieve turn-down and recharge of flow legs.
Journal Article

A History of Space Toxicology Mishaps: Lessons Learned and Risk Management

2009-07-12
2009-01-2591
After several decades of human spaceflight, the community of space-faring nations has accumulated a diverse and sometimes harrowing history of toxicological events that have plagued human space endeavors almost from the very beginning. Some lessons have been learned in ground-based test beds and others were discovered the hard way - when human lives were at stake in space. From such lessons one can build a risk-management framework for toxicological events to minimize the probability of a harmful exposure, while recognizing that we cannot predict all possible events. Space toxicologists have learned that relatively harmless compounds can be converted by air revitalization systems into compounds that cause serious harm to the crew.
Journal Article

Minimizing EVA Airlock Time and Depress Gas Losses

2008-06-29
2008-01-2030
This paper describes the need and solution for minimizing EVA airlock time and depress gas losses using a new method that minimizes EVA out-the-door time for a suited astronaut and reclaims most of the airlock depress gas. This method consists of one or more related concepts that use an evacuated reservoir tank to store and reclaim the airlock depress gas. The evacuated tank can be an inflatable tank, a spent fuel tank from a lunar lander descent stage, or a backup airlock. During EVA airlock operations, the airlock and reservoir would be equalized at some low pressure, and through proper selection of reservoir size, most of the depress gas would be stored in the reservoir for later reclamation. The benefit of this method is directly applicable to long duration lunar and Mars missions that require multiple EVA missions (up to 100, two-person lunar EVAs) and conservation of consumables, including depress pump power and depress gas.
Technical Paper

Dehumidification Via Membrane Separation for Space-Based Applications

1988-07-01
881037
This paper describes the development of a membrane-based dehumidification process for space-based applications, such as spacecraft cabins and extra-vehicular-activity (EVA) space suits. Results presented are from 1) screening tests conducted to determine the efficacy of various membranes to separate water vapor from air, and 2) parametric and long-term tests of membranes operated at conditions that simulate the range of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity [RH]) expected in the planned space station. Also included in this paper is a discussion of preliminary designs of membrane-based dehumidification processes for the space station and EVA space suits. These designs result in compact and energy-efficient systems that offer significant advantages over conventional dehumidification processes.
Technical Paper

Further Characterization and Multifiltration Treatment of Shuttle Humidity Condensate

1995-07-01
951685
On the International Space Station (ISS), humidity condensate will be collected from the atmosphere and treated by multifiltration to produce potable water for use by the crews. Ground-based development tests have demonstrated that multifiltration beds filled with a series of ion-exchange resins and activated carbons can remove many inorganic and organic contaminants effectively from wastewaters. As a precursor to the use of this technology on the ISS, a demonstration of multifiltration treatment under microgravity conditions was undertaken. On the Space Shuttle, humidity condensate from cabin air is recovered in the atmosphere revitalization system, then stored and periodically vented to space vacuum. A Shuttle Condensate Adsorption Device (SCAD) containing sorbent materials similar to those planned for use on the ISS was developed and flown on STS-68 as a continuation of DSO 317, which was flown initially on STS-45 and STS-47.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Lift Heat Pump Refrigerant and Thermodynamic Cycle Selection

1994-06-01
941272
This paper describes the process and analysis used to select a refrigerant and thermodynamic cycle as the basis of a vapor compression heat pump requiring a high temperature lift. Use of a vapor compression heat pump versus other types was based on prior work performed for the Electric Power Research Institute. A high lift heat pump is needed to enable a thermal control system to remove heat down to 275K from a habitable volume when the external thermal environment is severe. For example, a long term habitat will reject heat from a space radiator to a 325K environment. The first step in the selection process was to perform an optimization trade study, quantifying the effect of radiator operating temperature and heat pump efficiency on total system mass; then, select the radiator operating temperature corresponding to the lowest system mass. Total system mass included radiators, all heat pump components and the power supply system.
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