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Technical Paper

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

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

Development of an Amine-based System for Combined Carbon Dioxide, Humidity, and Trace Contaminant Control

A number of amine-based carbon dioxide (CO2) removal systems have been developed for atmosphere revitalization in closed loop life support systems. Most recently, Hamilton Sundstrand has developed an amine-based sorbent, designated SA9T, possessing approximately 2-fold greater capacity compared to previous formulations. This new formulation has demonstrated applicability for controlling CO2 levels within vehicles and habitats as well as during extravehicular activity (EVA). Our current data demonstrates an amine-based system volume which is competitive with existing technologies which use metal oxides (Metox) and lithium hydroxide sorbents. Further enhancements in system performance can be realized by incorporating humidity and trace contaminant control functions within an amine-based atmosphere revitalization system. A 3-year effort to develop prototype hardware capable of removing CO2, H2O, and trace contaminants from a cabin atmosphere has been initiated.
Technical Paper

The Design and Testing of a Fully Redundant Regenerative CO2 Removal System (RCRS) for the Shuttle Orbiter

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.