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Technical Paper

Modification of the USOS to Support Installation and Activation of the Node 3 Element

2009-07-12
2009-01-2416
The International Space Station (ISS) program is nearing an assembly complete configuration with the addition of the final resource node module in early 2010. The Node 3 module will provide critical functionality in support of permanent long duration crews aboard ISS. The new module will permanently house the regenerative Environment Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) and will also provide important habitability functions such as waste management and exercise facilities. The ISS program has selected the Port side of the Node 1 “Unity” module as the permanent location for Node 3 which will necessitate architecture changes to provide the required interfaces. The USOS ECLSS fluid and ventilation systems, Internal Thermal Control Systems, and Avionics Systems require significant modifications in order to support Node 3 interfaces at the Node 1 Port location since it was not initially designed for that configuration.
Technical Paper

Overview of NASA's Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project

2009-07-12
2009-01-2436
NASA's Constellation Program includes the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, are manned space vehicles while the third element is broader and includes several subelements including Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The upcoming planned missions involving these systems and vehicles include several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal environment, many of these risks and challenges are associated with the vehicles' thermal control system. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) includes the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP consists of several technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned risks and design challenges is the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project.
Technical Paper

Testing and Model Correlation of Sublimator Driven Coldplate Coupons and EDU

2009-07-12
2009-01-2479
The Sublimator Driven Coldplate (SDC) is a unique piece of thermal control hardware that has several advantages over a more traditional thermal control system. The principal advantage is the possible elimination of a pumped fluid loop, potentially saving mass, power, and complexity. Because this concept relies on evaporative heat rejection techniques, it is primarily useful for short mission durations. Additionally, the concept requires a conductive path between the heat-generating component and the heat rejection device. Therefore, it is mostly a relevant solution for a vehicle with a relatively low heat rejection requirement and/or short transport distances. Tests were performed on coupons and an Engineering Development Unit (EDU) at NASA's Johnson Space Center to better understand the basic operational principles and to validate the analytical methods being used for the SDC development.
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

A Novel Repair Technique for the Internal Thermal Control System Dual-Membrane Gas Trap

2005-07-11
2005-01-3079
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 (ISS). 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 trap was designed to last for the entire lifetime of the ISS, and therefore was not designed to be repaired. However, repair of these gas traps is now a necessity due to contamination from the on-orbit ITCS fluid and other sources on the ground as well as a limited supply of flight gas traps. This paper describes a novel repair technique that has been developed that will allow the refurbishment of contaminated gas traps and their return to flight use.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion Potential in the International Space Station Internal Active Thermal Control System Heat Exchanger Materials: A 6-Month Study

2005-07-11
2005-01-3077
The fluid in the Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) of the International Space Station (ISS) is water based. The fluid in the ISS Laboratory Module and Node 1 initially contained a mix of water, phosphate (corrosion control), borate (pH buffer), and silver sulfate (Ag2SO4) (microbial control) at a pH of 9.5±0.5. Over time, the chemistry of the fluid changed. Fluid changes included a pH drop from 9.5 to 8.3 due to diffusion of carbon dioxide (CO2) through Teflon® (DuPont) hoses, increases in dissolved nickel (Ni) levels, deposition of silver (Ag) to metal surfaces, and precipitation of the phosphate (PO4) as nickel phosphate (NiPO4). The drop in pH and unavailability of a antimicrobial has provided an environment conducive to microbial growth. Microbial levels in the fluid have increased from <10 colony-forming units (CFUs)/100 mL to 106 CFUs/100 mL.
Technical Paper

Reconfigurable Control System Design for Future Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-1976
A reconfigurable control system is an intelligent control system that detects faults within the system and adjusts its performance automatically to avoid mission failure, save lives, and reduce system maintenance costs. The concept was first successfully demonstrated by NASA between December 1989 and March 1990 on the F-15 flight control system (SRFCS), where software was integrated into the aircraft's digital flight control system to compensate for component loss by reconfiguring the remaining control loop. This was later adopted in the Boeing X-33. Other applications include modular robotics, reconfigurable computing structure, and reconfigurable helicopters. The motivation of this work is to test such control system designs for future long term space missions, more explicitly, the automation of life support systems.
Technical Paper

Lightweight, Flexible, and Freezable Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2008-06-29
2008-01-2112
We have completed preliminary tests that show the feasibility of an innovative concept for a spacesuit thermal control system using a lightweight, flexible heat pump/radiator. The heat pump/radiator is part of a regenerable LiCI/water absorption cooling device that absorbs an astronaut's metabolic heat and rejects it to the environment via thermal radiation at a relatively high temperature. We identified key design specifications for the system, demonstrated that it is feasible to fabricate the flexible radiator, measured the heat rejection capability of the radiator, and assessed the effects on overall mass of the PLSS. We specified system design features that will enable the flexible absorber/radiator to operate in a wide range of space exploration environments. The materials used to fabricate the flexible absorber/radiator samples were all found to be low off-gassing and many have already been qualified for use in space.
Technical Paper

Testing and Analysis of an Environmental System Test Stand

2003-07-07
2003-01-2361
Thermal control systems for space application plant growth chambers offer unique challenges. The ability to control temperature and humidity independently gives greater flexibility for optimizing plant growth. Desired temperature and relative humidity range vary widely from 15°C to 35°C and 65% to 85% respectively. On top of all of these variables, the thermal control system must also be conservative in power and mass. These requirements to develop and test a robust thermal control system for space applications led to the design and development of the Environmental System Test Stand (ESTS) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). The ESTS was designed to be a size constrained, environmental control system test stand with the flexibility to allow for a variety of thermal and lighting technologies. To give greater understanding to the environmental control system, the development of the ESTS included both mathematical models and the physical test stand.
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

Operational Experience with the Internal Thermal Control System Dual-Membrane Gas Trap

2003-07-07
2003-01-2565
A dual-membrane gas trap is currently used to remove non-condensed gases (NCG) 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 NCG. The inner hydrophobic fiber allows the trapped NCG to pass through and vent to the ambient atmosphere in the cabin. The purpose of the gas trap is to prevent gas bubbles from causing depriming, overspeed, and shutdown of the ITCS pump, and the current gas trap has performed flawlessly in this regard. However, because of actual operational conditions on-orbit, its gas removal performance and operational lifetime have been affected.
Technical Paper

The State of ISS ATCS Design, Assembly and Operation

2003-07-07
2003-01-2513
The International Space Station (ISS) Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) (Ref. 1,2) has changed over the past several years to address problems and to improve its assembly and operation on-orbit. This paper captures the ways in which the Internal (I) ATCS and External (E) ATCS have changed design characteristics and operations both for the system currently operating on-orbit and the new elements of the system that are about to be added and/or activated. The rationale for changes in ATCS design, assembly and operation will provide insights into the lessons learned during ATCS development. The state of the assembly of the integrated ATCS will be presented to provide a status of the build-up of the system. The capabilities of the on-orbit system will be presented with a summary of the elements of the ISS ATCS that are functional on-orbit plus the plans for launch of remaining parts of the integrated ISS ATCS.
Technical Paper

BIO-Plex Thermal Control System Design

2001-07-09
2001-01-2324
Engineers at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) are using innovative strategies to design the TCS for the Bio-regenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex), a regenerative advanced life support system ground test bed. This paper provides a current description of the BIO-Plex TCS design, testing objectives, analyses, descriptions of the TCS test articles expected to be tested in the BIO-Plex, and forward work regarding TCS. The TCS has been divided into some subsystems identified as permanent “infrastructure” for the BIO-Plex and others that are “test articles” that may change from one test to the next. The infrastructure subsystems are the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC), the Crew Chambers Internal Thermal Control Subsystem (CC ITCS), the Biomass Production Chamber Internal Thermal Control Subsystem (BPC ITCS), the Waste Heat Distribution Subsystem (WHDS) and the External Thermal Control Subsystem (ETCS).
Technical Paper

Environmental Control System for an Experimental Crew Return Vehicle

1997-07-01
972263
A small team of NASA engineers has been assembled at the Johnson Space Center, with the goal of developing an inexpensive space-capable vehicle. In order to minimize cost and development time of the experimental vehicle, it was desirable to build upon a previously-developed vehicle shape. The basic shape of the X-24A experimental lifting body was chosen for several reasons, and in the case of the Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS), the de-orbit cross-range capability of this shape provides for a minimal on-orbit time while waiting for landing opportunities, which in turn simplifies the ECLS. Figure 1 shows the X-38 vehicle body shape. In keeping with the goal of rapidly developing an inexpensive and reliable vehicle, the ECLS was developed using simple, passive systems where practical. This paper provides an overview of the ECLS mission requirements and design, with emphasis on the philosophy used in its development.
Technical Paper

System Engineering and Integration of Controls for Advanced Life Support

2006-07-17
2006-01-2121
The Advanced Integration Matrix (AIM) project at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) was chartered to study and solve systems-level integration issues for exploration missions. One of the first issues identified was an inability to conduct trade studies on control system architectures due to the absence of mature evaluation criteria. Such architectures are necessary to enable integration of regenerative life support systems. A team was formed to address issues concerning software and hardware architectures and system controls.. The team has investigated what is required to integrate controls for the types of non-linear dynamic systems encountered in advanced life support. To this end, a water processing bioreactor testbed is being developed which will enable prototyping and testing of integration strategies and technologies.
Technical Paper

ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project - 2006 Update

2006-07-17
2006-01-2161
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered.
Technical Paper

EVA Operational Enhancements and ASEM

1992-07-01
921341
Among the many firsts which will occur on STS-49, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a Space Station Freedom (SSF) experiment entitled Assembly of Station by Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Methods (ASEM) promises to test the boundaries of EVA operational capabilities. Should the results be favorable, station and other major users of EVA stand to benefit from increased capabilities. Even the preparation for the ASEM experiment is serving as a pathfinder for complex SSF operations. This paper reviews the major tasks planned for ASEM and discusses the operational analogies investigators are attempting to draw between ASEM and SSF. How these findings may be applied to simplify station assembly and maintenance will also be discussed.
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.
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.
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