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Technical Paper

Investigation of Transient Sublimator Performance

2009-07-12
2009-01-2480
Sublimators have been used for heat rejection in a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Sublimators typically operate with steady-state feedwater utilization at or near 100%. However, sublimators are currently being considered to operate in a cyclical topping mode during low lunar orbit for Altair and possibly Orion, which represents a new mode of operation. This paper will investigate the feedwater utilization when a sublimator is used in this nontraditional manner. This paper includes testing efforts to date to investigate the Orbit-Averaged Feedwater Utilization (OAFU) for a sublimator.
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

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

Development Status of the Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator

2008-06-29
2008-01-2168
Sublimators have been used for heat rejection for a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Some of the attractive features of sublimators are that they are compact, lightweight, and self-regulating. One of the drawbacks to previous designs has been sensitivity to non-volatile contamination in the feedwater, which can clog relatively small pores (∼3-µ6 μn) in the porous plates where ice forms and sublimates. The Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator (CIS) has been recently developed at NASA-JSC to be less sensitive to contaminants by using a larger pore size media (−350 um). Testing of a CIS Engineering Development Unit (EDU) has demonstrated good heat rejection performance. This paper describes testing that investigates different factors affecting efficient utilization of the feedwater.
Technical Paper

Development of a Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator

2006-07-17
2006-01-2217
Sublimators have been used for heat rejection for a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Sublimators are excellent candidates for heat rejection devices on future vehicles like the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), and future spacesuits. One of the drawbacks of previous designs was sensitivity to contamination in the feedwater. Undissolved contaminants can be removed with filters, but dissolved contaminants would be left in the pores of the porous plates in which the feedwater freezes and sublimates. These contaminants build up and clog the relatively small pores (~3–6 μm), thereby blocking the flow of the feedwater, reducing the available area for freezing and sublimation, and degrading the performance of the sublimator. For the X-38 program, a new sublimator design was developed by NASA-JSC that is less sensitive to contaminants.
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.
Journal Article

Design of a Sublimator Driven Coldplate Development Unit

2008-06-29
2008-01-2169
The Sublimator Driven Coldplate is a unique piece of thermal control hardware that has several advantages over a traditional thermal control scheme. 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. This paper describes the design of an engineering development unit intended to demonstrate the feasibility of the Sublimator Driven Coldplate concept.
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