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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.
Journal Article

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System 2008/2009

2009-07-12
2009-01-2445
The design and evaluation of a Vacuum-Swing Adsorption (VSA) system to remove metabolic water and metabolic carbon dioxide from a spacecraft atmosphere is presented. The approach for Orion and Altair is a VSA system that removes not only 100 percent of the metabolic CO2 from the atmosphere, but also 100% of the metabolic water as well, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. The design and development of an Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Sorbent Based Atmosphere Revitalization system, including test articles, a facility test stand, and full-scale testing in late 2008 and early 2009 is discussed.
Journal Article

Engineered Structured Sorbents for the Adsorption of Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor from Manned Spacecraft Atmospheres: Applications and Testing 2008/2009

2009-07-12
2009-01-2444
Developmental efforts are seeking to improve upon the efficiency and reliability of typical packed beds of sorbent pellets by using structured sorbents and alternative bed configurations. The benefits include increased structural stability gained by eliminating clay bound zeolite pellets that tend to fluidize and erode, and better thermal control during sorption leading to increased process efficiency. Test results that demonstrate such improvements are described and presented.
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

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

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

Integrated Test and Evaluation of a 4-Bed Molecular Sieve (4BMS) Carbon Dioxide Removal System (CDRA), Mechanical Compressor Engineering Development Unit (EDU), and Sabatier Engineering Development Unit (EDU)

2005-07-11
2005-01-2864
This paper presents and discusses the results of an integrated 4-Bed Molecular Sieve (4BMS), mechanical compressor, and Sabatier Engineering Development Unit (EDU) test. Testing was required to evaluate the integrated performance of these components of a closed loop atmosphere revitalization system together with a proposed compressor control algorithm. A theoretical model and numerical simulation had been used to develop the control algorithm; however, testing was necessary to verify the simulation results and further refine the model. Hardware testing of a fully integrated system also provided a better understanding of the practical inefficiencies and control issues, which are unavailable from a theoretical model.
Technical Paper

Rotary Drum Separator and Pump for the Sabatier Carbon Dioxide Reduction System

2005-07-11
2005-01-2863
A trade study conducted in 2001 selected a rotary disk separator as the best candidate to meet the requirements for an International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA). The selected technology must provide micro-gravity gas/liquid separation and pump the liquid from 69 kPa (10 psia) at the gas/liquid interface to 124 kPa (18 psia) at the wastewater bus storage tank. The rotary disk concept, which has pedigree in other systems currently being built for installation on the ISS, failed to achieve the required pumping head within the allotted power. The separator discussed in this paper is a new design that was tested to determine compliance with performance requirements in the CRA. The drum separator and pump (DSP) design is similar to the Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA) Rotary Separator Accumulator (RSA) in that it has a rotating assembly inside a stationary housing driven by a integral internal motor[1].
Technical Paper

International Space Station Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (ISS CDRA) Concepts and Advancements

2005-07-11
2005-01-2892
An important aspect of air revitalization for life support in spacecraft is the removal of carbon dioxide from cabin air. Several types of carbon dioxide removal systems are in use or have been proposed for use in spacecraft life support systems. These systems rely on various removal techniques that employ different architectures and media for scrubbing CO2, such as permeable membranes, liquid amine, adsorbents, and absorbents. Sorbent systems have been used since the first manned missions. The current state of key technology is the existing International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA), a system that selectively removes carbon dioxide from the cabin atmosphere. The CDRA system was launched aboard UF-2 in February 2001 and resides in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory module. During the past four years, the CDRA system has experienced operational limitations.
Technical Paper

OPAD Status Report: Investigation of SSME Component Erosion

1992-04-01
921030
Significant erosion of preburner faceplates was observed during recent Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) test firings at the NASA Technology Test Bed (TTB), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Al. The OPAD instrumentation acquired exhaust plume spectral data during each test which indicate the occurrence of metallic species consistent with faceplate component composition. A qualitative analysis of the spectral data was conducted to evaluate the state of the engine versus time for each test according to the nominal conditions of TTB firing #17 and #18. In general the analyses indicate abnormal erosion levels at or near startup. Subsequent to the initial erosion event, signal levels tend to decrease towards nominal baseline values. These findings, in conjunction with post-test engine inspections, suggest that in cases under study, the erosion may not have been catastrophic to the immediate operation of the engine.
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

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle 2006/2007

2007-07-09
2007-01-3254
The design of a vacuum-swing adsorption process to remove metabolic water, metabolic carbon dioxide, and metabolic and equipment generated trace contaminant gases from the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. For Orion, the approach is taken that all metabolic water must be removed by the Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System (SBAR), a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. Design and development of a prototype SBAR, a facility test stand, and subsequent testing of the SBAR in late 2006 and early 2007 is discussed.
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

Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle 2007/2008

2008-06-29
2008-01-2082
The design of a Vacuum-Swing Adsorption (VSA) system to remove metabolic water and metabolic carbon dioxide from the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. The approach for Orion is a VSA system that removes not only 100 percent of the metabolic CO2 from the atmosphere, but also 100% of the metabolic water as well, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. The design and development of the Sorbent Based Atmosphere Regeneration (SBAR) system, including test articles, a facility test stand, and full-scale testing in late 2007 and early 2008 is discussed.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Ammonia Sorbents and Carbon Monoxide Oxidation Catalysts

2008-06-29
2008-01-2097
Designers of future space vehicles envision simplifying the Atmosphere Revitalization (AR) system by combining the functions of trace contaminant (TC) control and carbon dioxide removal into one swing-bed system. Flow rates and bed sizes of the TC and CO2 systems have historically been very different. There is uncertainty about the ability of trace contaminant sorbents to adsorb adequately in a high-flow or short bed length configurations, and to desorb adequately during short vacuum exposures. This paper describes preliminary results of a comparative experimental investigation into adsorbents for trace contaminant control. Ammonia sorbents and low temperature catalysts for CO oxidation are the foci. The data will be useful to designers of AR systems for Constellation. Plans for extended and repeated vacuum exposure of ammonia sorbents are also presented.
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