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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

Development of a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster System

2002-10-29
2002-01-3212
A three-year program to develop a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster (D2HET) system began 15 months ago as part of the NASA Advanced Cross-Enterprise Technology Development initiative. The system is expected to reduce significantly the power processing, complexity, weight, and cost over conventional low-voltage systems. The D2HET will employ solar arrays that operate at voltages greater than 300V, and will be an enabling technology for affordable planetary exploration. It will also be a stepping-stone in the production of the next generation of power systems for Earth orbiting satellites. This paper provides a general overview of the program and reports the first year's findings from both theoretical and experimental components of the program.
Technical Paper

Nanoscale Materials for Human Spaceflight Applications: Regenerable Carbon Dioxide Removal Using Single-wall Carbon Nanotubes

2006-07-17
2006-01-2195
The challenges of missions to the Moon and Mars presents NASA with the need for more advanced life support systems, including better technologies for CO2 removal in spacecraft atmospheres and extravehicular mobility units (EMU). Amine-coated single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) have been proposed as a potential solution because of their high surface area and thermal conductivity. Initial research demonstrated the need for functionalization of SWCNT to obtain optimal adherence of the amine to the SWCNT support phase [1]. Recent efforts focus on the development of new methods to chemically bond amines to SWCNT. Synthesis and characterization methods for these materials are discussed and some preliminary materials characterization data are presented. The CO2 adsorption capacity for several versions of SWCNT supported amine-based CO2 scrubber materials is also determined.
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.
Technical Paper

Development of Optical Trace Gas Monitoring Technology for NASA Human Space Flight

2004-07-19
2004-01-2266
Investigators from three institutions have partnered in a Rapid Technology Development Team whose goal will be the deployment of laser-based sensors for air-constituent measurements on board spacecrafts. The sensors will eventually be based on Type II Interband Cascade (IC) lasers being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These lasers will be used in implementations of both photo acoustic spectroscopy based on the use of quartz tuning fork oscillators as a resonant acoustic sensor (QE-PAS) and cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS). In the first year of the program, work at Rice and George Washington Universities has focused on the development of both QEPAS and CRDS sensors for ammonia using near infrared lasers. Simultaneously, the JPL portion of the team has fabricated both Fabry Perot and distributed feedback lasers in the mid infrared that can be used for formaldehyde detection.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Technology at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility

2007-07-09
2007-01-3036
The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) technology has been previously discussed as a viable option for the Exploration Water Recovery System. This technology integrates a phase change process with catalytic oxidation in the vapor phase to produce potable water from exploration mission wastewaters. A developmental prototype VPCAR was designed, built and tested under funding provided by a National Research Announcement (NRA) project. The core technology, a Wiped Film Rotating Device (WFRD) was provided by Water Reuse Technologies under the NRA, whereas Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International performed the hardware integration and acceptance test of the system. Personnel at the Ames Research Center performed initial systems test of the VPCAR using ersatz solutions. To assess the viability of this hardware for Exploration Life Support (ELS) applications, the hardware has been modified and tested at the MSFC ECLS Test Facility.
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.
Technical Paper

Life Support Requirements and Technology Challenges for NASA's Constellation Program

2008-06-29
2008-01-2018
NASA's Constellation Program, which includes the mission objectives of establishing a permanently-manned lunar Outpost, and the exploration of Mars, poses new and unique challenges for human life support systems that will require solutions beyond the Shuttle and International Space Station state of the art systems. In particular, the requirement to support crews for extended durations at the lunar outpost with limited resource resupply capability will require closed-loop regenerative life support systems with minimal expendables. Planetary environmental conditions such as lunar dust and extreme temperatures, as well as the capability to support frequent and extended-duration Extra-vehicular Activity's (EVA's) will be particularly challenging.
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

The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project Phase III 90-day Test: The Crew Perspective

1998-07-13
981702
The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) Phase III test examined the use of biological and physicochemical life support technologies for the recovery of potable water from waste water, the regeneration of breathable air, and the maintenance of a shirt-sleeve environment for a crew of four persons for 91 days. This represents the longest duration ground-test of life support systems with humans performed in the United States. This paper will describe the test from the inside viewpoint, concentrating on three major areas: maintenance and repair of life support elements, the scientific projects performed primarily in support of the International Space Station, and numerous activities in the areas of public affairs and education outreach.
Technical Paper

Enzyme-Enhanced Membranes for Gas Separation

1999-07-12
1999-01-1961
Membranes are highly desirable for separating gases in life-support applications. They are small, light, efficient, selective and require little operational or physical maintenance. Facilitated transport membranes have particularly high flux and selectivity. We created enzyme-based facilitated transport membranes using isozymes and mutants as immobilized arrays alone and in conjunction with polymeric membranes. The enzyme operates efficiently at the low CO2 concentrations encountered in respiratory gases and can bring CO2 to near ambient levels. CO2 flux is greatly enhanced and selectivities for CO2 over O2 of 200:1 or greater are possible. The enzymes are robust and stable for long periods under a variety of storage and use conditions.
Technical Paper

Mir Leak Detection Using Fluorescent Tracer Gases

1999-07-12
1999-01-1938
On June 25, 1997 a docking mishap of a Progress supply ship caused the Progress vehicle to crash into an array of solar panels and puncture the hull of the Spektr module. The puncture was small enough to allow the crew to seal off the Spektr module and repressurize the rest of the station. The Progress vehicle struck the Spektr module several times and the exact location, size, and number of punctures in the Spektr hull was unknown. Russian cosmonauts donned space suits and went inside the Spektr module to repair some electrical power cables and look for the location of the hull breach, they could not identify the exact location of the hole (or holes). The Spektr module was pressurized with Mir cabin air twice during the STS-86 fly around in an attempt to detect leakage (in the form of ice particles) from the module. Seven particles were observed within a 36 second time span, but tracking the path of the individual particles did not pinpoint a specific leak location.
Technical Paper

Vapor Compression Distillation Urine Processor Lessons Learned from Development and Life Testing

1999-07-12
1999-01-1954
Vapor Compression Distillation (VCD) is the chosen technology for urine processing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Development and life testing over the past several years have brought to the forefront problems and solutions for the VCD technology. Testing between 1992 and 1998 has been instrumental in developing estimates of hardware life and reliability. It has also helped improve the hardware design in ways that either correct existing problems or enhance the existing design of the hardware. The testing has increased the confidence in the VCD technology and reduced technical and programmatic risks. This paper summarizes the test results and changes that have been made to the VCD design.
Technical Paper

Solid Polymer Electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly Life Testing at MSFC - The First Year

1997-07-01
972376
A two year test program has been initiated to evaluate the effects of extended duration operation on a solid polymer electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA); in particular the cell stack and membrane phase separators. As part of this test program, the OGA was integrated into the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Water Recovery Test (WRT) Stage 10, a six month test, to use reclaimed water directly from the water processor product water storage tanks. This paper will document results encountered and evaluated thus far in the life testing program.
Technical Paper

Diode-Laser Spectral Absorption-Based Gas Species Sensor for Life Support Applications

1997-07-01
972388
We present the development of a semiconductor diode laser spectral absorption based gas species sensor for oxygen concentration measurements, intended for life support system monitoring and control applications. Employing a novel self-compensating, noise cancellation detection approach, we experimentally demonstrate better than 1% accuracy, linearity, and stability for monitoring breathing air conditions with 0.2 second response time. We also discuss applications of this approach to CO2 sensing.
Technical Paper

Summary of Current and Future MSFC International Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support System Activities

1997-07-01
972331
The paper provides a summary of current work accomplished under technical task agreement (TTA) by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) regarding the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) as well as future planning activities in support of the International Space Station(ISS).Current activities computer model development, component design and development, subsystem/integrated system testing, life testing, and government furnished equipment delivered to the ISS program. A long range plan for the MSFC ECLSS test facility is described whereby the current facility would be upgraded to support integrated station ECLSS operations. ECLSS technology development efforts proposed to be performed under the Advanced Engineering Technology Development (AETD) program are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Performance of the Atmosphere Revitalization System During Phase II of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project

1997-07-01
972418
The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP), formerly known as the Early Human Testing Initiative (EHTI), was established to perform the necessary research, technology development, integration, and verification of regenerative life support systems to provide safe, reliable, and self-sufficient human life support systems. Four advanced life support system test phases make up LMLSTP. Phase I of the test program demonstrated the use of plants to provide the atmosphere revitalization requirements of a single test subject for 15 days. The primary objective of the Phase II test was to demonstrate an integrated regenerative life support system capable of sustaining a human crew of four for 30 days in a closed chamber. The third test phase, known as Phase IIA, served as a demonstration of International Space Station (ISS) representative life support technology, supporting a human crew of four for 60 days.
Technical Paper

A Thermal Control System Dual-Membrane Gas Trap for the International Space Station

1997-07-01
972410
The dual membrane gas trap filter is utilized in the internal thermal control system (ITCS) as part of the pump package assembly to remove non-condensed gases from the ITCS coolant. This improves pump performance and prevents pump cavitation. The gas trap also provides the capability to vent air that is Ingested into the ITCS during routine maintenance and replacement of the International Space Station (ISS) system orbital replacement units. The gas trap is composed of two types of membranes that are formed into a cylindrical module and then encased within a titanium housing. The non-condensed gas that is captured is then allowed to escape through a vent tube in the gas trap housing.
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