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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

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

2006-07-17
2006-01-2219
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 crew exploration vehicle (CEV) atmosphere is presented. For the CEV, the sorbent-based atmosphere revitalization (SBAR) system must remove all metabolic water, a technology approach that has not been used in previous spacecraft life support systems. Design and development of a prototype SBAR, a full scale and subscale facility test stand, and other aspects of the SBAR development program is discussed.
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

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

Investigation of Mars In-Situ Propellant Production

1997-07-01
972496
In-situ production of oxygen and methane for utilization as a return propellant from Mars for both sample-return and manned missions is currently being developed by NASA in cooperation with major aerospace companies. Various technologies are being evaluated using computer modeling and analysis at the system level. An integrated system that processes the carbon dioxide in the Mars atmosphere to produce liquid propellants has been analyzed. The system is based on the Sabatier reaction that utilizes carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methane and water. The water is then electrolyzed to produce hydrogen and oxygen. While the hydrogen is recycled, the propellant gases are liquefied and stored for later use. The process model considers the surface conditions on Mars (temperature, pressure, composition), energy usage, and thermal integration effects on the overall system weight and size. Current mission scenarios require a system that will produce 0.7 kg of propellant a day for 500 days.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: International Space Station Recipient Mode Test Results and Lessons Learned

1997-07-01
972375
A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the Water Recovery and Management (WRM) system and Waste Management (WM) urinal design for the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) of the International Space Station (ISS). Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 128 days in recipient mode configuration to evaluate the accumulation of contaminants in the water system and to assess the performance of various modifications to the WRM and WM hardware. No accumulation of contaminants were detected in the product water over the course of the recipient mode test. An additional 18 days were conducted in donor mode to assess the ability of the system to removal viral contaminants, to monitor the breakthrough of organic contaminants through the multifiltration bed, and for resolving anomalies that occurred during the test.
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

CO2 Removal with Enhanced Molecular Sieves

1997-07-01
972431
In the closed environment of an inhabited spacecraft, a critical aspect of the air revitalization system is the removal of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor produced by the crew. A number of different techniques can be used for CO2 removal, but current methods are either non-regenerative or require a relatively high power input for thermal regeneration. Two-bed CO2 adsorption systems that can remove CO2 from humid air and be regenerated using pressure-swing desorption offer mass, volume, and power advantages when compared with the other methods. Two classes of sorbent materials show particular promise for this application: Zeolite sorbents, similar to those in the International Space Station (ISS) CO2 removal assembly Functionalized carbon molecular sieves (FCMS), which adsorb CO2 independent of the humidity in the airstream Pressure-swing testing of these two different sorbents under both space station and space suit conditions are currently underway.
Technical Paper

Advanced Fiber-Optic Monitoring System for Space-flight Applications

2005-07-11
2005-01-2877
Researchers at Luna Innovations Inc. and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) are developing an integrated fiber-optic sensor system for real-time monitoring of chemical contaminants and whole-cell bacterial pathogens in water. The system integrates interferometric and evanescent-wave optical fiber-based sensing methodologies to provide versatile measurement capability for both micro- and nano-scale analytes. Sensors can be multiplexed in an array format and embedded in a totally self-contained laboratory card for use with an automated microfluidics platform.
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

Characterization of Condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF)

1994-06-01
941506
Life Sciences research on Space Station will utilize rats to study the effects of the microgravity environment on mammalian physiology and to develop countermeasures to those effects for the health and safety of the crew. The animals will produce metabolic water which must be reclaimed to minimize logistics support. The condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) flown on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) in October 1993 was used as an analog to determine the type and quantity of constituents which the Space Station (SS) water reclamation system will have to process. The most significant organics present in the condensate were 2-propanol, glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1,2-propanediol, acetic acid, acetone, total proteins, urea and caprolactam while the most significant inorganic was ammonia. Microbial isolates included Xanthomonas, Sphingobacterium, Pseudomonas, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Chrysosporium.
Technical Paper

Process Material Management in the Space Station Environment

1988-07-01
880996
The Space Station provides a unique facility for conducting material processing and life science experiments under microgravity conditions. These conditions place special requirements on the U.S. Laboratory for storing and transporting chemicals and process fluids, reclaiming water from selected experiments, treating and storing experiment wastes, and providing vacuum utilities. To meet these needs and provide a safe laboratory environment, the Process Material Management System (PMMS) is being developed. Preliminary design requirements and concepts related to the PMMS are addressed in addition to discussing the MSFC PMMS breadboard test facility and a preliminary plan for validating the overall system design. The system contains a fluid handling subsystem which manages process fluids required by each experiment while a chemical storage facility safely stores potentially hazardous chemicals.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: International Space Station Configuration Test Results and Lessons Learned

1995-07-01
951586
A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the latest Water Recovery and Management (WRM) system and Waste Management (WM) urinal design for the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) of the International Space Station (ISS) with higher fidelity hardware and integration than has been achieved in previous integrated tests. Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 116 days to evaluate the impacts of changes made as a result of the redesign from Space Station Freedom (SSF) to the ISS. This testing marked the first occasion in which the WRM was automated at the system level, allowing for evaluation of the hardware performance under ISS operating conditions. It was also the first time a “flight-like” Process Control Water Quality Monitor (PCWQM) and a WM urinal were tested in an integrated system.
Technical Paper

Computer Modeling and Experimental Investigations of a Regenerative Life Support Waste Water Bioreactor

1995-07-01
951463
Computer models are currently being developed by NASA and major aerospace companies to characterize regenerative life support waste water reclamation bioreactors. Detailed models increase understanding of complex processes within the bioreactors and predict performance capabilities over a wide range of operating parameters. Bench-top scale bioreactors are contributing to the development and validation of these models. The purpose of the detailed bioreactor model is to simulate the complex water purification processes as accurately as possible by minimizing the use of simplifying assumptions and empirical relationships. Fundamental equations of mass transport and microbial kinetics were implemented in a finite-difference model structure to maximize accuracy and adaptability to various bioreactor configurations. The model development is based upon concepts and data from the available literature and data from the bench top bioreactor investigations.
Technical Paper

The Interaction of Spacecraft Cabin Atmospheric Quality and Water Processing System Performance

2002-07-15
2002-01-2300
Although designed to remove organic contaminants from a variety of wastewater streams, the planned U.S. and present Russian-provided water processing systems on board the International Space Station (ISS) have capacity limits for some of the more common volatile cleaning solvents used for housekeeping purposes. Using large quantities of volatile cleaning solvents during the ground processing and in-flight operational phases of a crewed spacecraft such as the ISS can lead to significant challenges to the water processing systems. To understand the challenges facing the management of water processing capacity, the relationship between cabin atmospheric quality and humidity condensate loading is presented. This relationship is developed as a tool to determine the cabin atmospheric loading that may compromise water processing system performance.
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