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Technical Paper

The Influence of Microbiology on Spacecraft Design and Controls: A Historical Perspective of the Shuttle and International Space Station Programs

2006-07-17
2006-01-2156
For over 40 years, NASA has been putting humans safely into space in part by minimizing microbial risks to crew members. Success of the program to minimize such risks has resulted from a combination of engineering and design controls as well as active monitoring of the crew, food, water, hardware, and spacecraft interior. The evolution of engineering and design controls is exemplified by the implementation of HEPA filters for air treatment, antimicrobial surface materials, and the disinfection regimen currently used on board the International Space Station. Data from spaceflight missions confirm the effectiveness of current measures; however, fluctuations in microbial concentrations and trends in contamination events suggest the need for continued diligence in monitoring and evaluation as well as further improvements in engineering systems. The knowledge of microbial controls and monitoring from assessments of past missions will be critical in driving the design of future spacecraft.
Technical Paper

Performance Characterization of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization Based on Integrated Tests with Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reduction Assemblies

2006-07-17
2006-01-2126
CO2 removal, recovery and reduction are essential processes for a closed loop air revitalization system in a crewed spacecraft. Typically, a compressor is required to recover the low pressure CO2 that is being removed from the spacecraft in a swing bed adsorption system. This paper describes integrated tests of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor (TSAC) with high-fidelity systems for carbon dioxide removal and reduction assemblies (CDRA and Sabatier reactor). It also provides details of the TSAC operation at various CO2 loadings. The TSAC is a solid-state compressor that has the capability to remove CO2 from a low-pressure source, and subsequently store, compress, and deliver it at a higher pressure. TSAC utilizes the principle of temperature-swing adsorption compression and has no rapidly moving parts.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Engineering Development Unit

2007-07-09
2007-01-3205
Hamilton Sundstrand is under contract with the NASA Johnson Space Center to develop a scalable, evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It is being designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. A MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. The current Space Shuttle configuration utilizes an ammonia boiler and flash evaporator system to achieve cooling at all altitudes. With the MFE system, both functions are combined into a single compact package with significant weight reduction and improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing cross-sectional area to keep the back pressure low. Its multiple layer construction allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate.
Technical Paper

Overview of Potable Water Systems on Spacecraft Vehicles and Applications for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

2007-07-09
2007-01-3259
Providing water necessary to maintain life support has been accomplished in spacecraft vehicles for over forty years. This paper will investigate how previous U.S. space vehicles provided potable water. The water source for the spacecraft, biocide used to preserve the water on-orbit, water stowage methodology, materials, pumping mechanisms, on-orbit water requirements, and water temperature requirements will be discussed. Where available, the hardware used to provide the water and the general function of that hardware will also be detailed. The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV or Orion) water systems will be generically discussed to provide a glimpse of how similar they are to water systems in previous vehicles. Conclusions, questions, and recommendations on strategies that could be applied to CEV based on previous spacecraft water system lessons learned will be made.
Technical Paper

Crew Exploration Vehicle Environmental Control and Life Support Fire Protection Approach

2007-07-09
2007-01-3255
As part of preparing for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) worked on developing the requirements to manage the fire risk. The new CEV poses unique challenges to current fire protection systems. The size and configuration of the vehicle resembles the Apollo capsule instead of the current Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. The smaller free air volume and fully cold plated avionic bays of the CEV requires a different approach in fire protection than the ones currently utilized. The fire protection approach discussed in this paper incorporates historical lessons learned and fire detection and suppression system design philosophy spanning from Apollo to the International Space Station.
Technical Paper

Guidance for Trade Studies of Flight-Equivalent Hardware

2007-07-09
2007-01-3223
Spacecraft hardware trade studies compare options primarily on mass while considering impacts to cost, risk, and schedule. Historically, other factors have been considered in these studies, such as reliability, technology readiness level (TRL), volume and crew time. In most cases, past trades compared two or more technologies across functional and TRL boundaries, which is an uneven comparison of the technologies. For example, low TRL technologies with low mass were traded directly against flight-proven hardware without consideration for requirements and the derived architecture. To provide for even comparisons of spacecraft hardware, trades need to consider functionality, mission constraints, integer vs. real number of flight hardware units, and mass growth allowances by TRL.
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

Characterization of the Three Phase Catalytic Wet Oxidation Process in the International Space Station (ISS) Water Processor Assembly

2000-07-10
2000-01-2252
A three phase catalytic mathematical model was developed for analysis and optimization of the volatile reactor assembly (VRA) used on International Space Station (ISS) Water Processor. The Langmuir-Hinshelwood Hougen-Watson (L-H) expression was used to describe the surface reaction rate. Small column experiments were used to determine the L-H rate parameters. The test components used in the experiments were acetic acid, acetone, ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol and propionic acid. These compounds are the most prevalent ones found in the influent to the VRA reactor. The VRA model was able to predict performance of small column data and experimental data from the VRA flight experiment.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Sustaining Engineering: A Ground-Based Test Bed for Evaluating Integrated Environmental Control and Life Support System and Internal Thermal Control System Flight Performance

2000-07-10
2000-01-2249
As the International Space Station's (ISS's) various habitable modules are placed in service on orbit, the need to provide for sustaining engineering becomes increasingly important to ensure the proper function of critical onboard systems. Chief among these are the environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) and the internal thermal control system (ITCS). Without either, life on board the ISS would prove difficult or nearly impossible. For this reason, a ground-based ECLSS/ITCS hardware performance simulation capability has been developed at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The ECLSS/ITCS sustaining engineering test bed will be used to assist the ISS program in resolving hardware anomalies and performing periodic performance assessments. The ISS flight configuration being simulated by the test bed is described as well as ongoing activities related to its preparation for supporting ISS Mission 5A.
Technical Paper

Innovative Schematic Concept Analysis for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

2006-07-17
2006-01-2201
Conceptual designs for a space suit Personal Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) were developed and assessed to determine if upgrading the system using new, emerging, or projected technologies to fulfill basic functions would result in mass, volume, or performance improvements. Technologies were identified to satisfy each of the functions of the PLSS in three environments (zero-g, Lunar, and Martian) and in three time frames (2006, 2010, and 2020). The viability of candidate technologies was evaluated using evaluation criteria such as safety, technology readiness, and reliability. System concepts (schematics) were developed for combinations of time frame and environment by assigning specific technologies to each of four key functions of the PLSS -- oxygen supply, waste removal, thermal control, and power. The PLSS concepts were evaluated using the ExtraVehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool, software created by NASA to analyze integrated system mass, volume, power and thermal loads.
Technical Paper

Chemical Characterization of U.S. Lab Condensate

2006-07-17
2006-01-2016
Approximately 50% of the water consumed by International Space Station crewmembers is water recovered from cabin humidity condensate. Condensing heat exchangers in the Russian Service Module (SM) and the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) are used to control cabin humidity levels. In the SM, humidity condensate flows directly from the heat exchanger to a water recovery system. In the USOS, a metal bellows tank located in the US Laboratory Module (LAB) collects and stores condensate, which is periodically off-loaded in about 20-liter batches to Contingency Water Containers (CWCs). The CWCs can then be transferred to the SM and connected to a Condensate Feed Unit that pumps the condensate from the CWCs into the water recovery system for processing. Samples of the condensate in the tank are collected during the off-loads and returned to Earth for analyses.
Technical Paper

Rapid Microbial Analysis during Simulated Surface EVA at Meteor Crater: Implications for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

2006-07-17
2006-01-2006
Procedures for rapid microbiological analysis were performed during simulated surface extra-vehicular activity (EVA) at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The fully suited operator swabbed rock (‘unknown’ sample), spacesuit glove (contamination control) and air (negative control). Each swab sample was analyzed for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-1, 3-glucan within 10 minutes by the handheld LOCAD PTS instrument, scheduled for flight to ISS on space shuttle STS-116. This simulated a rapid and preliminary ‘life detection’ test (with contamination control) that a human could perform on Mars. Eight techniques were also evaluated for their ability to clean and remove LPS and β-1, 3-glucan from five surface materials of the EVA Mobility Unit (EMU). While chemical/mechanical techniques were effective at cleaning smooth surfaces (e.g. RTV silicon), they were less so with porous fabrics (e.g. TMG gauntlet).
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

Measurement of Trace Water Vapor in a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly Product Stream

2004-07-19
2004-01-2444
The International Space Station Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) uses regenerable adsorption technology to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from cabin air. CO2 product water vapor measurements from a CDRA test bed unit at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center were made using a tunable infrared diode laser differential absorption spectrometer (TILDAS) provided by NASA Glenn Research Center. The TILDAS instrument exceeded all the test specifications, including sensitivity, dynamic range, time response, and unattended operation. During the CO2 desorption phase, water vapor concentrations as low as 5 ppmv were observed near the peak of CO2 evolution, rising to levels of ∼40 ppmv at the end of a cycle. Periods of high water concentration (>100 ppmv) were detected and shown to be caused by an experimental artifact.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Technology Readiness Level of a Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA) for Use on International Space Station

2004-07-19
2004-01-2446
When technologies are traded for incorporation into vehicle systems to support a specific mission scenario, they are often assessed in terms of “Technology Readiness Level” (TRL). TRL is based on three major categories of Core Technology Components, Ancillary Hardware and System Maturity, and Control and Control Integration. This paper describes the Technology Readiness Level assessment of the Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA) for use on the International Space Station. A team comprising of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Southwest Research Institute and Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International have been working on various aspects of the CRA to bring its TRL from 4/5 up to 6. This paper describes the work currently being done in the three major categories. Specific details are given on technology development of the Core Technology Components including the reactor, phase separator and CO2 compressor.
Technical Paper

Atmospheric Monitoring Strategy for Ground Testing of Closed Ecological Life Support Systems

2004-07-19
2004-01-2477
This paper reviews the evolution and current state of atmospheric monitoring on the International Space Station to provide context from which we can imagine a more advanced and integrated system. The unique environmental hazards of human space flight are identified and categorized into groups, taking into consideration the time required for the hazard to become a threat to human health or performance. The key functions of a comprehensive monitoring strategy for a closed ecological life support system are derived from past experience and a survey of currently available technologies for monitoring air quality. Finally, a system architecture is developed incorporating the lessons learned from ISS and other analogous closed life support systems. The paper concludes by presenting recommendations on how to proceed with requirements definition and conceptual design of an air monitoring system for exploration missions.
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

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.
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