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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

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 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

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

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

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

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.
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

A Two-Phase Fluid Pump for Use in Microgravity Environments

1999-07-12
1999-01-1979
The two-phase pump assembly (TPPA) supports advanced thermal control systems (TCS) being developed for future orbital and deep space missions that continuously demand technological advancements to reduce cost, schedule, size, and weight. The TCS provides cooling to onboard personnel and systems by utilizing a coolant in which the working fluid undergoes vaporization and condensation while circulating in the coolant fluid loop. The considerable latent heat associated with these liquid-vapor phase transitions allows the working fluid to absorb and transport a given amount of heat energy with a significantly reduced coolant flow rate resulting in a smaller system size, volume, and mass. Properly designed heat exchangers which utilize boiling and condensation phase transitions can be made smaller and lighter than single-phase systems for a given heat dissipation load.
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

Regenerative Water Recovery System Testing and Model Correlation

1997-07-01
972550
Biological wastewater processing has been under investigation by AlliedSignal Aerospace and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for future use in space. Testing at JSC in the Hybrid Regenerative Water Recovery System (HRWRS) in preparation for future closed human testing has been performed. Computer models have been developed to aid in the design of a new four-person immobilized cell bioreactor. The design of the reactor and validation of the computer model is presented. In addition, the total organic carbon (TOC) computer model has been expanded to begin investigation of nitrification. This model is being developed to identify the key parameters of the nitrification process, and to improve the design and operating conditions of nitrifying bioreactors. In addition, the model can be used as a design tool to rapidly predict the effects of changes in operational conditions and reactor design, significantly reducing the number and duration of experiments required.
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

Summary of Resources for the International Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support System

1997-07-01
972332
The assembly complete Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system for the International Space Station (ISS) will consist of components and subsystems in both the U.S. and International partner elements which together will perform the functions of Temperature and Humidity Control (THC), Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS), Atmosphere Revitalization (AR), Water Recovery and Management (WRM), Waste Management (WM), Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS), and Vacuum System (VS) for the station. Due to limited resources available on ISS, detailed attention is given to minimizing and tracking all resources associated with all systems, beginning with estimates during the hardware development phase through measured actuals when flight hardware is built and delivered. A comprehensive summary of resources consumed by the U.S.
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.
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