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Technical Paper

Methane Pyrolysis to Close the ECLS Hydrogen Loop

For long duration manned space missions an advanced ECLSS is required to recycle all consumables to a maximum extend possible. Recycling of oxygen out of the atmosphere in a crewed spacecraft is more important the longer the duration of the mission (ISS, Moon, Mars). On behalf of ESA, an air revitalization technology, to reclaim the oxygen from metabolically produced carbon dioxide, was developed in a step-wise approach since 1985. Herein, the air revitalization system technology demonstrator ( ARSD ), designed for a crew of 3 man, was built and successfully tested in a closed chamber for about 600 hours. (/1/) The current concept of the ARSD leads still to a considerable loss of hydrogen, due to the production of methane, which is currently vented. In order to close the hydrogen loop in the air revitalization system, a study was performed to demonstrate the feasibility to decompose methane, reclaim the hydrogen and dispose the deposited carbon.
Journal Article

ANITA Air Monitoring on the International Space Station Part 2: Air Analyses

After the launch to the ISS (International Space Station) with The Space Shuttle flight STS 118 13A.1 on August 9th 2007 and the accommodation in the US lab Destiny, the air quality monitor ANITA (Analysing Interferometer for Ambient Air) has been successfully put into operation. ANITA is a technology demonstrator flight experiment being able to continuously monitor with high time resolution the air conditions within the crewed cabins of the ISS. The system has its origin in a long term ESA technology development programme. The ANITA mission itself is an ESA-NASA cooperative project. ESA is responsible for the provision of the HW, the data acquisition and data evaluation. NASA's responsibilities are launch, accommodation in the US Lab Destiny, operation and data download. The ANITA air analyser is currently calibrated to detect and quantify online and with high time resolution 33 gases simultaneously with down to sub-ppm detection limits.