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Technical Paper

ECLSS Study for a European SpaceHaven

The forthcoming planetary missions require an autonomous crew habitation and a high mass of metabolic consumables. To minimise the launch mass and/or the logistic needs, these missions shall then be based on regenerative technologies able to obtain resources for the human life from the on board produced wastes, guaranteeing a high closure degree of the system. In this context ESA has promoted a preliminary study called SpaceHaven, to understand which functions must be guaranteed for a long term and autonomous mission and to investigate about the hardware/technologies to be exploited to meet the identified functions. A dedicated demonstration program is to be proposed when needed technologies are neither available in Europe nor currently covered by a dedicated technological development.
Technical Paper

MPLM Total Off-Gassing Test Through Different Sampling Methods: Comparison and Experimental Results

The Total Off-gassing test purpose is to determine the identity and quantity of trace gas contaminants offgassed in areas of spacecraft where the crew will breathe the atmosphere. Two different air sampling methods were adopted in parallel during the off-gassing tests on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM) by Alenia Spazio. The first method, based on NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) requirements, foresees storage of collected air samples into stainless steel pressure cylinders. The second method proposed by ESA (European Space Agency), uses trace contaminants adsorption on Carbopack™ filled ceramic tubes. Sample lines route the samples collected inside the MPLM cabin, to the respective external collection points. Successively, the stored samples are chemically analyzed by Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques and the module offgassing rates are calculated.
Technical Paper

Environmental Control of the Mini Pressurized Logistic Module

The Mini Pressurized Logistic Module (MPLM) is designed to transport supplies and return cargo requiring a pressurized environment to and from the Space Station Freedom (SSF) via the National Space Transportation System (NSTS) Shuttle. The MPLM provides accommodation for a number of cargo racks, including two Freezer/Refrigerators (F/Rs) and one subsystem rack. The maintenance of the habitable conditions for the crew and the control of the MPLM thermal environment are carried out by the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and the Thermal Control System (TCS). The ECLSS and TCS functional concepts are tailored to the peculiarities of the MPLM design, based on mass and volume minimization, maximum simplification and exploitation of the resources available at the SSF interface.
Technical Paper

The Effects of a Reduced Pressure Scenario on the Columbus APM Environmental Control System

Manned Space Systems are usually designed to support the crew atmospheric conditions equivalent to those at sea level. In phases with frequent Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA), a reduced pressure environment is preferable to facilitate the EVA suit prebreathing procedures. The Columbus Attached Pressurised Module (APM) will face both pressure scenarios during its life. Operation at different pressure levels primarily affects the performance of the Environmental Control System (ECS) of the pressurised elements. A lower air density results in reduced heat exchange, adversely affecting both the crew comfort and the electronics air cooling. This paper reports the results of a study performed to identify the constraints and the numerous potential problem areas related to APM operations at reduced pressure. Effects of the reduced pressure on the environmental parameters have been investigated.
Technical Paper

Thermal Comfort in the Columbus Attached Pressurized Module

The Columbus Attached Pressurised Module (APM) is intended to support a shirt-sleeve environment for crew activities. Top level requirements therefore define a cabin air temperature and humidity range (the so-called “Comfort Box”), extreme air velocities for ventilation in the centra aisle, maximum mean radiant temperature of the cabin walls. Air temperature selectability has to be ensured with adequate accuracy across the whole range. The APM environmental control system, in particular the Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) system, is designed and verified against these parameters. Cabin thermal conditions can be evaluated by the APM Integrated Overall Thermal Mathematical Model (IOTMM), representing the general thermal behaviour of the APM, including the THC system. Heat loads due to APM subsystem equipment and payloads, solar flux and the crew itself have been considered in the analyses.