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Technical Paper

Zero-Venting, Regenerable, Lightweight Heat Rejection for EVA Suits

2005-07-11
2005-01-2974
Future space exploration missions will require a lightweight spacesuit that expends no consumables. This paper describes the design and performance of a prototype heat rejection system that weighs less than current systems and vents zero water. The system uses regenerable LiCl/water absorption cooling. Absorption cooling boosts the heat absorbed from the crew member to a high temperature for rejection to space from a compact, non-venting radiator. The system is regenerated by heating to 100°C for two hours. The system provides refrigeration at 17°C and rejects heat at temperatures greater than 50°C. The overall cooling capacity is over 100 W-hr/kg.
Technical Paper

Weathering of Thermal Control Coatings

2007-07-09
2007-01-3020
Spacecraft radiators reject heat to their surroundings. Radiators can be deployable or mounted on the body of the spacecraft. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle is to use body mounted radiators. Coatings play an important role in heat rejection. The coatings provide the radiator surface with the desired optical properties of low solar absorptance and high infrared emittance. These specialized surfaces are applied to the radiator panel in a number of ways, including conventional spraying, plasma spraying, or as an appliqué. Not specifically designed for a weathering environment, little is known about the durability of conventional paints, coatings, and appliqués upon exposure to weathering and subsequent exposure to solar wind and ultraviolet radiation exposure. In addition to maintaining their desired optical properties, the coatings must also continue to adhere to the underlying radiator panel.
Technical Paper

Ventilation Transport Trade Study for Future Space Suit Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-2115
A new and advanced portable life support system (PLSS) for space suit surface exploration will require a durable, compact, and energy efficient system to transport the ventilation stream through the space suit. Current space suits used by NASA circulate the ventilation stream via a ball-bearing supported centrifugal fan. As NASA enters the design phase for the next generation PLSS, it is necessary to evaluate available technologies to determine what improvements can be made in mass, volume, power, and reliability for a ventilation transport system. Several air movement devices already designed for commercial, military, and space applications are optimized in these areas and could be adapted for EVA use. This paper summarizes the efforts to identify and compare the latest fan and bearing technologies to determine candidates for the next generation PLSS.
Technical Paper

Ultralight Fabric Reflux Tube (UFRT) Thermal/Vacuum Test

1996-07-01
961455
Spacecraft thermal control systems are essential to provide the necessary thermal environment for the crew and to ensure that the equipment functions adequately on space missions. The Ultralight Fabric Reflux Tube (UFRT) was developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a lightweight radiator concept to be used on planetary surface-type missions (e.g., Moon, Mars). The UFRT consists of a thin-walled tube (acting as the fluid boundary), overwrapped with a low-mass ceramic fabric (acting as the primary pressure boundary). The tubes are placed in an array in the vertical position with the evaporators at the lower end. Heat is added to the evaporators, which vaporizes the working fluid. The vapor travels to the condenser end section and condenses on the inner wall of the thin-walled tube. The resulting latent heat is radiated to the environment. The fluid condensed on the tube wall is then returned to the evaporator by gravity.
Technical Paper

Thermal Analysis of Lightweight Liquid Cooling Garments Using Highly Conductive Materials

2005-07-11
2005-01-2972
This paper presents the analysis findings of a study reducing the overall mass of the lightweight liquid cooling garment (LCG). The LCG is a garment worn by crew to actively cool the body, for spacesuits and launch/entry suits. A mass reduction of 66% was desired for advanced missions. A thermal math model of the LCG was developed to predict its performance when various mass-reducing changes were implemented. Changes included varying the thermal conductivity and thickness of the garment or of the coolant tubes servicing the garment. A second model was developed to predict behavior of the suit when the cooling tubes were to be removed, and replaced with a highly-conducting (waterless) material. Findings are presented that show significant reductions in weight are theoretically possible by improving conductivity in the garment material.
Technical Paper

The State of ISS ATCS Design, Assembly and Operation

2003-07-07
2003-01-2513
The International Space Station (ISS) Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) (Ref. 1,2) has changed over the past several years to address problems and to improve its assembly and operation on-orbit. This paper captures the ways in which the Internal (I) ATCS and External (E) ATCS have changed design characteristics and operations both for the system currently operating on-orbit and the new elements of the system that are about to be added and/or activated. The rationale for changes in ATCS design, assembly and operation will provide insights into the lessons learned during ATCS development. The state of the assembly of the integrated ATCS will be presented to provide a status of the build-up of the system. The capabilities of the on-orbit system will be presented with a summary of the elements of the ISS ATCS that are functional on-orbit plus the plans for launch of remaining parts of the integrated ISS ATCS.
Technical Paper

The Design and Testing of a Fully Redundant Regenerative CO2 Removal System (RCRS) for the Shuttle Orbiter

2001-07-09
2001-01-2420
Research into increased capacity solid amine sorbents has found a candidate (SA9T) that will provide enough increase in cyclic carbon dioxide removal capacity to produce a fully redundant Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System (RCRS). This system will eliminate the need for large quantities of backup LiOH, thus gaining critical storage space on board the shuttle orbiter. This new sorbent has shown an ability to package two fully redundant (four) sorbent beds together with their respective valves, fans and plumbing to create two operationally independent systems. The increase in CO2 removal capacity of the new sorbent will allow these two systems to fit within the envelope presently used by the RCRS. This paper reports on the sub-scale amine testing performed in support of the development effort. In addition, this paper will provide a preliminary design schematic of a fully redundant RCRS.
Technical Paper

Testing of the Multi-Fluid Evaporator Prototype

2008-06-29
2008-01-2166
Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a scalable evaporative heat rejection system called the Multi-Fluid Evaporator (MFE). It was designed to support the Orion Crew Module and to support future Constellation missions. The MFE would be used from Earth sea level conditions to the vacuum of space. This system combines the functions of the Space Shuttle flash evaporator and ammonia boiler into a single compact package with improved freeze-up protection. The heat exchanger core is designed so that radial flow of the evaporant provides increasing surface area to keep the back pressure low. The multiple layer construction of the core allows for efficient scale up to the desired heat rejection rate. A full-scale unit uses multiple core sections that, combined with a novel control scheme, manage the risk of freezing the heat exchanger cores. A four-core MFE prototype was built in 2007.
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

Testing and Model Correlation of Sublimator Driven Coldplate Coupons and EDU

2009-07-12
2009-01-2479
The Sublimator Driven Coldplate (SDC) is a unique piece of thermal control hardware that has several advantages over a more traditional thermal control system. The principal advantage is the possible elimination of a pumped fluid loop, potentially saving mass, power, and complexity. Because this concept relies on evaporative heat rejection techniques, it is primarily useful for short mission durations. Additionally, the concept requires a conductive path between the heat-generating component and the heat rejection device. Therefore, it is mostly a relevant solution for a vehicle with a relatively low heat rejection requirement and/or short transport distances. Tests were performed on coupons and an Engineering Development Unit (EDU) at NASA's Johnson Space Center to better understand the basic operational principles and to validate the analytical methods being used for the SDC development.
Technical Paper

Testing and Analysis of an Environmental System Test Stand

2003-07-07
2003-01-2361
Thermal control systems for space application plant growth chambers offer unique challenges. The ability to control temperature and humidity independently gives greater flexibility for optimizing plant growth. Desired temperature and relative humidity range vary widely from 15°C to 35°C and 65% to 85% respectively. On top of all of these variables, the thermal control system must also be conservative in power and mass. These requirements to develop and test a robust thermal control system for space applications led to the design and development of the Environmental System Test Stand (ESTS) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). The ESTS was designed to be a size constrained, environmental control system test stand with the flexibility to allow for a variety of thermal and lighting technologies. To give greater understanding to the environmental control system, the development of the ESTS included both mathematical models and the physical test stand.
Technical Paper

System Engineering and Integration of Controls for Advanced Life Support

2006-07-17
2006-01-2121
The Advanced Integration Matrix (AIM) project at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) was chartered to study and solve systems-level integration issues for exploration missions. One of the first issues identified was an inability to conduct trade studies on control system architectures due to the absence of mature evaluation criteria. Such architectures are necessary to enable integration of regenerative life support systems. A team was formed to address issues concerning software and hardware architectures and system controls.. The team has investigated what is required to integrate controls for the types of non-linear dynamic systems encountered in advanced life support. To this end, a water processing bioreactor testbed is being developed which will enable prototyping and testing of integration strategies and technologies.
Technical Paper

Space Suit Radiator Performance in Lunar and Mars Environments

2007-07-09
2007-01-3275
During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment and the load from the electrical components. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Last year we reported on the design and initial operational assessment tests of a novel radiator designated the Radiator And Freeze Tolerant heat eXchanger (RAFT-X).
Technical Paper

Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Debris/Contamination

1992-07-01
921345
Debris in the Orbiter crew compartment of early Shuttle missions created crew health concerns and physiological discomfort, and was the cause of some equipment malfunctions. Debris from Orbiters during flight and processing was analyzed, quantized, and evaluated to determine its source. Records were kept on the amount of debris vacuumed by the crew during on-orbit cleaning and the amount found on air-cooled avionics boxes during ground turnaround. After ground turnaround operations at Kennedy Space Center and Palmdale were reviewed from a facility, materials use, and materials control standpoint, the following remedial steps were taken.
Technical Paper

Shuttle Launch Entry Suit Liquid Cooling System Thermal Performance

1995-07-01
951546
A thermoelectric liquid cooling system recently developed at the Johnson Space Center was evaluated in manned and unmanned ground tests as an alternative to the Space Shuttle launch and entry suit personal fan. The liquid cooling system provided superior cooling in environments simulating flight deck conditions during launch and postlanding.
Technical Paper

Shielding Transmission Validation with Solid State Detectors

2003-07-07
2003-01-2331
As shielding materials are developed for protection against the hazards of galactic cosmic rays, it is desirable to develop a protocol for rapid assessment of shielding properties. Solid state energy loss detectors are often used to estimate the charge and energy of particles in ion beam experiments. The direct measurement is energy deposited in the detector. As a means of separating the charge components in typical shield transmission studies with observation, a stack of many such detectors is used. With high-energy beams and thin targets, surviving primaries and fragments emerging from the target have nearly-equal velocities and deposited energy scales with the square of the charge, simplifying the data analysis. The development of a transport model for the shield and detector arrangement and evaluation of prediction of the energy loss spectrum for direct comparison with the experimentally derived data allows a rapid assessment of the shield transmission characteristics.
Technical Paper

Reconfigurable Control System Design for Future Life Support Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-1976
A reconfigurable control system is an intelligent control system that detects faults within the system and adjusts its performance automatically to avoid mission failure, save lives, and reduce system maintenance costs. The concept was first successfully demonstrated by NASA between December 1989 and March 1990 on the F-15 flight control system (SRFCS), where software was integrated into the aircraft's digital flight control system to compensate for component loss by reconfiguring the remaining control loop. This was later adopted in the Boeing X-33. Other applications include modular robotics, reconfigurable computing structure, and reconfigurable helicopters. The motivation of this work is to test such control system designs for future long term space missions, more explicitly, the automation of life support systems.
Technical Paper

Proof of Concept High Lift Heat Pump for a Lunar Base

1998-07-13
981683
When a permanent human outpost is established on the Moon, various methods may be used to reject the heat generated by the base. One proposed concept is the use of a heat pump operating with a vertical, flow-through thermal radiator mounted on a Space Station type habitation module [1]. Since the temperature of the lunar surface varies over the day, the vertical radiator sink temperatures can reach much higher levels than the comfort and even survivability requirements of a habitation module. A high temperature lift heat pump will not only maintain a comfortable habitation module temperature, but will also decrease the size of the radiators needed to reject the waste heat. Thus, the heat pump will also decrease the mass of the entire thermal system. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) have tested a High Lift Heat Pump design and are developing the next generation heat pump based on information and experience gained from this testing.
Technical Paper

Physiological Experience During Shuttle EVA

1995-07-01
951592
To date, 59 man-EVA's have been conducted in the Shuttle Program with minimum physiological problems or limitations. The physiological requirements for life support in the Shuttle EVA include pressure, gas composition, inspired CO2 pressure, heat- removal capability, in-suit water replacement, and caloric replacement. These requirements and their basis in verification testing or analysis are reviewed. The operational measures are identified. The suit pressure in combination with a gas composition of at least 92 percent assures that sufficient O2 pressure is available to the crewmember. The nominal suit pressure of 4.3 psi±0.1 psi was maintained during all 59 man-EVA's. The contingency suit pressure was never required to be used. The suit pressure in combination with the cabin pressure and pre-EVA denitrogenation procedures minimize the risk of altitude decompression sickness. There has been no incidence of decompression sickness during Shuttle EVA.
Technical Paper

Performance Testing of an Advanced Lightweight Freezable Radiator

2006-07-17
2006-01-2232
During extravehicular activities (EVAs) it is crucial to keep the astronaut comfortable. Currently, a sublimator rejects to space both the astronaut's metabolic heat and that produced by the Portable Life Support System. In doing so, it consumes up to 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water; the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. While acceptable for low earth orbit, resupply for moon and interplanetary missions will be too costly. Fortunately, the amount of water consumed can be greatly reduced if most of the heat load is radiated to space. However, the radiator must reject heat at the same rate that it is generated to prevent heat stroke or frostbite. Herein, we report on a freezable radiator and heat exchanger to proportionally control the heat rejection rate.
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