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Technical Paper

Utilizing Exploration Life Support Technology on ISS - a Bold New Approach

1998-07-13
981808
A new life support approach is proposed for use on the International Space Station (ISS). This involves advanced technologies for water recovery and air revitalization, tested at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), including bioprocessing, reverse-osmosis and distillation, low power carbon dioxide removal, non-expendable trace contaminant control, and carbon dioxide reduction.
Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity of Lofty Nonwovens in Space and Planetary Vacuum Environment

2001-07-09
2001-01-2166
For planetary exploration, new thermal insulation materials are needed to deal with unique environmental conditions presented to extravehicular activity (EVA). The thermal insulation material and system used in the existing space suit were specifically designed for low orbit environment. They are not adequate for low vacuum condition commonly found in planetary environments with a gas atmosphere. This study attempts to identify the types of lofty nonwoven thermal insulation materials and the construction parameters that yield the best performance for such application. Lofty nonwovens with different construction parameters are evaluated for their thermal conductivity performance. Three different types of fiber material: solid round fiber, hollow fiber, and grooved fiber, with various denier, needling intensity, and web density were evaluated.
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

Thermal Analysis of Compressible CO2 Flow for PFE TeSS Nozzle of Fire Detection System

2002-07-15
2002-01-2347
A thermal analysis of the compressible carbon dioxide (CO2) flow for the Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE) system has been performed. A SINDA/FLUINT model has been developed for this analysis. The model includes the PFE tank and the Temporary Sleep Station (TeSS) nozzle, and both have an initial temperature of 72 °F. In order to investigate the thermal effect on the nozzle due to discharging CO2, the PFE TeSS nozzle pipe has been divided into three segments. This model also includes heat transfer predictions for PFE tank inner and outer wall surfaces. The simulation results show that the CO2 discharge rates and component wall temperatures fall within the requirements for the PFE system. The simulation results also indicate that after 50 seconds, the remaining CO2 in the tank may be near the triple point (gas, liquid and solid) state and, therefore, restricts the flow.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Trace Contaminants on the Shuttle Orbiter Regenerative CO2 Removal System

1995-07-01
951540
There is a possibility that trace contaminants in the Shuttle Orbiter cabin atmosphere may chemically react with amine beads found in the Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System and degrade system performance. Two contaminant compounds were exposed to the amine beads, and performance changes were measured. Acetone was tested because it is sometimes found in small but appreciable quantities in the cabin, and it has chemical properties that make it a potential poison. Halon 1301 was tested because it is the fire extinguishant, and a discharge of a Halon canister would trigger high concentrations in the cabin. Acetone was shown to be weakly and reversibly adsorbed. It does not poison the bed, and the RCRS was shown to remove small quantities of acetone. Halon was shown to be inert to the amine. It does not poison the RCRS, and is not removed by the RCRS.
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

The Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility: Testbed Development and Testing to Understand Evolution to Regenerative Life Support

1996-07-01
961592
As part of its integrated system test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has undertaken the development of a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated, regenerative biological and physicochemical life support systems. This facility--the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility (HRTF) is currently being built at the Johnson Space Center. The HRTF is comprised of a series of interconnected chambers with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting a test crew of four for periods exceeding one year. The life support system will consist of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform air revitalization, water recovery, food production, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated command and control functions. Currently, a portion of this multichamber facility has been constructed and is being outfitted with basic utilities and infrastructure.
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 of an Integrated Air Revitalization System

1995-07-01
951661
Long-duration missions in space will require regenerative air revitalization processes. Human testing of these regenerative processes is necessary to provide focus to the system development process and to provide realistic metabolic and hygiene inputs. To this end, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), under the sponsorship of NASA Headquarters Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, is implementing an Early Human Testing (EHT) Project. As part of this project, an integrated physicochemical Air Revitalization System (ARS) is being developed and tested in JSC's Life Support Systems Integration Facility (LSSIF). The components of the ARS include a Four-Bed Molecular Sieve (4BMS) Subsystem for carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, a Sabatier CO2 Reduction Subsystem (CRS), and a Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE)™ Oxygen Generation Subsystem (OGS). A Trace Contaminant Control Subsystem (TCCS) will be incorporated at a later date.
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

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

SAWD II Subsystem Integration into the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber: A Systems Level Analysis Using CASE/A

1994-06-01
941451
The NASA Johnson Space Center has plans to integrate a Solid Amine Water Desorbed (SAWD II) carbon dioxide removal subsystem into the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber (VPGC). The SAWD II subsystem will be used to remove any excess carbon dioxide (CO2) input into the VPGC which is not assimilated by the plants growing in the chamber. An analysis of the integrated VPGC-SAWD II system was performed using a mathematical model of the system implemented in the Computer-Aided System Engineering and Analysis (CASE/A) package. The analysis consisted of an evaluation of the SAWD II subsystem configuration within the VPGC, the planned operations for the subsystem, and the overall performance of the subsystem and other VPGC subsystems. Based on the model runs, recommendations were made concerning the SAWD II subsystem configuration and operations, and the chambers' automatic CO2 injection control subsystem.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed Performance: Lettuce Crop Characterization

1992-07-01
921391
Two crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Waldmann's Green) were grown in the Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) Test Bed at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The RLSS Test Bed is an atmospherically closed, controlled environment facility for the evaluation of regenerative life support systems using higher plants. The chamber encloses 10.6 m2 of growth area under cool-white fluorescent lamps. Lettuce was double seeded in 480 pots, each containing about 250 cm3 of calcined-clay substrate. Each pot was irrigated with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution at an average total applied amount of 2.5 and 1.8 liters pot-1, respectively, over each of the two 30-day crop tests. Average environmental and cultural conditions during both tests were 23°C air temperature, 72% relative humidity, 1000 ppm carbon dioxide (CO2), 16h light/8h dark photoperiod, and 356 μmol m-2s-1 photosynthetic photon flux.
Technical Paper

Progress on Development of the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility

1995-07-01
951691
NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has included as part of its long-range planning the development of a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated, regenerative biological and physicochemical life support systems. As the designated NASA Field Center responsible for integration and testing of advanced life support systems, Johnson Space Center has undertaken the development of such a facility--the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility (HRTF). As conceived, the HRTF is an interconnected five-chamber facility with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting a test crew of four for periods exceeding one year. The life support system which sustains the crew consists of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform air revitalization, water recovery, food production, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated control and monitoring functions.
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.
Technical Paper

Overview of NASA's Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project

2009-07-12
2009-01-2436
NASA's Constellation Program includes the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, are manned space vehicles while the third element is broader and includes several subelements including Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The upcoming planned missions involving these systems and vehicles include several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal environment, many of these risks and challenges are associated with the vehicles' thermal control system. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) includes the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP consists of several technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned risks and design challenges is the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project.
Technical Paper

Operation of a Breadboard Liquid-Sorbent/Membrane-Contactor System for Removing Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor from Air

1992-07-01
921321
Processes to remove and recover carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor from air are essential for successful long-duration space missions. This paper presents results of a developmental program focused on the use of a liquid- sorbent/membrane-contactor (LSMC) system for removal of CO2 and water vapor from air. In this system, air from the spacecraft cabin atmosphere is circulated through one side of a hollow-fiber membrane contactor. On the other side of the membrane contactor is flowed a liquid sorbent, which absorbs the CO2 and water vapor from the feed air. The liquid sorbent is then heated to desorb the CO2 and water vapor. The CO2 is subsequently removed from the system as a concentrated gas stream, whereas the water vapor is condensed, producing a water stream. A breadboard system based on this technology was designed and constructed. Tests showed that the LSMC breadboard system can produce a CO2 stream and a liquid- water stream.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit Performance of the Major Constituent Analyzer

2002-07-15
2002-01-2404
The Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) was activated on-orbit on 2/13/01 and provided essentially continuous readings of partial pressures for oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and water in the ISS atmosphere. The MCA plays a crucial role in the operation of the Laboratory ECLSS and EVA operations from the airlock. This paper discusses the performance of the MCA as compared to specified accuracy requirements. The MCA has an on-board self-calibration capability and the frequency of this calibration could be relaxed with the level of instrument stability observed on-orbit. This paper also discusses anomalies the MCA experienced during the first year of on-orbit operation. Extensive Built In Test (BIT) and fault isolation capabilities proved to be invaluable in isolating the causes of anomalies. The process of fault isolation is discussed along with development of workaround solutions and implementation of permanent on-orbit corrections.
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