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Technical Paper

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

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

Wissler Simulations of a Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

In order to provide effective cooling for astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVAs), a liquid cooling and ventilation garment (LCVG) is used to remove heat by a series of tubes through which cooling water is circulated. To better predict the effectiveness of the LCVG and determine possible modifications to improve performance, computer simulations dealing with the interaction of the cooling garment with the human body have been run using the Wissler Human Thermal Model. Simulations have been conducted to predict the heat removal rate for various liquid cooled garment configurations. The current LCVG uses 48 cooling tubes woven into a fabric with cooling water flowing through the tubes. The purpose of the current project is to decrease the overall weight of the LCVG system. In order to achieve this weight reduction, advances in the garment heat removal rates need to be obtained.
Technical Paper

Utilization of On-Site Resources for Regenerative Life Support Systems at Lunar and Martian Outposts

Lunar and martian materials can be processed and used at planetary outposts to reduce the need (and thus the cost) of transporting supplies from Earth. A variety of uses for indigenous, on-site materials have been suggested, including uses as rocket propellants, construction materials, and life support materials. Utilization of on-site resources will supplement Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) that will be needed to regenerate air, water, and wastes, and to produce food (e.g., plants) for human consumption during long-duration space missions.
Technical Paper

Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model, to Evaluate Liquid Cooling Garments

An Advanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM), is used to evaluate liquid cooling garments (LCG) for advanced space suits for extravehicular applications and launch and entry suits. The manikin is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermoregulatory system. ADAM's thermal response to a baseline LCG was measured.The local effectiveness of the LCG was determined. These new thermal comfort tools permit detailed, repeatable measurements and evaluation of LCGs. Results can extend to other personal protective clothing including HAZMAT suits, nuclear/biological/ chemical protective suits, fire protection suits, etc.
Technical Paper

Thermal Analysis of Lightweight Liquid Cooling Garments Using Highly Conductive Materials

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 Porous Plate Sublimator as the X-38/CRV (Crew Return Vehicle) Orbital Heat Sink

A porous plate sublimator (based on an existing Lunar Module LM-209 design) is baselined as a heat rejection device for the X-38 vehicle due to its simplicity, reliability, and flight readiness. The sublimator is a passive device used for rejecting heat to the vacuum of space by sublimating water to obtain efficient heat rejection in excess of 1,000 Btu/lb of water. It is ideally suited for the X-38/CRV mission as it requires no active control, has no moving parts, has 100% water usage efficiency, and is a well-proven technology. Two sublimators have been built and tested for the X-38 program, one of which will fly on the NASA V-201 space flight demonstrator vehicle in 2001. The units satisfied all X-38 requirements with margin and have demonstrated excellent performance. Minor design changes were made to the LM-209 design for improved manufacturability and parts obsolescence.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Microbiology on Spacecraft Design and Controls: A Historical Perspective of the Shuttle and International Space Station Programs

For over 40 years, NASA has been putting humans safely into space in part by minimizing microbial risks to crew members. Success of the program to minimize such risks has resulted from a combination of engineering and design controls as well as active monitoring of the crew, food, water, hardware, and spacecraft interior. The evolution of engineering and design controls is exemplified by the implementation of HEPA filters for air treatment, antimicrobial surface materials, and the disinfection regimen currently used on board the International Space Station. Data from spaceflight missions confirm the effectiveness of current measures; however, fluctuations in microbial concentrations and trends in contamination events suggest the need for continued diligence in monitoring and evaluation as well as further improvements in engineering systems. The knowledge of microbial controls and monitoring from assessments of past missions will be critical in driving the design of future spacecraft.
Technical Paper

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

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

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 an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

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

Static Feed Water Electrolysis System for Space Station O2 and H2 Generation

Long-term manned operation of NASA's Space Station will dictate use of regenerative processes for the revitalization of the Spacecraft atmosphere. An alkaline Static Feed Water Electrolysis System (SFWES) is being developed by Life Systems, Inc. and NASA to generate metabolic oxygen (O2) for the crew, provide hydrogen (H2) for reduction of concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) and compensate for O2 lost overboard due to Space Station leakage. The SFWES employs highly efficient electrodes with rugged unitized cell construction. Integrated mechanical components and advanced automated Control/Monitor Instrumentation (C/M I) are used to reduce system complexity while enhancing overall reliability and maintainability. Crew size and the unique environment of space drive the system design.
Technical Paper

Static Feed Electrolyzer Technology Advancement for Space Application

The Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE) is being developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Life Systems, Inc. (Life Systems) as part of NASA's effort to mature water electrolysis technology for application in the Space Station Environmental Control/Life Support System (ECLSS), Propulsion and Reboost System, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Electric Power System (EPS). The water electrolysis process generates metabolic oxygen (O2) for the crew cabin, EVA backpacks and air lock, and provides reactants for carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, CO2 reduction, propulsion/reboost systems and fuel cell electric power generation. The use within all of these applications will make water electrolysis a fundamental utilitylike technology for the Space Station.
Technical Paper

Spacesuit Radiation Shield Design Methods

Meeting radiation protection requirements during EVA is predominantly an operational issue with some potential considerations for temporary shelter. The issue of spacesuit shielding is mainly guided by the potential of accidental exposure when operational and temporary shelter considerations fail to maintain exposures within operational limits. In this case, very high exposure levels are possible which could result in observable health effects and even be life threatening. Under these assumptions, potential spacesuit radiation exposures have been studied using known historical solar particle events to gain insight on the usefulness of modification of spacesuit design in which the control of skin exposure is a critical design issue and reduction of blood forming organ exposure is desirable.
Technical Paper

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

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

Revised Solid Waste Model for Mars Reference Missions

A key component of an Advanced Life Support (ALS) system is the solid waste handling system. One of the most important data sets for determining what solid waste handling technologies are needed is a solid waste model. A preliminary solid waste model based on a six-person crew was developed prior to the 2000 Solid Waste Processing and Resource Recovery (SWPRR) workshop. After the workshop, comments from the ALS community helped refine the model. Refinements included better estimates of both inedible plant biomass and packaging materials. Estimates for Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) waste, water processor brine solution, as well as the water contents for various solid wastes were included in the model refinement efforts. The wastes were re-categorized and the dry wastes were separated from wet wastes. This paper details the revised model as of the end of 2001. The packaging materials, as well as the biomass wastes, vary significantly between different proposed Mars missions.
Technical Paper

Removal of Low Levels of Ammonium Ion From pacecraft Recycled Water

Poly (vinyl chloride) (PVC) matrix membranes which incorporate the ionophore nonactin have been evaluated as cation exchange membranes for ammonium ion transport in an electrolytic cell configuration. Interest exists for the development of cation selective membranes for removal of low levels (<200ppm) of ammonium ions commonly found in recycled effluent streams in such diverse applications as expected in a Space Station and commercial fisheries. Ammonium ions are generated as a decomposition product of urea and over time build up in concentration, thus rendering the water unsuitable for human consumption. Nonactin is commonly used in a PVC matrix for ion-selective electrodes.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Water Recovery System Testing and Model Correlation

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

Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed Performance: Lettuce Crop Characterization

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

Rapid Microbial Analysis during Simulated Surface EVA at Meteor Crater: Implications for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

Procedures for rapid microbiological analysis were performed during simulated surface extra-vehicular activity (EVA) at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The fully suited operator swabbed rock (‘unknown’ sample), spacesuit glove (contamination control) and air (negative control). Each swab sample was analyzed for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-1, 3-glucan within 10 minutes by the handheld LOCAD PTS instrument, scheduled for flight to ISS on space shuttle STS-116. This simulated a rapid and preliminary ‘life detection’ test (with contamination control) that a human could perform on Mars. Eight techniques were also evaluated for their ability to clean and remove LPS and β-1, 3-glucan from five surface materials of the EVA Mobility Unit (EMU). While chemical/mechanical techniques were effective at cleaning smooth surfaces (e.g. RTV silicon), they were less so with porous fabrics (e.g. TMG gauntlet).
Technical Paper

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

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.