Design of a Shuttle Air and Water Prefilter for Reduced Gravity Operation
The Space Shuttle humidity separator prefilter was developed to remove debris from the air/water stream that flows from the cabin condensing heat exchanger to the humidity separator. Debris in this flow stream has caused humidity separator pitot tube clogging and subsequent water carryover on several Shuttle flights. The first design concept of the prefilter was flown on STS-40 in June, 1991. The prefilter was installed on-orbit. Video footage of its operation revealed that the prefilter did not pass water at a constant rate, resulting in a tendency to slug the humidity separator. The results from this flight test have resulted in a complete redesign of the prefilter. In this paper the first prefilter design is described, the flight results from STS-40 are examined, and the on-orbit performance of the prefilter is explained. The redesigned prefilter is described with emphasis on the features that should allow successful reduced gravity operation.