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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.