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Development and Testing of a Sorbent-Based Atmosphere Revitalization System 2010/2011
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Author and Affiliation:
Miller, Lee A.(Ecls Technologies, LLC, Huntsville, AL, United States);
Knox, James C.(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States)
Abstract: Spacecraft being developed for future exploration missions incorporate Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) that limit weight, power, and volume thus requiring systems with higher levels of efficiency while maintaining high dependability and robustness. For air revitalization, an approach that meets those goals utilizes a regenerative Vacuum-Swing Adsorption (VSA) system that removes 100% of the CO2 from the cabin atmosphere as well as 100% of the water. A Sorbent Based Atmosphere Revitalization (SBAR) system is a VSA system that utilizes standard commercial adsorbents that have been proven effective and safe in spacecraft including Skylab and the International Space Station. The SBAR system is the subject of a development, test, and evaluation program that is being conducted at NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center. While previous testing had validated that the technology is a viable option, potential improvements to system design and operation were identified. Modifications of the full-scale SBAR test articles and adsorption cycles have been implemented and have shown significant performance gains resulting in a decrease in the consumables required for a mission as well as improved mission safety. Previous testing had utilized single bed test articles, during this period the test facility was enhanced to allow testing on the full 2-bed SBAR system. The test facility simulates a spacecraft ECLSS and allows testing of the SBAR system over the full range of operational conditions using mission simulations that assess the real-time performance of the SBAR system during scenarios that include the metabolic transients associated with extravehicular activity. Although future manned missions are currently being redefined, the atmosphere revitalization requirements for the spacecraft are expected to be quite similar to the Orion and the Altair vehicles and the SBAR test program addressed validation to the defined mission requirements as well as operation in other potential vehicle architectures. The development program, including test articles, the test facility, and tests and results through early 2011 is discussed.
Publication Date: Jul 17, 2012
Document ID:
20120015524
(Acquired Nov 07, 2012)
Subject Category: MAN/SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPORT
Report/Patent Number: M11-0714
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: 41st International Conference on Environmental Systems; 17-21 Jul. 2011; Portland, OR; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Organization Source: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Description: 19p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: ADSORPTION; CABIN ATMOSPHERES; CARBON DIOXIDE; ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL; EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY; FULL SCALE TESTS; LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS; MANNED SPACE FLIGHT; MISSION PLANNING; SORBENTS; SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS
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