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Rapid Cycle Amine (RCA 2.0) System DevelopmentThe Rapid Cycle Amine (RCA) system is a low-power assembly capable of simultaneously removing carbon dioxide (CO2) and humidity from an influent air steam and subsequent regeneration when exposed to a vacuum source. Two solid amine sorbent beds are alternated between an uptake mode and a regeneration mode. During the uptake mode, the sorbent is exposed to an air steam (ventilation loop) to adsorb CO2 and water (H2O) vapor, whereas during the regeneration mode, the sorbent rejects the adsorbed CO2 and H2O vapor to a vacuum source. The two beds operate such that while one bed is in the uptake mode, the other is in the regeneration mode, thus continuously providing an on-service sorbent bed by which CO2 and humidity may be removed. A novel valve assembly provides a simple means of diverting the process air flow through the uptake bed while simultaneously directing the vacuum source to the regeneration bed. Additionally, the valve assembly is designed to allow for switching between uptake and regeneration modes with only one moving part while minimizing gas volume losses to the vacuum source by means of an internal pressure equalization step during actuation. The process can be controlled by a compact, low-power controller design with several modes of operation available to the user. Together with NASA Johnson Space Center, Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International, Inc. has been developing RCA 2.0 based on performance and design feedback on several sorbent bed test articles and valve design concepts. A final design of RCA 2.0 was selected in November 2011 and fabricated and assembled between March and August 2012, with delivery to NASA Johnson Space Center in September 2012. This paper provides an overview of the RCA system design and results of pre-delivery testing.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Papale, William
(UTC Aerospace Systems Windsor Locks, CT, United States)
O'Coin, James
(UTC Aerospace Systems Windsor Locks, CT, United States)
Wichowski, Robert
(UTC Aerospace Systems Windsor Locks, CT, United States)
Chullen, Cinda
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Campbell, Colin
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2013
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
ICES 2013(Vail, CO)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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