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The Spacecraft Fire Experiment (Saffire) - Objectives, Development and StatusSince 2012, the Spacecraft Fire Experiment (Saffire) has been under development by the Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration (SFS Demo) project that is funded by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The overall objective of this project is to reduce the uncertainty and risk associated with the design of spacecraft fire safety systems for NASA's exploration missions. This is accomplished by defining, developing, and conducting experiments that address gaps in spacecraft fire safety knowledge and capabilities identified by NASA's Fire Safety System Maturation Team. This paper describes the three Spacecraft Fire Experiments (Saffire-I, -II, and -III) that were developed at NASA-GRC and that will conduct a series of material flammability tests in low-gravity and at length scales that are realistic for a spacecraft fire. The experiments will be conducted in Orbital ATK's Cygnus vehicle after it has unberthed from the International Space Station. The tests will be fully automated with the data downlinked at the conclusion of the test and before the Cygnus vehicle reenters the atmosphere. The objectives of these experiments are to (1) determine how rapidly a large scale fire grows in low-gravity and (2) investigate the low-g flammability limits compared to those obtained in NASA's normal gravity material flammability screening test. The hardware for these experiments has been completed and is awaiting their respective launches, all planned for 2016. This paper will review the objectives of these experiments and how they address several of the knowledge gaps for NASA's exploration missions. The hardware development will be discussed including several novel approaches that were taken for testing and evaluation of these series payloads. The status of the missions and operational status will also be presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Schoren, William (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Ruff, Gary A. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Urban, David L. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
February 17, 2017
Publication Date
May 18, 2016
Subject Category
Space Transportation and Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety Conference (IAASS) 2016(Melbourne, FL)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 067463.01.01.03
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
fire prevention

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