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International Space Station (ISS) Bacterial Filter Elements (BFEs): Filter Efficiency and Pressure Drop Testing of Returned UnitsThe air quality control equipment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and future deep space exploration vehicles provide the vital function of maintaining a clean cabin environment for the crew and the hardware. This becomes a serious challenge in pressurized space compartments since no outside air ventilation is possible, and a larger particulate load is imposed on the filtration system due to lack of sedimentation. The ISS Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system architecture in the U.S. Segment uses a distributed particulate filtration approach consisting of traditional High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters deployed at multiple locations in each U.S. Seg-ment module; these filters are referred to as Bacterial Filter Elements, or BFEs. In our previous work, we presented results of efficiency and pressure drop measurements for a sample set of two returned BFEs with a service life of 2.5 years. In this follow-on work, we present similar efficiency, pressure drop, and leak tests results for a larger sample set of six returned BFEs. The results of this work can aid the ISS Program in managing BFE logistics inventory through the stations planned lifetime as well as provide insight for managing filter element logistics for future exploration missions. These results also can provide meaningful guidance for particulate filter designs under consideration for future deep space exploration missions.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Green, Robert D.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Agui, Juan H.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Vijayakumar, R.
(Aerfil, LLC Liverpool, NY, United States)
Berger, Gordon M.
(Universities Space Research Association Cleveland, OH, United States)
Perry, Jay L.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
September 14, 2017
Publication Date
July 16, 2017
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Engineering (General)
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Conference on Environmental Systems
Location: Charleston, SC
Country: United States
Start Date: July 16, 2017
End Date: July 20, 2017
Sponsors: Paragon Space Development Corp.
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 089407.01.22
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
ISS Air Quality
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