A Supported Liquid Membrane System for Steady State CO2 Control in a Spacecraft Cabin
Reducing the allowable concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in spacecraft is a critical need for NASA.? The system now used on the International Space Station (ISS) is the carbon dioxide removal assembly (CDRA).? While it has performed well on the ISS, managers have concluded that using the device to reach the new ppCO2?limit of 2.0 mm Hg is not practical and a new method is needed.
In this project, Reaction Systems, Inc. and the University of Colorado will develop a new, membrane-based system to maintain ppCO2?at no higher than 2.0 mm Hg.? The system utilizes the recent advances made in supported liquid membranes (SLMs) to achieve the high CO2?permeance and selectivity needed to make this approach practical.? Performance data obtained with a Reaction Systems? SLM was used to produce a conceptual system design that indicates an SLM system can maintain CO2?at 2.0 mm Hg and still meet size and power limits.? A membrane system operates under steady-state conditions, and therefore pumps and heaters can be sized to operate at peak efficiencies, which maximizes lifetimes and minimize power requirements. ??
Although the conceptual design of the SLM-based system proposed here is very promising, some of the data used to generate the design were obtained under conditions somewhat different from those that would be encountered in an application.? Thus, the objectives of this Phase I STTR project are to acquire performance data for these components under representative conditions and then perform a thorough system optimization study using state-of-the-art software to identify the most efficient operating conditions for all components.? ?
Reaction Systems has been developing SLMs for CO2?control for over seven years and our partner in this project, Professor James Nabity, in the Snead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder, has nearly 15 years of experience developing ECLSS technologies for space habitats and spacesuits.
Other Reaction Systems Projects
The development of weapons that can travel at hypersonic speeds is becoming a high priority to the US Air Force. A key technology needed for the continued development of these propulsion systems is the ability to cool the combustor by flowing fuel through channels machined in the walls.
Aircraft and missiles capable of rapid global strike and reconnaissance must fly at hypersonic speeds to achieve their performance goals. Future air-breathing hypersonic aircraft and missiles are expected to be powered by supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engines.
The Army is very interested in accurate simulations of combustion in devices such as rockets and gas turbines, Otto and Diesel cycle IC engines, scramjet engines, rotating detonation engines, etc.
The surfaces of rocket engines are exposed to high pressure combustion products at temperatures up to 6000?F. Regenerative cooling can cause coke to form on the heat exchanger surfaces.
The development of new, robust, lightweight life support systems is currently a crucial need for NASA in order to continue making advances in space exploration, particularly in the development of Lunar outposts.
Scramjet engines, which likely will provide the next generation propulsion capability, operate at extremely high temperatures and air velocities, conditions that are very difficult to reach in a laboratory.
Reaction Systems, Inc. has developed a new line of robust high temperature ceramic choked flow venturis for use in oxidizing and reducing atmospheres at temperatures up to 2700?F (1480?C).