The objective of the Variable Oxygen Regulator Element is to develop an oxygen-rated, contaminant-tolerant oxygen regulator to control suit pressure with a significantly increased number of pressure set points as compared to the state-of-the-art.
The Variable Oxygen Regulator (VOR) is an oxygen-rated, contaminant-tolerant oxygen regulator for space suit pressure control, with a significantly increased number of pressure set points and range as compared to the state-of-the-art. The current EMU only has two settings that are mechanically controlled through an intricate mechanical linkage. The VOR is a dual-stage regulator in which the second stage uses a stepper motor to control the amount of compression on a spring that is balanced against gas pressure and then controls the size of the orifice that feeds gas into the suit. Using a motor-driven actuator, it allows for continuous control of suit pressure over the range of 0-8.4 psid, compared to the 2 setpoints (~0.9 & 4.3) of the state-of-the-art. The enhanced performance will facilitate and improve EVA operations and prebreathe protocols, allow regulation of suit pressure to match different vehicle pressures including integration with suit ports, allow for in-suit decompression sickness treatment, minimize or eliminate prebreathe durations prior to an EVA, and provide the flexibility to run variable pressure profiles during an EVA.
Comparison of first (1.0), second (2.0) and third (3.0) generation variable oxygen regulator hardware:
The Variable Oxygen Regulator will increase capabilities of next generation portable life support systems (PLSS) for new space suits under development by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, Advanced Exploration Systems Program, Advanced Space Suit Project. Although designed for future human exploration missions, the new suit is planned to be flight tested on the International Space Station sometime before the end of the decade.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Johnson Space Center (JSC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Houston, Texas|
|Cobham Life Support||Supporting Organization||Industry|
|United Technologies Aerospace Systems||Supporting Organization||Industry|
|Advanced Exploration Systems Division (AES)|