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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Regenerable Sorbent for Combined CO2, Water, and Trace-Contaminant Capture in the Primary Life Support System (PLSS), Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The NASA objective of expanding the human experience into the far reaches of space requires the development of regenerable life support systems. This proposal addresses the development of an integrated air-revitalization system for the space suit used in Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). The proposed innovations are: (1) a single CO2, trace-contaminant, and H2O management unit; (2) a single sorbent possessing the capability to remove CO2, trace contaminants, and H2O; (3) monolithic sorption unit to provide the following functions: (a) CO2 sorbent; (b) trace-contaminant sorbent; (c) H2O sorbent; (d) low pressure drop; (e) good thermal management (heat transfer and low heat of adsorption); (f) resistance to dusty environments; and (4) regenerable operation. The overall objective is to develop a CO2/trace-contaminant/H2O removal system that is regenerable and that possesses weight, size, and power-requirement advantages over the current state of the art. The Phase 1 objectives were: (1) to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using a novel CO2 sorbent; and (2) to demonstrate effective CO2, ammonia, and H2O sorption and regeneration. These objectives were successfully accomplished. The Phase II objectives are to optimize sorbent properties and performance, to design, construct, and test a prototype, and to provide guidelines for the integration of the proposed concept with the PLSS. This will be accomplished in the following tasks: (1) Sorbent Development and Optimization; (2) Testing in Subscale Systems at Hamilton Sundstrand; (3) Prototype Design; (4) Prototype Construction; (5) Prototype Testing; and (6) System Evaluation. More »

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