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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Space Evaporator Absorber Radiator for Life Support and Thermal Control Systems, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Future human space exploration missions will require advanced life support technology that can operate across a wide range of applications and environments. Thermal control systems for space suits and spacecraft will need to meet critical requirements for water conservation and adaptability to highly variable thermal environments. To achieve these goals, we propose an International Space Station (ISS) demonstration program for an innovative Space Evaporator Absorber Radiator (SEAR) technology. A SEAR system comprises a lithium chloride absorber radiator (LCAR) for heat rejection coupled with a space water membrane evaporator (SWME) for heat acquisition. SEAR systems provide heat pumping to minimize radiator size, thermal storage to accommodate variable environmental conditions, and water absorption to minimize use of expendables. In Phase I we proved the feasibility of our approach by building and testing an LCAR with flight-like internal structures and designing an ISS demonstration experiment. In Phase II we will design and build SEAR components, a flight-like test module, and a regeneration system according to ISS flight requirements. We will demonstrate their operation in ground tests that simulate flight test conditions. More »

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