mechanical and fluid systems
Spacecraft Atmosphere Carbon Dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) Capture via Deposition
Spacecraft Atmosphere Carbon Dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) Capture via Deposition is an air revitalization architecture that utilizes the different physical phase-change properties of International Space Station (ISS) cabin-like constituents (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and various trace contaminants) to selectively separate constituents of interest, such as carbon dioxide and trace contaminants. As the main target constituent is CO<sub>2</sub>, which does not condense in atmospheric conditions, this architecture is referred to as CO<sub>2</sub> deposition, or CDep. The technology addresses future CO<sub>2</sub> removal and life support system needs using a completely different technical approach than currently employed on the ISS. Instead of using a sorbent, this technology utilizes cooling to directly freeze CO<sub>2</sub> out of the atmosphere. Specifically, it involves forcing a phase change of CO<sub>2</sub> from the cabin atmosphere by solidifying it onto a cold surface. The technology for spacecraft atmosphere CO<sub>2</sub> capture uses sequential heat exchangers to cool airflow from the spacecraft atmosphere, and uses deposition coolers that can operate in a deposition mode, in which CO<sub>2</sub> from the airflow is deposited to generate said CO<sub>2</sub> depleted air, and a sublimation mode in which deposited CO<sub>2</sub> is sublimated into CO<sub>2</sub> gas. The system can alternately cycle between the deposition mode and the sublimation mode. A deposition system can also remove humidity in addition to CO<sub>2</sub> via a multi-stage process, and can also significantly assist in controlling the trace contaminants.
Spacecraft to Remove Orbital Debris
An approach to mitigating the creation of additional orbital debris is to remove the sources of future medium debris by actively removing large spent objects from congested orbits. NASA has introduced the ADRV, an efficient and effective solution to remove large debris from LEO such as spent rocket bodies and non-functional satellites. The concept yields a single use, low-cost, lightweight, high mass fraction vehicle that enables the specific removal of large orbital debris (1000 - 4000 kg mass, 200 - 2000 km altitude, and 20 98-degree inclination). The ADRV performs rendezvous, approach, and capture of non-cooperative tumbling debris objects, maneuvering of the mated vehicle, and controlled, targeted reposition or deorbit of the mated vehicle. Due to its small form factor, up to eight ADRVs can be launched in a single payload, enabling high impact orbital debris removal missions within the same inclination group. Three key technologies were developed to enable the ADRV: - 1) The spacecraft control system (SCS) is a guidance, navigation, and control system that provides vehicle control during all phases of a mission; - (2) The debris object characterization system (DOCS) characterizes movement and capture of non-cooperative targets; and - (3) The capture and release system (CARS) allows the vehicle to capture and mate with orbital debris targets. These technologies can improve the current state-of-the-art capabilities of automated rendezvous and docking technology significantly for debris objects with tumbling rates up to 25 degrees per second. This approach leverages decades of spaceflight experience while automating key mission areas to reduce cost and improve the likelihood of success.
power generation and storage
Large Format Li-Ion Thermal Runaway Calorimeter
Large Format Li-ion Calorimeter
A calorimetric device was developed to support the determination of both total energy yield and fractional energy yield (cell body vs. jellyroll vs. ejecta and gas) for large format lithium-ion battery cells with capacities greater than 100 Ah. The Large Format Thermal Runaway Calorimeter (L-FTRC) implements a novel basket capture system designed to facilitate the direct capture and temperature measurement of a completely ejected electrode winding a common occurrence in a thermal runaway event for cells of this size. The L-FTRC also makes use of new strain relief techniques for all associated instrumentation, improving measurement reliability. The L-FTRC provides a gas collection system capable of capturing the expelled gases in a manner that provides the means to analyze the overall volume of expelled gases, as well as flowrate, temperature, and chemical composition. This design enables a novel overall capability. The Large Format Li-Ion Calorimeter is at TRL 6 (which means a system/subsystem prototype has been demonstrated in a relevant environment) and the related patent application is now available to license and develop into a commercial product. Please note that NASA does not manufacture products itself for commercial sale.
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