Analysis of Sensitivity to Parameter Variations in the Design of Filtration Systems for a NASA Carbon Capture Application
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"The problem of interest is the design of a cross flow filter to capture carbon nanoparticles that occur as a byproduct in the process used to convert carbon dioxide to water and oxygen, in particular the stage in which hydrogen is recovered from methane. The final filtration system design must not only be optimized with respect to a set of selection criteria, it must also have a stable and predictable performance envelope that anticipates possible variations in driver parameter values. The stability of the performance envelope of a prescribed filtration system can be quantified by sensitivity analysis of the response parameters to reasonably expected deviations of driver variables from assumed values. Engineering an advanced filtration system is a high order problem with potentially multiple solutions that meet the physical performance requirements. Criteria in addition to standard process and material science requirements that must be met for an optimal filtration system include capital cost, energy consumption, and ease of media regeneration. For extraterrestrial applications, further considerations include period of use (e.g. during transit or on-site), launch mass and volume footprint. The optimization of a filtration system for extraterrestrial applications requires precise specification of the NASA mission architecture. In the present paper stability of solutions will be examined using a mathematical model with parameters expressed in a matrix format that allows calculation of the impact of simultaneous deviations of up to fourteen relevant parameters. Catastrophic conjunctions of driver parameter deviations will be identified and the deviation of performance from the desired result will be quantified. Design of a filtration system meeting NASA specifications and determining the stable performance envelope (bounded below by the minimum filter surface area with no margin for error and above as an over-designed system with unacceptable launch mass and footprint) are of particular interest."