Evaluation of Combustion Products from Large-Scale Spacecraft Fires during the Saffire-IV and Saffire-V Experiments



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The aim of the spacecraft fire safety series of experiments (Saffire) is to investigate the behavior of large-scale fires in microgravity. During these experiments, materials are ignited within the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply vehicle following its departure from the International Space Station. Saffire-IV and Saffire-V introduced a far-field diagnostics (FFD) unit to house sensors for smoke characterization, including gas monitors and particle detectors. The FFD also housed a prototype �smoke eater� device and a CO2 scrubber, which are designed to remove combustion products from a spacecraft atmosphere. Remote sensors installed at six locations throughout the Cygnus cabin measured CO2 concentrations and temperature, allowing evaluation of smoke plume transport. In this work, we report on gas and particle measurements from the Saffire-IV and Saffire-V experiments, presenting the first effort to comprehensively characterize combustion products from large-scale microgravity fires. We evaluate the transport of key species throughout the spacecraft cabin. Finally, we address post-fire cleanup methods and discuss remaining science questions to be targeted in future work.


Claire Fortenberry, Universities Space Research Association
Michael Casteel, Jacobs Technology, Inc.
John Graf, NASA Johnson Space Center
John Easton, Case Western Reserve University
Justin Niehaus, NASA Glenn Research Center
Marit Meyer, NASA Glenn Research Center
David Urban, NASA Glenn Research Center
Gary Ruff, NASA Glenn Research Center
ICES509: Fire Safety in Spacecraft and Enclosed Habitats
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


Fire Detection, Combustion Products, Post-Fire Cleanup