Spacecraft Carbon Dioxide Deposition Full-Scale System: Design, Analysis, Build and Test



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Carbon Dioxide Deposition (CDep) system is being developed for long-duration human space exploration toward the Moon, Mars, and beyond. It selectively deposits CO2 onto a cold surface directly from cabin air via phase change temperatures of air constituents. The cold surface is generated using flight-proven and highly reliable Stirling cryocoolers. The system also utilizes air-to-air heat exchangers to minimize its power draw, making it more efficient. The full-scale system is currently under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The system operates cyclically with two circuits that alternate deposition/sublimation processes for continuous CO2 removal. Each circuit consists of a single cooler to precool the air, two heat exchangers to improve the system's efficiency, and three coolers to generate a cold surface where CO2 will be deposited. The cold surface (finhead) was designed and 3D printed to achieve critical characteristics such as a large surface area, low mass, low pressure drop, and ease of manufacturing. System modeling is concurrently being developed in Modelica to predict system performance and optimize the full-scale system's design. This paper will detail the latest design, analysis, build, and planned testing of a full-scale CO2 deposition system ground test unit.


Pranav Jagtap, KBR / NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Tiago Costa, KBR / NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Grace Belancik, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Michael Schuh, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Jason Samson, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Kelby Gan, Mori Associates / NASA Ames Research Center, USA
ICES302: Physio-chemical Life Support- Air Revitalization Systems -Technology and Process Development
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


CO2 Deposition system, CDep, Cryogenic carbon-capture, carbon-capture, cryocoolers, stirling coolers