Trade Study Considerations for Fire Detection, Suppression and Remediation Systems for Commercial Space Missions



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


With the upcoming retirement of the International Space Station (ISS) and NASA's Moon to Mars campaign, NASA is actively building the United States space economy by engaging private industry in the design of vehicles and missions for human space flight. The future successes of commercial space endeavors rely on the ability to procure proven and effective life support equipment in the marketplace. Budgets and schedules for typical missions do not allow for individual companies to design and build flight hardware for all required systems in-house. They must rely either on re-creating NASA heritage designs (assuming that the design calculations, drawings, reports, and analyses are available through official resource requests) or purchasing commercially available systems that have been demonstrated on the International Space Station. The latter would be considered at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9 as they have been proven successful in an operational mission environment. The available alternatives can be expanded by procuring lower TRL systems (potentially as low as TRL 5), which require longer lead times and carry additional risks that may be reduced by extensive testing. This paper outlines a trade study methodology to identify and rank available hardware options for commercial space entities, in this case, for fire detection, suppression and remediation. This is a subset of the comprehensive Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) trade studies that have been done by Northrop Grumman. While this approach creates a suite of optimized hardware alternatives, the final choices for a given program will depend on the use case, priority, and budget of each individual mission or program.


Marit Meyer, Northrop Grumman Corporation, USA
Bettylynn Ulrich, Northrop Grumman Corporation, USA
ICES509: Fire Safety in Spacecraft and Enclosed Habitats
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


Fire Safety, Commercial Space, Fire Detection