High-Capacity Spacesuit Evaporator Absorber Radiator (SEAR)



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45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Future human space exploration missions will require advanced life support technology that can operate across a wide range of applications and environments. Thermal control systems for space suits and spacecraft will need to meet critical requirements for water conservation and multifunctional operation. This paper describes a Spacesuit Evaporator Absorber Radiator (SEAR) that has been designed to meet performance requirements for future life support systems. A SEAR system comprises a lithium chloride absorber radiator (LCAR) for heat rejection coupled with a space water membrane evaporator (SWME) for heat acquisition. SEAR systems provide heat pumping to minimize radiator size, thermal storage to accommodate variable environmental conditions, and water absorption to minimize use of expendables. We have built and tested a flight-like, high-capacity LCAR, demonstrated its performance in thermal vacuum tests, and explored the feasibility of an ISS demonstration test of a SEAR system. The new LCAR design provides the same cooling capability as prior LCAR prototypes while enabling over 30% more heat absorbing capacity and regeneration in only half the time. Studies show that it should be feasible to demonstrate SEAR operation in flight by coupling with an existing EMU on the Space Station.


Bellevue, Washington
Michael G. Izenson, Creare LLC., USA
Weibo Chen, Creare LLC., USA
Scott Phillips, Creare LLC., USA
Ariane Chepko, Creare LLC., USA
Grant Bue, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, USA
Gregory Quinn, UTC Aerospace Systems, USA
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.