Status of the Redesign of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit Airlock Cooling Loop Recovery Assembly



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


During EVA (Extravehicular Activity) 23 aboard the ISS (International Space Station) on 07/16/2013 an episode of water in the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) helmet occurred, necessitating a termination of the EVA (Extravehicular Activity) shortly after it began. The root cause of the failure was determined to be ground-processing short-comings of the ALCLR Ion Beds which led to various levels of contaminants being introduced into the Ion Beds before they left the ground. The Ion Beds were thereafter used to scrub the failed EMU cooling water loop on-orbit during routine scrubbing operations. The root cause investigation identified several areas for improvement of the ALCLR Assembly which have since been initiated. Enhanced washing techniques for the ALCLR Ion Bed have been developed and implemented. On-orbit cooling water conductivity and pH analysis capability to allow the astronauts to monitor proper operation of the ALCLR Ion Bed during scrubbing operation have been investigated and are being incorporated into the design. A simplified means to acquire on-orbit EMU cooling water samples has been designed as well. Finally, an inherently cleaner organic adsorbent to replace the current lignite-based activated carbon, and a non-separable replacement for the separable mixed ion exchange resin have been selected. These efforts are undertaken to enhance the performance and reduce the risk associated with operations to ensure the long-term health of the EMU cooling water circuit. The intent of this paper is to provide an update of the effort to re-design the ALCLR (Airlock Cooling Loop Recovery) hardware. Last year, this effort was in the early stages of concept development and test which was reported in ICES Paper ICES-2016-221. Those phases are now complete, and the final outcome, as well as plans to build and field the hardware, is reported on.


ICES402: Extravehicular Activity: PLSS Systems
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017
John Steele, United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTC), USA
Dane Arnold, United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTC), USA
Barbara Peyton, United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems, USA
Tony Rector, United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTC), USA
Mallory Jennings, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA


EMU, EVA, ALCLR, Water, Ion Bed