Integrated Thermal Simulation of the Space Evaporator Absorber Radiator using TherMoS and V-SUIT



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Space Evaporator Absorber Radiator (SEAR) developed by Creare LLC and NASA is a novel technology for thermal control of spacesuits. It greatly reduces the amount of water lost through evaporative cooling by absorbing it into a lithium chloride bed. This process generates heat that needs to be radiated away from the spacesuit in order to maintain acceptable absorption rates. In contrast to the operation of current spacesuits, this creates a dependency between the spacesuit cooling system and the thermal environment in which the suit operates. In order to asses this dependency and the effect the thermal environment would have on this system, two dynamic simulation tools have been developed at the Technical University of Munich in the past years: The Thermal Moon Simulator (TherMoS) and the dynamic portable life support system (PLSS) simulation Virtual Space Suit (V‑SUIT). Both tools are MATLAB®-based and spin-offs from the Virtual Habitat (V‑HAB) project. V-SUIT can dynamically simulate space suit portable life support systems and their interaction with a detailed and dynamic human model. TherMoS provides information about the heat transfer between the space suit and its environment. To achieve this, a detailed thermal model of the lunar surface is created including three-dimensional features like craters and boulders. This paper describes the modeling of SEAR in V‑SUIT and TherMoS. Integrated thermal simulations of several scenarios with different thermal environments and different crew member metabolic rates were performed. Results show the interrelations between SEAR performance, the metabolic rate and the dynamic thermal environment. Even though water loss through a vent valve in case of excessive heat load cannot be completely prevented, the simulation results suggest a great potential for water savings when using SEAR.


Technical University of Munich, Institute of Astronautics
Technical University of Munich
ICES402: Extravehicular Activity: PLSS Systems
Vienna, Austria
Daniel Gierszewski, Technical University of Munich, Germany
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.
Claas T. Olthoff, Technical University of Munich, Germany


Dynamic Simulations, Integrated Thermal Simulations, Space Suit Cooling Systems, SEAR, V-SUIT