Filter Efficiency and Pressure Drop Testing of Returned ISS Bacteria Filter Elements (BFEs)



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The air quality control equipment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and future deep space exploration vehicles provide the vital function of maintaining a clean cabin environment for the crew and the hardware. This becomes a serious challenge in pressurized space compartments since no outside air ventilation is possible, and a larger particulate load is imposed on the filtration system due to lack of sedimentation. The ISS Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system architecture in the U.S. Segment uses a distributed particulate filtration approach consisting of traditional High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters deployed at multiple locations in each U.S. Seg-ment module; these filters are referred to as Bacterial Filter Elements, or BFEs. In our previous work, we presented results of efficiency and pressure drop measurements for a sample set of two returned BFEs with a service life of 2.5 years. In this follow-on work, we present similar efficiency, pressure drop, and leak tests results for a larger sample set of six returned BFEs. The results of this work can aid the ISS Program in managing BFE logistics inventory through the station’s planned lifetime as well as provide insight for managing filter element logistics for future exploration missions. These results also can provide meaningful guidance for particulate filter designs under consideration for future deep space exploration missions.


Robert Green, NASA Glenn Research Center, USA
Juan Agui, NASA Glenn Research Center, USA
R. Vijayakumar, Aerfil LLC, USA
Gordon Berger, Universities Space Research Association (USRA), USA
Jay Perry, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, USA
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017.


life support, air revitalization, particulate filtration, High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA)