Scroll Filter System Development for Crewed Deep Space Missions



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


On board the International Space Station (ISS), particulate HEPA filters known as Bacterial Filter Elements (BFE’s) are used as the main ventilation filters on the US modules. They consist of two stages of filtration, a static screen filter and a HEPA filter element. Historically, these filters have performed well during the life of the ISS. However, as NASA sets its sights towards missions beyond low earth orbit, or deep space, more capable filters requiring minimal maintenance will be essential because of the nature of these remote and long duration missions. NASA is currently developing a new filter system, coined the Scroll BFE, which provides two stages of filtration. The first stage is a pre-filter stage using a roll of screen media on a motorized spooling, or scrolling, mechanism to automate the change-out of the screen media in the flow. The second and finishing stage is a static HEPA filter element similar to the ones used on the ISS BFE’s. The volume and dimensional format of the filter matches that of the ISS BFE which facilitates is deployment as a potential future flight technology demonstration on board the ISS. Ground tests are underway to assess the filter system’s performance under industrial standard test protocols applied in a custom designed filtration test stand. In addition, a method of simulating relevant particulate matter loads are also being devised to challenge the filter in testing. The latter test challenge will help determine the pre-filter’s capacity for handling layers of lint, or fibrous, particulate matter.


Juan Agui, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


ISS, HEPA, Scroll, Filter