Environmental Control and Life Support Module Architecture for Deployment across Deep Space Platforms



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


NASA has outlined plans for earth-independent exploration starting with crewed habitats in a cislunar orbit and progressing toward crewed landings on the moon and Mars. As several aerospace corporations are developing habitats, NASA proposed developing a universal Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) capable of supporting each habitat with nearly identical systems. UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) completed the first phase of this development, or NextSTEP, in September 2016, and is scheduled to complete Phase 2 in early 2019. This paper presents recent work by UTAS to develop a more resilient, readily repairable and flexible system capable of installation on a wide variety of habitat platforms. This new ECLSS technology is then used to plot an evolutionary path that takes the open-loop cislunar ECLSS into a closed-loop deep space configuration. The redesign effort of Phase 2 resulted in a modular, universal ECLSS Pallet System that enhances in-flight maintenance. Finally, this paper presents a brief description of the integrated control system developed for this new ECLSS technology. This control system represents a leap forward in the evolution of ECLSS control systems. This paper shows its architecture and how modern cybernetic structures, such as network protocols and applied artificial intelligence, allow for rapid fault detection, isolation and recommissioning.


Jonathan O'Neill, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA
Jason Bowers, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA
Roger Corallo, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA
Miguel Torres, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA
Thomas Stapleton, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA
ICES305: Environmental and Thermal Control of Commercial and Exploration Spacecraft
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems as held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


Environmental Control and Life Support, Module, ECLS, ECLSS, In-Flight Maintenance, Control Architecture, Intelligence, Evolution