EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR RESILIENT EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL HABITATS
As space exploration continues to advance, so does the drive to inhabit celestial bodies. In
order to expand our civilization to the Moon or even other planets requires an enormous amount of research and development. The Resilient Extra-Terrestrial Habitat Institute is a NASA funded project that aims to develop the technology needed to establish deep-space habitats. Deep-space inhabitation poses many challenges that are not present here on earth. The Moon, for example, has temperatures that range from -233−123°C. Aside from the extreme temperatures, a variety of thermal loads will need to be handled by the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). Aside from the research and architecture of the International Space Station’s ECLSS, very little information is known about disturbances related to the thermal management of extra- terrestrial habitats.
RETHi is developing a Cyber-Physical Testbed (CPT) that represents a one-fifth scale
prototype of a deep space habitat. In order to answer difficult research questions regarding ECLSS and thermal management of a deep-space habitat, a heat pump was modeled and validated with the physical part of the CPT. Once validated, the heat pump model is able to accurately predict the steady state behavior given the indoor and outdoor conditions of the testbed. When coupled with the interior environment (IE) model, it gives insight into the system’s requirements and response. Experimental testing was conducted with the heat pump in order to validate the model. After the model was validated, a series of parametric studies were conducted in order to investigate the effects of varying thermal loads and dehumidification. Since the groundwork was laid through model development and experimentation, future work consists of designing a more versatile heat pump to test a variety of disturbance scenarios. Although the heat pump model is specifically designed for the CPT, it proves to be versatile for other closed and pressurized environments such as aircraft and clean rooms according to the analysis of dehumidification and dependence on pressure.
NASA Award Number 80NSSC19K1076
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- West Lafayette