Zero-Venting Regenerable Lightweight Heat Absorber for EVA Suits

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001

$69.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Future manned space exploration missions will require life support systems that conserve resources while meeting extremely challenging requirements for light weight and small size. We propose to develop an innovative heat absorber for the thermal control system in EVA suits that is non-venting, regenerable, light weight, and compact. The system can provide 250 W of cooling for four hours with a mass about six kilograms (roughly half the weight of the current thermal control module), and will also reduce the size of the suit's radiator by increasing the heat rejection temperature. After an EVA mission, the heat absorber is regenerated thermally and prepared for the next mission using waste heat from the spacecraft or habitat. In Phase I we will prove the feasibility of the heat absorber by (1) performing proof-of-concept tests that will demonstrate the viability of the approach and provide key design data, and (2) producing a conceptual design of an EVA suit cooler that shows the potential benefits of our approach. In Phase II we will design, build, and demonstrate the operation of a complete prototype heat absorber that will be delivered to NASA for integration with a complete portable life support system.