Compact, Efficient, and Reliable Ventilation Fan for EVA Suits

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

Advanced EVA suits for space exploration will need a portable life support system (PLSS) that is compact, lightweight, highly reliable, and meets stringent requirements for oxygen safety. A key component is a blower that circulates gas through the space suit ventilation loop. We propose to develop an innovative blower that can meet the challenging requirements for circulating ventilation gas in an EVA suit using a reliable system that consumes little power. The innovative design enables use of a wide range of materials that can be selected to maximize safety in an oxygen environment. In Phase I we proved the feasibility of our approach by testing and optimizing blower components, producing a conceptual design for the blower and motor, and demonstrating a proof-of-concept blower under prototypical conditions. In Phase II we will optimize the blower and motor designs to achieve small size and maximum efficiency while meeting requirements and constraints for operation in exploration space suits. We will demonstrate lifetime and reliability of critical components in a prototypical oxygen environment and deliver a prototype blower that can be used in system tests of advanced portable life support systems.