Keynote: Thermal Modeling of a Compressor for CO2 Removal in the International Space Station

Duration: 22:58

Living and working in outer space requires contaminant removal technology, such as the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) that is used on the International Space Station (ISS). This technology removes CO2 from the cabin and sends it through to a mechanical compressor followed by a Sabatier reactor, where it is combined with hydrogen to produce water.

In this keynote talk from COMSOL Day: Aerospace & Defense, Hannah Alpert of NASA Ames shares how technologies, like the Air-Cooled Temperature Swing Adsorption Compressor (AC-TSAC), are a promising alternative to the current complex mechanical compressors that are being used on the ISS. Then, she discusses how the COMSOL Multiphysics® software is being used in the research and development of an AC-TSAC. Specifically, she shares a thermal model of the AC-TSAC that was created and validated against test data, and details how design trades and performance sensitivities were conducted, including bed geometry, bed structural material, thermal conductivity of the adsorbent material and bed structural material, and the input power for heating.

Hannah Alpert is an aerospace system engineer at NASA Ames Research Center in the Entry Systems and Vehicle Development Branch and holds a PhD from Stanford University. Her work includes heat shield design, post-flight analysis, instrumentation, and thermal modeling.