Air revitalization

Since 1985, a step-wise approach has been employed for the development of the advanced air revitalization system for a crewed spacecraft.
The metabolically produced carbon dioxide is concentrated through a solid amine steam desorption system and reduced to water and methane in a Sabatier reactor. The water is currently fed into a fixed alkaline electrolyzer to reclaim the oxygen for the crew. However, water from other sources may be used as well. The hydrogen produced by the Oxygen Genrator Assembly (OGA) is recycled in the Sabatier reactor.

The present system treats methane as a waste product, currently closing only the oxygen loop. The system has already been successfully demonstrated in a laboratory scale configuration for a crew of three persons in 1996 - 1997.

The objective of the current programme was to build a system containing a level of engineering capable of forming a sound basis for a possible flight unit. The new system was reconfigured and upgraded to fit into half of an International Space Station Payload Rack (ISPR).

The Air Revitalisation System Demonstrator (ARSD) has been widely tested on assembly and on system level in different comprehensive test campaigns. All performance and operation requirements have been successfully verified.
Last update: 22 November 2007