Trade study of three oxygen processors for the Martian atmosphere
Plystak, Steven R.
Boger, Dan C.
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This thesis is focused toward the Mars atmosphere and its potential resource use for life support systems which provide oxygen to astronauts during all phases of a mission. The weight required to send numerous oxygen tanks to Mars would drastically increase the cost of the mission and might even take up space in the rocket for other needed items on Mars. The solution to this problem is the design a processor that will convert Martian resources to oxygen. Utilization of resources to support life in the Martian environment is performed through the development of life support systems. Life support systems which provide oxygen belong to the Air Revitalization functional area of the Environmental Control Life Support System for Space Station Freedom which will be analyzed in this thesis. Since the Martian atmosphere is primarily composed of carbon dioxide, this thesis will look at three oxygen processors under development which will convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. these three candidate technologies are the Electrochemical Oxide Cell, Sabatier, and Bosch carbon dioxide redactors. The oxide cell is a self-containing carbon dioxide to oxygen system, but the other two produce water. This suggests that other subsystems must be attached to the output to produce oxygen from water. A trade study is performed using parameters such as power, weight, mass, etc. in order to find the most suitable oxygen processor for the Martian atmosphere. The trade study is a leverage analysis used by NASA to compare similar systems to find the best one. The trade study suggests that the electrolyte oxide cell is the most effective alternative.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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