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Potassium Superoxide Atmosphere Control Unit

Report Number: AMRL TR 65-44
Author: McGoff, M. J.
Corporate Author: MSA Research Corporation
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1965-09
Pages: 52
Contract: AF 33(615)-1518
Project: 6373
Task: 637302
AD Number: AD0624556

Superoxides were used in a new approach to atmosphere control systems for aerospace flight. This approach offers the control of dynamic systems and the low power requirement of passive systems. This technique can be adapted to unusual geometries with low weight and volume requirements. Potassium superoxide discs comprise the bulk of this new unit serving as a structural self-support and yet offering adequate carbon dioxide absorption and oxygen evolution. The discs are 3.77 in. in diameter x 3/16 in. thick and have a 7/8 in. diameter center hole. They are placed in a cylindrical aluminum housing with a 0.080 in. clearance between the shell and discs. The discs are separated from each other by integrally molded 1/16 in. protrusions. A one-man version of the unit for 24 hour service weighs 12 pounds, requires 17 watts power continuously, is 32 in. long x 4 in. in diameter and contains 110 discs. The disc configuration permits both radial and axial circulation at a throughput of 9 cfm and 1.6 in. of water. Tests with a one-man simulator in a 130 cu ft compartment showed adequate oxygen delivery and control at less than 1% carbon dioxide.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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