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Propellant-Atmosphere System Study

Report Number: WADD TR 60-622
Corporate Author: New Devices Laboratories Tapco Group
Laboratory: Life Support Systems Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1961-03
Pages: 236
Contract: AF 33(616)-6514
Project: 6373
Task: 63124
AD Number: AD0268768


Two broad aspects of using chemical energy to provide metabolic oxygen in a manned space capsule were studied: man's ecological requirements and supply of auxiliary power. The studies were restricted to chemicals used in propulsion systems with emphasis on by-products useful to man.

A survey of methods for meeting environmental requirements included (a) evaluation of passive temperature control in terms of capsule size, shape, surface emissivity, orbital altitude, orientation, and internally generated power, and (b) evaluation of weight and energy requirements for supplying oxygen, dehumidifying, and removing CO2 in the cabin.

The best of 40 fuels and 35 oxidizers were screened for other factors: weight of the containers, general methods for converting the energy to electric power, mechanical prime movers (their efficiencies, cycle configurations, weight, specific fuel consumption), thermionic, thermoelectric, and electrochemical conversions. The unique adaptability of the cryogenic hydrogen-oxygen fuel system was demonstrated. This system combined with a hydroxy fuel cell was used in developing a prototype designed to accommodate one man for 3 days and to supply 1 kilowatt of electric power. The prototype included optimization studies of the cryogenic storage system, an air conditioning system, and a fuel cell power system.

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