Water Pump Development for the EVA PLSS
This paper describes the effort by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Honeywell for NASA to design, fabricate, and test a preflight prototype pump for use in the Extravehicular activity (EVA) portable life support subsystem (PLSS). Major design decisions were driven by the need to reduce the pump s mass, power, and volume compared to the existing PLSS pump. In addition, the pump will accommodate a much wider range of abnormal conditions than the existing pump, including vapor/gas bubbles and increased pressure drop when employed to cool two suits simultaneously. A positive displacement, external gear type pump was selected because it offers the most compact and highest efficiency solution over the required range of flow rates and pressure drops. An additional benefit of selecting a gear pump design is that it is self priming and capable of ingesting noncondensable gas without becoming "air locked." The chosen pump design consists of a 28 V DC, brushless, sealless, permanent magnet motor driven, external gear pump that utilizes a Honeywell development that eliminates the need for magnetic coupling. Although the planned flight unit will use a sensorless motor with custom designed controller, the preflight prototype to be provided for this project incorporates Hall effect sensors, allowing an interface with a readily available commercial motor controller. This design approach reduced the cost of this project and gives NASA more flexibility in future PLSS laboratory testing. The pump design was based on existing Honeywell designs, but incorporated features specifically for the PLSS application, including all of the key features of the flight pump. Testing at TEES will simulate the vacuum environment in which the flight pump will operate. Testing will verify that the pump meets design requirements for range of flow rates, pressure rise, power consumption, working fluid temperature, operating time, and restart capability. Pump testing is currently scheduled for March, 2009, after which the pump will be delivered to NASA for further testing.
author list (cited authors)
Schuller, M., Kurwitz, R., Goldman, J., Morris, K., & Trevino, L.
complete list of authors
Schuller, M||Kurwitz, Richard||Goldman, J||Morris, K||Trevino, L