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Since 1985 in a step wise approach the advanced air revitalization system has been developed 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 so-called Sabatier reactor. The water is currently fed into a fixed alkaline electrolyzer to reclaim the oxygen for the crew. However, also water from other sources may be used. The hydrogen, produced by the OGA is recycled in the Sabatier reactor.
The present system handles methane as a waste product closing so far the oxygen loop only. The system has been already successfully demonstrated in a laboratory scale configuration for a crew of three persons in 1996 / 1997.
The objective of current program was to build a system containing a level of engineering capable of forming a sound basic 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 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. The results and findings are documented in TN-O2,issue 3 'Test Evaluation' of the program.