Supply systems for manned space travel

For the ACLS (Advanced Closed Loop System), which Airbus Defence & Space is building for the Columbus space research laboratory, PINK is fabricating several critical systems and components.

The main purposes of the ACLS system in the European research station of the ISS are to remove CO2 from the cabin air, generate oxygen by the electrolysis of water and produce water from the reaction of hydrogen with CO2

The system is composed of six modules, known as drawers. For Drawer 4, a module for CO2 preparation, PINK is producing, among other things, a heat exchanger that creates the physical conditions for chemical separation and preparation processes.

PINK is producing Drawer 6, the module for oxygen generation/recovery (electrolyser), ready for installation (plug & play) complete with all the electrical and mechanical connections and pipework.

The integration, testing and verification of the Engineering Module (EM) and Flight Module (FM) will be performed jointly with the customer in PINK's cleanrooms.

View inside the Columbus lab with its modular research and supply systems known as drawers (graphics: ESA)

This heat exchanger serves as a functional model of the original component that will later be employed in the module for CO2 preparation.

On completion and successful testing this module will also go into operation in Drawer 4, the CO2 preparation module of the Columbus laboratory.