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Proceedings Paper

Robotic External Leak Locator (RELL) leak plume field detection on the International Space Station (ISS)
Author(s): Alexandra M. Deal; Katie L. Fox; Alvin Y. Huang; Michael J. Heiser; William A. Hartman; Ronald R. Mikatarian; Matthew J. Davis; Adam Naids; Timothy A. Bond; Brien Johnson; Dino J. Rossetti
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Paper Abstract

The Robotic External Leak Locator (RELL) was deployed to the International Space Station (ISS) with the objective of demonstrating the ability to detect and locate small leaks. On-orbit operations began in late November 2016 and following scanning activities to characterize the natural and induced environment of the ISS, RELL focused on the United States External Active Thermal Control System (EATCS). RELL successfully detected ammonia related to a known small ammonia leak in the port-side EATCS, with the highest pressure values around the inboard Radiator Beam Valve Module 1 (RBVM 1). An additional day of scanning was subsequently performed in December 2017 to focus on RBVM 1. RELL was approved for additional external operations in February 2017 with the goal of fine tuning the location of the leak. Using grid scanning patterns, RELL detected ammonia around RBVM 1 and located the approximate source of the leak. The potential leak site was inspected by a crew member during an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in March 2017, and the suspected radiator-side lines were isolated from the port-side EATCS coolant loop in April 2017. Subsequent monitoring of the system pressures showed that the leak has stopped, indicating RELL accurately located the source of the EATCS leak. These activities verify that RELL enhances the ISS Program’s ability to not only locate small leaks, but isolate the source with minimal impact to the entire ISS system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2018
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 10748, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018, 1074807 (19 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2324738
Show Author Affiliations
Alexandra M. Deal, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Katie L. Fox, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Alvin Y. Huang, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Michael J. Heiser, The Boeing Co. (United States)
William A. Hartman, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Ronald R. Mikatarian, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Matthew J. Davis, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Adam Naids, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Timothy A. Bond, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Brien Johnson, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Dino J. Rossetti, Conceptual Analytics, LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10748:
Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018
Carlos E. Soares; Eve M. Wooldridge; Bruce A. Matheson, Editor(s)

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