Containers of ammonia are used to supply cooling to different modules of the International Space Station. Each container has an attachment piece used to extract the ammonia. The attachment piece may allow ammonia to exit when not connected, and may also allow ammonia to exit to an outside area even when connected. The ammonia that has exited the container may accumulate in different compartments of the spacecraft. The ammonia is not desirable when accumulated in a compartment with a certain concentration.

This invention is a process to analyze the gaseous ammonia leakage from a source of saturated (2-state: liquid and gas) ammonia. The process creates an ammonia tank model and combines the use of a proprietary multiple-compartment venting program (VENTCON) with the commercial fluid dynamics program SINDA/FLUINT to estimate the amount of gaseous ammonia leaked out of the tank as a function of time.

A data processor unit identifies a rate of the gas leaking from a container in a first compartment by a selected time based on the rate of the gas leakage and total time. The system comprises a bus system, a storage device connected to the bus system, and a processing unit connected to the bus system. The storage device includes a set of instructions. The processor executes the set of instructions to identify a rate of the gas leaking from a container in a first compartment. The processor unit then identifies an amount of gas in a number of compartments associated with the first compartment. The unit determines whether the amount of gas is outside a desired amount.

This work was done by William D. Ward of The Boeing Company for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Technology Transfer Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24990-1


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2016 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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