NASA is currently seeking technologies that will support long duration habitation for large human class landers on the lunar surface. Technologies are needed that allow a single vehicle design to operate in the lunar environment where surface temperatures range from -193°C to 120°C. Technologies should also address reduction in mass, volume, and power usage relative to current solutions. To satisfy these objectives, Air Squared proposes a dual-loop thermal control system (TCS) with an outer loop consisting of a multi-stage, high-lift, isopentane vapor compression cycle (VCC) heat pump. To enable the proposed heat pump architecture, Air Squared will design, manufacture, and evaluate a lightweight, oil-free, spinning-scroll compressor during Phase I.
Successful Phase II completion of an oil-free, two-stage, spinning scroll thermal control system would significantly relieve mission-critical weight concerns, simplify manned and unmanned TCS for lunar and potential Martian exploration. Lightweight and scalable, the spinning scroll vapor compression cycle (VCC) eliminates the need to transport heavy water loads and negates the need for sublimators for lunar TCS, creating a multi-platform oil-free deep space HVAC process.
Enhanced development of the fundamental spinning scroll technology would be applicable as an aerospace environmental control system, refrigerated transportation thermal control, waste heat recovery, and several additional scroll compressor, vacuum, or expander projects where lightweight design and improved performance are essential