Creare proposes an Autonomous Habitat Filtration System (AHFS) that uses an electrostatic precipitator and autonomous regeneration system to effectively remove dust from habitable environments in long-duration space missions. Currently, HEPA style filters are a bulky consumable that have a large pressure drop across the filter that increases over time from particle loading. Human Lunar and Mars missions will generate a lot of dust from EVAs and need to be low maintenance. The AHFS has low pressure drop so it uses a compact and efficient blower. The proposed AHFS is also highly efficient in all particles of interest including collecting ultrafine (<100 nm) particles. In Phase I, we will prove the feasibility of the AHFS by building a breadboard unit, demonstrating operation in proof-of-concept tests, and producing a design for a Phase II system. In the Phase II, we will build the full AHFS and measure its performance under conditions that simulate habitable environments using simulated lunar dust.
Controlling dust in habitable environments for long-duration space missions to the Moon and Mars is critical. Creare’s AHFS can improve the performance over HEPA style filters while requiring low maintenance and no consumables during the mission duration.
Commercial space companies that are developing manned spacecraft can use Creare’s AHFS to gain the same performance benefits as NASA. We are also developing versions of this technology for atmospheric research applications including for both long-duration balloon missions and shorter UAV flights.