Large scale experiments on spacecraft fire safety

Urban, D. L., Ruff, G. A., Minster, O., Fcrnandez-Pello, A. C., T'ien, J. S., Torero, J. L., Legros, G., Eigenbrod, C., Smirnov, N., Fujita, O., Cowlard, A. J., Rouvreau, S., Toth, B. and Jomaas, C. (2012). Large scale experiments on spacecraft fire safety. In: 63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012. 63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012, Naples, Italy, (631-636). 1 - 5 October 2012.

Author Urban, D. L.
Ruff, G. A.
Minster, O.
Fcrnandez-Pello, A. C.
T'ien, J. S.
Torero, J. L.
Legros, G.
Eigenbrod, C.
Smirnov, N.
Fujita, O.
Cowlard, A. J.
Rouvreau, S.
Toth, B.
Jomaas, C.
Title of paper Large scale experiments on spacecraft fire safety
Conference name 63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012
Conference location Naples, Italy
Conference dates 1 - 5 October 2012
Proceedings title 63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012
Series International Astronautical Federation. Proceedings of the Congress
Place of Publication Paris France
Publisher International Astronautical Federation
Publication Year 2012
Year available 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781622769797
ISSN 0074-1795
Volume 1
Start page 631
End page 636
Total pages 6
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Full scale fire testing complemented by computer modelling has provided significant knowhow about the risk, prevention and suppression of fire in terrestrial systems (cars, ships, planes, buildings, mines, and tunnels). In comparison, no such testing has been carried out for manned spacecraft due to the complexity, cost and risk associated with operating a long duration fire safety experiment of a relevant size in microgravity. Therefore, there is currently a gap in knowledge of fire behaviour in spacecraft. The entire body of low-gravity fire research has either been conducted in short duration ground-based microgravity facilities or has been limited to very small fuel samples. Still, the work conducted to date has shown that fire behaviour in low-gravity is very different from that in normal- gravity, with differences observed for flammability limits, ignition delay, flame spread behaviour, flame colour and flame structure. As a result, the prediction of the behaviour of fires in reduced gravity is at present not validated. To address this gap in knowledge, a collaborative international project, Spacecraft Fire Safety, has been established with its cornerstone being the development of an experiment (Fire Safety 1) to be conducted on an ISS resupply vehicle, such as the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) or Orbital Cygnus after it leaves the ISS and before it enters the atmosphere. A computer modelling effort will complement the experimental effort. Although the experiment will need to meet rigorous safety requirements to ensure the carrier vehicle does not sustain damage, the absence of a crew removes the need for strict containment of combustion products. This will facilitate the possibility of examining fire behaviour on a scale that is relevant to spacecraft fire safety and will provide unique data for fire model validation. This unprecedented opportunity will expand the understanding of the fundamentals of fire behaviour in spacecraft. The experiment is being developed by an international topical team that is collaboratively defining the experiment requirements and performing supporting analysis, experimentation and technology development. This paper presents the objectives, status and concept of this project.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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Created: Thu, 30 Oct 2014, 10:53:04 EST by Jeannette Watson on behalf of School of Civil Engineering