Oxygen Generation Life Support Systems Safety
A key requirement for the long-term health and safety of personnel on the International Space Station is ensuring a sustainable living environment. One of the vital parts of advanced life support systems is the production of breathing oxygen for the crew. MEI is the supplier of the key safety system for the Water Processor/Oxygen Generator (WP/OG) for Node 3.
MEI has developed a hydrogen sensing system that monitors the hydrogen levels in the space station's oxygen regeneration system. The hydrogen sensor orbital replaceable unit (ORU) consists of a triple-redundant sensor package which measures hydrogen in an oxygen background with high humidity levels. The ORU warns the safety systems well before hydrogen reaches explosive levels in the oxygen lines, enabling proper handling of the potential hazard and avoidance of accidents.
MEI's hydrogen sensing system utilizes three sensors working in parallel to provide the system a constant reading of current hydrogen levels. As part of this ongoing program MEI provides service and support for these triple-redundant units. The systems are returned from the International Space Station to MEI's calibration lab for regular recalibration - ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the system for years to come.