The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Development division of Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) is a manufacturer of air contamination control devices to absorb carbon dioxide and odours in closed compartments on submarines. Products include the Contamination Control Assembly (SBG) and Regenerative Contamination Control Assembly (RSBG) CO2 scrubbers.
CONTAMINATION CONTROL ASSEMBLY (SBG)
The Contamination Control Assembly (SBG) removes carbon dioxide and acid gases by means of a chemical reaction with lithium hydroxide (LiOH). Odours and off-gassing products are removed by means of activated charcoal filters and catalysts, and particulates and aerosols by means of a particle filter. The filter also prevents LiOH dust from leaving the filter.
For these purposes, the SBG contains a number of cartridges of equal size. One type of cartridge is filled with specific LiOH granules according to an Airbus DS Transportation specification. The other type is filled with activated charcoal and catalysts.
During the submerged periods of missions, the LiOH cartridges are changed whenever the CO2 level in the confinement approaches the allowed limit. The saturated LiOH can be recycled ashore and thus there is no waste. The activated charcoal filters have to be replaced only after longer periods of time.
FEATURES OF LiOH CARTRIDGES AND CONTAMINATION CONTROL CARTRIDGES
A LiOH cartridge consists of a stainless steel housing containing the filter-bag inside and a plastic cover on each end of the housing. For transport and storage it is sealed in an evacuated compound foil and is packed in a lightweight plastic container.
The contamination control cartridges consist of the same components as the LiOH cartridges. They are filled with different types of activated charcoals and catalysts according to customer requirements.
Airbus DS Transportation’s Contamination Control Assemblies are on board the following submarines:
- Safe control of CO2 level below 0.5 % vol.
- HDW Class U 206
- HDW Class U 206 A
- HDW Class U 209
- HDW Class U 212
- HDW Class U 214
- German Max-Planck Research Submarine JAGO
- Dutch Explorer Submarine WaveWorker
REGENERATIVE CONTAMINATION CONTROL ASSEMBLY (RSBG)
Airbus DS Transportation’s Regenerative Contamination Control Assemblies were realised for the following applications:
- Various test units for laboratory testing (material screening, performance testing, endurance testing) in EADS SPACE Transportation laboratories
- Demonstrator unit for test purposes on a Class 205 submarine of the German Navy
- Demonstrator unit for test purposes on a Swedish AIP type submarine
- Demonstrator unit for laboratory testing within the framework of the Canadian AIP development
The RSBG represents the development of proven Airbus DS Transportation contamination control devices towards a regenerative system. Research in the area of manned space flight led to the development of a system that satisfies the most stringent economic and ecological requirements.
FUNCTION OF REGENERATIVE CONTAMINATION CONTROL ASSEMBLY (RSBG)
The Regenerative Contamination Control Assembly (RSBG) removes carbon dioxide and acid gases by means of a specific highly porous ion exchange resin (solid amine) as absorbing material. It also removes odours and off-gassing products by means of activated charcoal filters and catalysts, and removes particulates and aerosols by means of a particle filter.
There are several processes available to regenerate the Airbus DS Transportation adsorber resin. The preferable method is by means of slightly overheated steam. This method is appropriate for applications that require a very high scrubbing performance as well as very pure CO2 release during the regenerations.
REGENERATIVE CO2 SCRUBBERS FOR SUBMARINES
Up to now, Airbus DS Transportation has designed and produced several regenerative CO2 scrubbers for demonstration and test purposes under laboratory conditions, and for testing on board of operational submarines.
Due to its modular design, the RSBG can be customised easily according to the specific submarine requirements. Every RSBG is a completely self-standing system providing all operational features and controls.