NASA Technical Reports Server NTRS 20150016606: Final Report on the Detection of Green MonopropellantsReport as inadecuate

 NASA Technical Reports Server NTRS 20150016606: Final Report on the Detection of Green Monopropellants

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In 2014, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA Kennedy Space Center KSC funded a project titled -Familiarization and Detection of Green Monopropellants- utilizing Independent Research and Technology Development IR&TD and Center Innovation Fund CIF funding. The purpose of the project was to evaluate methods of detection for ammonium dinitramide ADN and hydroxylammonium nitrate HAN. An Engineering Services Contract ESC task order was created with the scope of evaluation of several methods of detecting ADN- and HAN-based propellants, as well as development of methods for detection. Detection methods include developed methods such as colorimetric indicating absorbent socks, and commercial-off-the- shelf COTS units for ammonia detection. An additional goal of the task order was for ESC to become familiar with ADNs and HANs material properties and material compatibility. Two approaches were initially investigated as possible methods for the detection of HAN or AFM315E and ADN or LMP-103S. These approaches were colorimetric analysis and instrumentation-based COTS vapor sensors utilization. Initial testing showed that the relatively non-existent vapor pressure of the AF-M315E of which HAN is a major component propellant would make the use of COTS sensors difficult for real-time area monitoring of HAN; a small response was detected through the use of active COTS sensors, including the RAE Systems MultiRAE Lite and Drager X-act registered 5000, but the levels detected were below the threshold limit value for the toxic gas ammonia. Therefore, a detection system ased upon a colorimetric indicator impregnated into an absorbent material was developed. Preliminary analysis ESC-245-FDG-001 identified a particularly outstanding candidate as a colorimetric indicator for the detection of the presence of AF-M315E in the form of a Methyl Red Basic indicator. Materials impregnated with this indicator exhibit significant color change and the materials are not susceptible to interference from exposure to water or carbon dioxide. The completed detection system for HAN-AF-M315E consists of absorbent socks packed with Fisher Universal Spill Absorbent capable of absorbing and containing any propellant spills that they come into contact with along with indicating wipes. The absorbent socks are also chemically treated with a Methyl Red Basic indicator solution to provide the end user with a visual indication that a leak has occurred and proper protective precautions must be undertaken. An added benefit of this detection system is that the absorbent socks should neutralize-absorb any commodity that it comes into contact with until saturation is reached. Additional adsorbent socks can be deployed until a color change is not seen, indicating that the HAN-AF-M315E contamination has been contained. The indicating wipes provide the user the opportunity to wipe surfaces to determine if there is any HAN-AF-M315E or HAN-AFM315E residue present. The wipes should allow the detection of fuel levels that may be too small to detect with the absorbent socks. The development of a detection system for the ADN-LMP-103S focused on the use of various COTS sensors used as real-time area monitoring devices and personal dosimeters. These COTS based sensor systems were of several different types, including both actively pumped and diffusion-based passive systems, as well as a -rope-type chemical sensing cable. The results highlighted some of the major differences between the two monopropellants undergoing evaluation. Unlike HAN, ADN which is the major constituent of LMP-103S exhibits a much more volatile nature in comparison to AF-M315E. In fact, testing showed that a large percentage of the fuel was lost during the sampling measurement greater than 10 percent by mass; although this testing cannot tell if the volatile component is the ADN itself or another component of the monopropellant solution. Not surprisingly, all four of the procured vapor-based COTS sensors showed positive results when exposed to solutions of the LMP-103S ESC-245-FDG-002. The completed detection system for ADN-LMP-103S consists of a combination of two of the tested COTS sensor systems, the RAE Systems MultiRAE Lite and the BW Technologies GasAlert Extreme. These systems are meant to be used in conjunction with one another, which allows for the end-user to have both real-time area monitoring MultiRAE Lite as well as a personal dosimeter device GasAlert Extreme which can be worn as additional personal protective equipment. An stainless steel extension wand was fabricated and included in the detection system for the MultiRAE Lite to allow for more remote sensing, and connects via the active pumping inlet of the sensor. As stated, the final results of this testing resulted in the production of two -kits- which can be used for the detection of HAN-AF-M315E and ADN-LMP-103s ESC-245-FDG-003.

Author: NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)


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