Designing a new NOx removal system to safely research the re-entry conditions of Earth's atmosphere
Plummeting to earth is no time to test out new ideas. Re-entering our atmosphere creates massive amounts of heat, and there’s only one place to test these conditions – the Arc Jet Complex at NASA’s Ames Research Center. A 60 megawatt plasma arc jet is used in the vacuum chamber to heat test models to over 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat generated by the arc jet creates NOx in the exhaust that must be removed to meet local air regulations.
Our team designed a new NOx removal to comply with the very stringent local air emission requirements. The new system continuously monitors the exhaust from the Steam Vacuum System (SVS) and injects a series of chemicals to remove the NOx; the resulting wastewater is then treated to neutralize it prior to release. The new system will replace an existing, less effective treatment system and allow installation of three new boilers, which will greatly improve the efficiency of the SVS and cut long term operating costs.
We worked with NASA to ensure that the new NOx removal system will meet all of the current and project operating requirements for the facility and will keep the site in compliance with all applicable air regulations, both now and with the new boiler system.
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