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Calnetix's four bed CO2 scrubber (FBCO2) system is now actively contributing to the International Space Station's life support capabilities.
Calnetix Technologies announced the successful implementation of its FBCO2 high-speed blower system aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Since earlier this year, the magnetically levitated blower system has been continuously operating, facilitating airflow for the FBCO2 system in the microgravity conditions of space.
"Having our first magnetic bearing blower deployment in space is a great milestone achievement for Calnetix,” said CEO of Calnetix Vatche Artinian. “We are looking forward to building on this success and exploring future opportunities with NASA on utilization of our magnetic bearing systems in space and aerospace applications that challenge conventional bearing technologies."
The custom blower system developed in conjunction with NASA integrates Momentum, an in-line blower on active magnetic bearings, and Continuum, a hybrid dual-controller designed to manage the blower. This dual controller merges an active magnetic bearing (AMB) controller and a variable speed drive (VSD) motor controller into a single, compact unit capable of supporting speeds of up to 60,000 RPM for prolonged periods without requiring maintenance. Calnetix's Powerflux AMBs, implemented for high-speed levitation, ensure reliability, oil-free operation, and resistance against particle contamination in the air stream. The flight hardware components provided by Calnetix have met all the essential design, interface, performance, and environmental prerequisites for a compact and robust blower system.
Following comprehensive ground testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the scrubber system was launched to the ISS at the end of last year.
Calnetix Technologies specializes in high-performance, high-speed motor generators, along with magnetic bearings and control systems. Calnetix has developed and manufactured high-speed electromagnetic machines since its inception in 1998.