Calnetix Technologies announced that NASA successfully installed their Four Bed Carbon Dioxide Scrubber (FBCO2) high-speed blower system on the International Space Station (ISS). The magnetically levitated blower system provides the airflow for the FBCO2 system in a microgravity space environment and has been operating continuously since February 22nd.
“Having our first magnetic bearing blower deployment in space is a great milestone achievement for Calnetix,” said Vatche Artinian, CEO of Calnetix. “We are looking forward to building on this success and exploring future opportunities with NASA to utilize our magnetic bearing systems in space and aerospace applications that challenge conventional bearing technologies.”
Calnetix worked with NASA to develop a custom blower system, which includes Momentum™, an in-line blower on active magnetic bearings, and Continuum™, an integrated hybrid dual controller, to drive the blower. The dual controller consists of an active magnetic bearing (AMB) controller and a variable speed drive (VSD) motor controller in a single compact package that supports speeds up to 60,000 RPM with long-term maintenance-free operation. Calnetix’s Powerflux™ AMBs provided high-speed levitation and reliability, oil-free operation, and resistance to particle contaminants in the air stream. The flight hardware components supplied by Calnetix met all the critical design, interface, performance, and environmental requirements for a compact and robust blower system.
After extensive ground testing at NASA Marshall in Huntsville, Alabama, the new scrubber blasted off to the ISS in November 2022.