The Design and Performance of Size Reduction Systems Supporting Solid Waste Management in Space 2002-01-2398
This paper describes some of the fundamental principles and parameters that are important in the design and operation of solid waste size reduction equipment for applications in the space environment. While some of the important parameters are the same as those for terrestrial applications (e.g., energy requirements), several parameters normally inconsequential in terrestrial applications take on a much more prominent role in space (e.g., mass). The results of a two-year, NASA-sponsored research program are described and are used to define an operating envelope for size reduction as a function of waste characteristics and certain performance requirements (e.g., product particle size distribution). Additionally, important findings are described as they relate to the design and operation of size reduction systems that support biological, physical, and chemical processes. Since the utilization of size reduction processes in space is in a developmental stage, the paper also describes the state-of-the-art and areas requiring further consideration, research, or both.