Alternative Physical and System Architectures for Membrane Based Advanced Regenerative Space Life Support System Water Processing 2006-01-2083
This study introduces new concepts in the function and placement of membrane based water treatment processes in Exploration Life Support (ELS) System design. These differences are in both form and function and have the potential to radically alter the current paradigms of thought within the ELS research community with regards to the limitations of conventional membrane water treatment. More importantly, they have the potential to change the placement of water processing by quite literally moving it “out of the box”, or in the case of ELS, the standard rack volume. Two possible systems, extremely small scale personal urine treatment and recycle (CEV Lightweight Contingency Water Treatment) and a similar but scaled up habitat wall embedded membrane water treatment pouch, are used to demonstrate the concepts involved.
This work presents current membrane technology as an engineered material that can utilize a number of different treatment system architectures to achieve quite different treatment outcomes, when compared to traditional pressure fed membrane element based systems. Also, in treating membranes as an engineered material in integrative habitat and water processing design, other issues can be addressed by the water processor. Of particular interest is integrating water processing into radiation shielding (water wall) and flexible structural (zero pressurized volume mass metric) design. This makes the concepts covered of particular relevance to the radiation shielding designer and space architect, as well as the physical water treatment designer.