A Simulation Approach to Minimize Water Supply, Storage Capacity and Treatment Capacity Requirements in ALS System 2006-01-2244
Due to expensive transportation cost, utilization of waste water treatment technologies is regarded as more cost effective than shipping clean water from Earth for long term space missions. As larger than required water treatment capacity is a waste of resources and cost, the relationship among crewmembers and crops water consumption and production, water treatment capacity, water storage tank capacity and water supply required from Earth is explored in this study. Two scenarios and two mission durations are studied to investigate the impacts of crop addition and time length, respectively, on the water subsystem cost. Crops are grown to meet crewmembers' energy requirements. Crewmembers and crops water consumption and production, number of crewmembers and mission type are assumed based on educated guesses and references to documented sources and real life scenarios. Results show that increase in water treatment capacity can effectively reduce water storage tank ESM to a certain extent. Mission duration affects water storage tank ESM. However, it does not if water removal technology and ISRU are added into crewmembers-only and crewmembers-and-crops scenarios, respectively, in addition to the water treatment process at optimal capacity. Introduction of crops into the system increases the water storage tank and supply ESM by 1.3 times when compared to crewmembers-only scenario. Although the results are system specific, it demonstrates that trade study analysis can be performed to evaluate the relationship of water treatment technologies, water removal technologies and ISRU technologies against water storage tank and supply using ESM.