1969-02-01

Zero-Gravity Testing of a Waste Management System 690644

This paper describes the testing of a waste management system designed and fabricated for use in a space vehicle. The system provides for the collection and inactivation of urine, feces, emergency diarrheal disorders, vomitus, and debris; the volumetric determination of each micturition; and onboard storage of the inactivated wastes within the waste management system compartment.The zero-gravity test program conducted in a KC-135 aircraft provided the primary verification of the performance of the waste collection and urine volume determination functions prior to actual space flight.The test hardware simulated the actual system to a high degree of fidelity with respect to operational characteristics of the airflow required in collection, mechanical functions and system pressure differentials, in order to minimize simulation errors. A unique, specially designed waste dispenser actually defecated and urinated to provide controlled variables of inputs to the waste management system thereby eliminating the need for a human subject for the waste management system. Variations in urine rates, quantity, and velocity as well as variations in fecal consistency, weight, and size were controlled, thereby establishing a common base to evaluate potential changes in the overall system.The test program flexibility provided the operational inputs necessary to establish a firm design configuration to be established prior to subjecting the system to environmental qualification. The successful completion of zero-gravity tests assured the designer that the waste management system will meet specification performance requirements in the space vehicle.

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