Phase Change Water Recovery for the Space Station Freedom and Future Exploration Missions 901294

Vapor Compression Distillation technology for phase change recovery of water from wastewater has evolved as a technically mature and energy efficient approach for meeting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission needs/goals for the near-term Space Station Freedom Program and future advanced missions such as a Lunar Base and Mars exploration. Water is essential not only for the survival of humans in space, but also for efficient and economical operation for various space stations.
Life Systems, Inc., in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has been developing the Vapor Compression Distillation Phase Change Concept. During the development of this technology over the past 17 years an extensive engineering and scientific database has been assembled. Major break-throughs and improvements have been made on water production rates, water quality, specific energy, pump designs, pretreatment concepts, packaging, maintainability and Control/Monitor Instrumentation. These accomplishments were achieved through years of design efforts and thousands of hours of testing.
Life Systems has completed a preliminary design for a four-person capacity subsystem to process urine and reverse osmosis brine. Life Systems has delivered a similar sized unit for the Technology Demonstrator program and has fabricated two duplicate units for testing at Life Systems. The Vapor Compression Distillation concept is also being evaluated for use in the Ultrapure Water System and in support of the 1.8 Meter Centrifuge Facility Specimen Chamber Service Unit aboard the Space Station Freedom. Additionally, Life Systems is evaluating the unique environments and requirements of future manned exploration missions and the impact of these on future designs of the Vapor Compression Distillation subsystem. Testing and analysis are being performed to allow projection of Vapor Compression Distillation hardware and operational requirements for advanced missions.
(a) Life Systems, Inc. Cleveland, OH
(b) Boeing Aerospace Company, Huntsville, AL


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