1998-07-13

Development of a System to Assess Biofilm Formation in the International Space Station 981617

The design requirements for the water treatment systems aboard the International Space Station (ISS) include and require recycling as much water as possible and to treat the water for intentional contamination (hygiene, urine distillate, condensate, etc.) and unintentional contamination in the form of biofilm and microorganisms. As part of an effort to address the latter issue, a biofilm system was developed by Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to simulate the conditions aboard ISS with respect to materials, flowrates, water conditions, water content, and handling. The tubing, connectors, sensors, and fabricated parts included in the system were chosen for specific attributes as applicable to emulate an orbital water treatment system. This paper addresses the design and development process of the system, as well as the configuration, operation, and system procedures for maintenance to assure that the simulation is valid for the representative data as it applies to water degradation and biofilm/microbial growth. Preliminary biofilm/microbial results are also presented.

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