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Technical Paper

Evaluation of Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion for Waste Treatment

2007-07-09
2007-01-3095
Thermophilic aerobic digestion was investigated as a potential waste treatment technology for biodegradable wastes generated in a long-term closed eco-system. The overall objectives of this research were to contribute to a regenerable closed-loop system for food production and water, air and waste treatment, while also minimizing the mass, volume, power, cooling and crewtime needs of the overall system. Biological treatment becomes more feasible due to resupply constraints with longer mission scenarios. The primary objectives of this research included the evaluation of the system, including effects of influent solids loadings, hydraulic retention time, oxygen transfer, and the influence of operational parameters such as pH, ORP, and temperature. Investigation into the effect of mechanical changes in the system on oxygen transfer was evaluated.
Technical Paper

NASA's On-line Project Information System (OPIS) Attributes and Implementation

2006-07-17
2006-01-2190
The On-line Project Information System (OPIS) is a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) system being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to improve Agency information transfer and data availability, largely for improvement of system analysis and engineering. The tool will enable users to investigate NASA technology development efforts, connect with experts, and access technology development data. OPIS is currently being developed for NASA's Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project. Within OPIS, NASA ELS Managers assign projects to Principal Investigators (PI), track responsible individuals and institutions, and designate reporting assignments. Each PI populates a “Project Page” with a project overview, team member information, files, citations, and images. PI's may also delegate on-line report viewing and editing privileges to specific team members. Users can browse or search for project and member information.
Technical Paper

Urine Processing for Water Recovery via Freeze Concentration

2005-07-11
2005-01-3032
Resource recovery, including that of urine water extraction, is one of the most crucial aspects of long-term life support in interplanetary space travel. This paper will consequently examine an innovative approach to processing raw, undiluted urine based on low-temperature freezing. This strategy is uniquely different from NASA's current emphasis on either ‘integrated’ (co-treatment of mixed urine, grey, and condensate waters) or ‘high-temperature’ (i.e., VCD [vapor compression distillation] or VPCAR [vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal]) processing strategies, whereby this liquid freeze-thaw (LiFT) procedure would avoid both chemical and microbial cross-contamination concerns while at the same time securing highly desirable reductions in likely ESM levels.
Technical Paper

Loading Balance and Influent pH in a Solids Thermophilic Aerobic Reactor

2005-07-11
2005-01-2982
The application of biological treatment to solid waste is very promising to facilitate recycling of water, carbon, and nutrients and to reduce the resupply needs of long-term crewed space missions. Degradation of biodegradable solid wastes generated during such a mission is under investigation as part of the NASA Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) at Purdue University. Processing in the solids thermophilic aerobic reactor (STAR) involves the use of high temperature micro-aerobic slurry conditions to degrade solid wastes, enabling the recycling of water, carbon, and nutrients for further downstream uses. Related research presently underway includes technical development and optimization of STAR operations as well as a complementary evaluation of post-STAR processing for gas-stream purification, water recovery by condensate purification, and residuals utilization for both mushroom growth media and nutritional support for fish growth.
Technical Paper

System Level Design and Initial Equivalent System Mass Analysis of a Solid-Phase Thermophilic Aerobic Rector for Advanced Life Support Systems

2005-07-11
2005-01-2983
This paper presents a system-level design and initial equivalent systems mass (ESM) analysis for a solid-phase thermophilic aerobic reactor (STAR) system prototype that is designed for a Mars surface mission. STAR is a biological solid waste treatment system that reduces solid waste, neutralizes pathogens, and produces a stabilized product amenable to nutrient reuse and water recovery in a closed life support system. The STAR system is designed for long-duration space missions or long-term remote planetary operations. A system-level design analysis for sizing a STAR process and the subsequent ESM based sensitivity analysis based on a 600-day Mars surface mission with a 6-person crew will be presented. Preliminary ESM sensitivity analysis identified that improving system energy conservation efficiency should be the focus of future research once the fundamental STAR process development has matured.
Technical Paper

Solids Thermophilic Aerobic Reactor for Solid Waste Management in Advanced Life Support Systems

2004-07-19
2004-01-2467
Solids thermophilic aerobic reactor (STAR) processing of biodegradable solid waste residuals uses high temperature conditions to reduce waste volume, inactivate pathogens, and render products that may enter the recycle system by providing plant substrate, fish food, and mushroom growth medium. The STAR process recovers and enables the reuse of nutrients, water, and carbon. During the time of this study, STAR was operated at a 3% solids loading rate, with an 11-day retention time at a temperature range of 50-55°C. This document presents the following details: a the evolution to date of the STAR reactor b review of reactor operation and analytical methods c a synopsis of the performance results and related discussion, and d a synopsis of future goals relative to this project's associated research roadmap.
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