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Technical Paper

Results and Analysis from Reduced Gravity Experiments of the Flexible Membrane Commode Apparatus

2009-07-12
2009-01-2344
Two separate experimental rigs used in tests on NASA and Zero-G Corporation aircrafts flying low-gravity trajectories, and in the NASA 2.2 Second Drop Tower have been developed to test the functioning of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) concept under reduced gravity conditions. The first rig incorporates the flexible, optically opaque membrane bag and the second rig incorporates a transparent chamber with a funnel assembly for evacuation that approximates the size of the membrane bag. Different waste dispensers have been used including a caulking gun and flexible hose assembly, and an injection syringe. Waste separation mechanisms include a pair of wire cutters, an iris mechanism, as well as discrete slug injection. The experimental work is described in a companion paper. This paper focuses on the obtained results and analysis of the data.
Technical Paper

Fecal Simulant Delivery Systems for Parabolic Flight Testing of the Flexible Membrane Commode

2009-07-12
2009-01-2343
The Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) is an alternative waste management system designed to address the severe mass restrictions on the Orion vehicle. The concept includes a deployable seat and single use, three layer bags that employ air flow to draw solids away from the body and safely contain them in disposable bags.1 Simulated microgravity testing of the system was performed during two separate parabolic flight campaigns in July and August of 2008. Experimental objectives included verifying the waste fill procedures in reduced gravity, characterizing waste behavior during the filling process, and comparison of the results with model predictions. In addition the operational procedure for bag installation, removal, and sealing were assessed. 2 A difficult operational requirement concerns the delivery of the fecal waste simulant into the upper area of the bag in a manner that faithfully simulates human defecation.
Technical Paper

Development of a Reduced Gravity Test Rig for Waste Management

2008-06-29
2008-01-2049
The space environment presents many challenges to the operation and functioning of life support systems. These challenges include reduced gravity, near vacuum ambient, extreme temperatures, and radiation. Proper testing and modeling of system components to account for these factors will be important for their verification. This paper describes the modeling and design of a reduced gravity test rig for waste management studies. The first investigation planned relate to the functioning of components of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) currently under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The planned reduced gravity tests will be carried out in NASA's C'9 aircraft which provides approximately 25 seconds of reduced gravity per parabolic trajectory. The filling of the commode bag under the influence of a directed air flow will be studied. Simulated waste will be injected and cabin air will be used for directing the waste into the bag.
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