Reheating and Sterilization Technology for Food, Waste and Water: Design and Development Considerations for Package and Enclosure
Long-duration space missions require high-quality, nutritious foods, which will need reheating to serving temperature, or sterilization on an evolved planetary base. The package is generally considered to pose a disposal problem after use. We are in the process of development of a dual-use package wherein the food may be rapidly reheated in situ using the technology of ohmic heating. We plan to make the container reusable, so that after food consumption, the package is reused to contain and sterilize waste. This approach will reduce Equivalent System Mass (ESM) by using a compact heating technology, and reducing mass requirements for waste storage. Preliminary tests of the package within a specially-designed ohmic heating enclosure show that ISS menu item could easily be heated using ohmic heating technology. Mathematical models for heat transfer were used to optimize the layout of electrodes to ensure uniform heating of the material within the package.