A Test Plan for Sensitivity of Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Systems to Potable Water Constituents, Contaminants and Air Bubbles
The Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is the baseline heat rejection technology selected for development for the Constellation lunar suit. The first SWME prototype, designed, built, and tested at Johnson Space Center in 1999 used a Teflon hydrophobic porous membrane sheet shaped into an annulus to provide cooling to the coolant loop through water evaporation to the vacuum of space. This present study describes the test methodology and planning to compare the test performance of three commercially available hollow fiber materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME, in particular, a porous hydrophobic polypropylene, and two variants that employ ion exchange through non-porous hydrophilic modified Nafion. Contamination tests will be performed to probe for sensitivities of the candidate SWME elements to ordinary constituents that are expected to be found in the potable water provided by the vehicle, the target feedwater source.