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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Passive Collapsible Contingency Urinal for Human Spaceflight

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Passive Collapsible Contingency Urinal for Human Spaceflight, Phase II

Acute challenges are faced by the designers of fluid transport systems for spacecraft because of the persistently unfamiliar and unforgiving low-g environment. However, with modern design tools capillarity can used to passively perform critical life support functions, increasing reliability, while enabling new device functionality. Such systems are directly tied to critical life support systems: i.e., oxygen supply, air revitalization, thermal management systems, water reclamation, medical fluids, and others. In this work IRPI will apply the Phase I design process toward the development of a much needed contingency waste water collection and processing device for human spaceflight. The device provides passive liquid collection, containment, bubble separation, and droplet coalescence functions for contingency urine collection in a lightweight, low volume, low cost, and potentially disposable device that may be used for subsequent sampling, metering, storage, disposal, and/or re-use. Our approach will include "fractal wetting" and design that incorporates "smart" capillary fluidics. Though the work is focused on a single application, the design approach and capabilities have a broad impact on capillary-based fluids management aboard spacecraft and on earth.

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