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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Water Recovery for Regenerative Life Support Systems

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Water Recovery for Regenerative Life Support Systems
Thermal and environmental control systems for future exploration spacecraft must meet challenging requirements for efficient operation and conservation of resources. Regenerative CO2 removal systems are attractive for these missions because they do not use consumable CO2 absorbers. However, these systems also absorb water and vent it to space along with the carbon dioxide. This water loss can be prohibitively costly for long-duration missions. Conventional condensing heat exchangers for water conservation are not attractive, since they would add a significant load to a spacecraft's thermal control system. We propose to develop an innovative water recovery system that minimizes water lost from regenerative CO2 control systems without additional demands on the thermal control system. This approach addresses the need for water recovery systems in long-duration missions, reduces the need for consumables by enabling use of state-of-the-art regenerative CO2 removal systems, and minimizes demands on the spacecraft thermal control system. In Phase I we will prove the feasibility of our approach through proof-of-concept tests, trade-off studies, and prototype design. In Phase II we will build the prototype and measure its performance under conditions that simulate operation in a spacecraft life support system. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.