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SBIR/STTR

Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System (AMWAS) recovers and purifies water from Mars soils for oxygen and fuel production, life support, food production, and radiation shielding in support of human exploration missions. The AMWAS removes water from Mars soils using hot, recirculating carbon dioxide gas to provide rapid heat transfer. The AMWAS evaporates water from ice and salt hydrates, leaving dissolved contaminants in the soil residue. The water distilled from the extraction vessel is condensed, treated with activated carbon to remove residual volatiles and organic material, filtered to remove suspended solids, and subjected to deionization in preparation for proton exchange membrane electrolysis. Recuperative heat exchange is employed to minimize heat losses from recirculating carbon dioxide gas. Cold temperatures of the Mars atmosphere are used to facilitate condensation and separation of water from recycled carbon dioxide gas. A vacuum jacket is used to minimize heat losses from the extraction vessel. Much of the net heat input to the AMWAS can be supplied by solar concentrators or waste heat from radioisotope thermoelectric generators. The AMWAS vessel is equipped with a single, stationary seal that facilitates materials handling automation and minimizes potential leakage over the nominal operating period of up to 480 days. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Target Destination

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