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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Advanced Microgravity Compatible, Integrated Laundry System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Advanced Microgravity Compatible, Integrated Laundry System, Phase I
The Advanced Microgravity Compatible, Integrated Laundry (AMCIL) is a microgravity compatible liquid / liquid vapor, two-phase laundry system with water jet agitation and vacuum assisted drying. Umpqua Research Company previously developed a complete microgravity compatible Single Phase Laundry System (SPLS). Single-phase operation during the wash cycle facilitated microgravity compatible fluidics and eliminated problems associated with foams. Pulsed water jets were utilized to agitate the clothing. Drying was achieved with microwave assisted vacuum drying followed by a tumble cycle that greatly enhanced softness in the previously vacuum pressed clothing. Tumbling was achieved by an array of three air jets, two to generate a cyclonic effect and a third to induce tumbling by blowing perpendicular to the plane of rotation. This concept was successfully demonstrated during a KC-135 microgravity simulation flight. The proposed AMCIL concept will build on the SPLS technology and incorporate key design improvements to reduced water requirements and lower power consumption. Specific advancements include a redesigned wash cycle that consumes less water and reduces power demand. The Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of the microgravity compatible liquid / liquid vapor, two-phase washing concept in a laboratory scale system. A complete, automated prototype unit that incorporates the system parameters established during the Phase I tests will be designed, fabricated, and tested during the Phase II program. More »

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