An Assessment of the Readiness of Vapor Compression Distillation for Spacecraft Wastewater Processing

Paper #:
  • 911454

Published:
  • 1991-07-01
Citation:
Noble, L., Schubert, F., Graves, R., and Miernik, J., "An Assessment of the Readiness of Vapor Compression Distillation for Spacecraft Wastewater Processing," SAE Technical Paper 911454, 1991, https://doi.org/10.4271/911454.
Pages:
14
Abstract:
Exhaustive testing and analysis of Vapor Compression Distillation technology has proven its overall readiness as a wastewater processor for the recovery of water in orbiting and interplanetary spacecraft. In conjunction with Boeing Aerospace and Electronics and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Life Systems' technical team has been focusing on verifying and improving performance characteristics, micro-gravity compatibility, reliability and maintainability aspects of the Vapor Compression Distillation design. Amassing thousands of hours of testing and recent breakthroughs in the area of peristaltic pump design, product water conductivity sensing and gas/liquid separation concepts have substantially increased the engineering and scientific database that has been accumulating over the past 29 years. Boeing Aerospace and Electronics recently selected the Vapor Compression Distillation concept as baseline for water reclamation via urine processing for the Space Station Freedom, indicating that Vapor Compression Distillation will be a key to providing wastewater regeneration essential for long-term human survival in space.
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