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Full-Scale Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Prototype Development and Testing for Advanced SpacesuitsThe spacesuit water membrane evaporator (SWME) is being developed to perform the thermal control function for advanced spacesuits to take advantage of recent advances in micropore membrane technology in providing a robust heat-rejection device that is potentially less sensitive to contamination than is the sublimator. Principles of a sheet membrane SWME design were demonstrated using a prototypic test article that was tested in a vacuum chamber at JSC in July 1999. The Membrana Celgard X50-215 microporous hollow fiber (HoFi) membrane was selected after recent contamination tests as the superior candidate among commercial alternatives for HoFi SWME prototype development. Although a number of design variants were considered, one that grouped the fiber layers into stacks, which were separated by small spaces and packaged into a cylindrical shape, was deemed best for further development. An analysis of test data showed that eight layer stacks of the HoFi sheets that had good exposure on each side of the stack would evaporate water with high efficiency. A design that has 15,000 tubes, with 18 cm of exposed tubes between headers has been built and tested that meets the size, weight, and performance requirements of the SWME. This full-scale prototype consists of 30 stacks, each of which are formed into a chevron shape and separated by spacers and organized into three sectors of ten nested stacks. Testing has been performed to show contamination resistance to the constituents expected to be found in potable water produced by the distillation processes. Other tests showed the sensitivity to surfactants.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bue, Grant
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Trevino, Luis
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Tsioulos, Gus
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Mitchell, Keith
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Dillon, Paul
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Weaver, Gregg
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
40th International Conference on Environmental Systems(Barcelona)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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