Design and Testing of the Sheet and Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporators

Discipline: Environmental Control/Life Support

Grant Bue and Matthew Vogel presented the two types of Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporators (SWME) that were developed based on hydrophobic microporous membranes. One type, the Sheet Membrane (SaM) SWME, is composed of six concentric Teflon sheet membranes fixed on cylindrical-supporting screens to form three concentric annular water channels. Those water channels are surrounded by vacuum passages to draw off the water vapor that passes through the membrane. The other type, the Hollow Fiber (HoFi) SWME, is composed of more than 14,000 tubes. Water flows through the tubes and water vapor passes through the tube wall to the shell side that vents to the vacuum of space. Both SWME types have undergone testing to baseline the performance at predicted operating temperatures and flow rates; the units also have been subjected to contamination testing and other conditions to test resiliency.

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