Development of a Back Pressure Valve for the Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME)
Leimkuehler, Thomas O.
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A prototype Back Pressure Valve (BPV) for the Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) has been designed, manufactured, and tested. The SWME provides heat rejection for the Portable Life Support System of the Exploration EVA Space Suit being designed for NASA by the CSAFE team. The BPV controls the heat rejection of the SWME by controlling the vapor pressure to which water in the SWME evaporates. The BPV is a custom manufactured sliding gate valve with an electromechanical actuator. An encoder is included for reporting valve position. A tapered orifice shape helps provide greater control of cooling at small valve openings. The prototype BPV has a very small leakage rate in the closed position (less than 10 W of cooling with water temperatures up to 40°C). This paper presents an overview of the BPV design and development test results.