Advanced Microgravity Compatible Integrated Laundry System (AMCILS) Development



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


This paper presents the development of a micro-gravity compatible system that effectively cleans and dries clothing. Common, ground based laundry systems have a few serious drawbacks that prevent their usage in a micro-gravity environment. The most obvious is that agitation would not occur as the clothing would float away from the impellers, or rolling cages, used to impart the necessary mechanical energy. A second drawback is water consumption. Ground base systems use significant amounts of water to give the clothing room to flex during agitation. A third, and very significant drawback of common systems, is the production of soap foam during the washing cycle. Foam is particularly difficult for space based water processing systems to handle. It can build up in storage tanks, effectively minimizing the volume in these vessels available to hold liquids. The Advanced Microgravity Compatible Integrated Laundry System, developed by UMPQUA Research Company in SBIR Phase I & II programs through AMES Research Center, addresses these issues. This effort culminated in the delivery of a working prototype that effectively cleans, rinses, and dries clothing in a single device that does not rely on gravity, does not produce foam, and uses a minimum of water in the process. The AMCILS is fully automated, but control parameters can be adjusted to support process refinement during independent verification and advanced development testing at NASA facilities.


ICES304: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Waste Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017
William Michalek, UMPQUA Research Company, USA
Spencer Wambolt, UMPQUA Research Company, USA
Adam Wheeler, UMPQUA Research Company, USA
Bryan McCurry, UMPQUA Research Company, USA
Richard Wheeler, UMPQUA Research Company, USA
John Fisher, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames (NASA), USA


laundry, micro-gravity compatible, washing, drying, microwave heating