Planetary Water Recycling Systems Trade Study



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Long-term planetary space missions present new and unique challenges in life-support systems. These missions will rely on the long term self-sustainability of the habitat, with water recycling being a key issue. Water constitutes the majority of the mass required to sustain human life in space and it follows that efficient water recycling has the potential to lower overall launch mass, thus reducing mission costs. This trade study evaluates terrestrial and NASA developed water recycling technologies on the basis of applicability as a planetary base water recycling system. Various bioreactors, membrane reactors, filtration, and district water reclamation systems are investigated and rated based on several standardized parameters. A customer-oriented Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is utilized to analyze the ratings of the technologies for the tasks required. The trade study aims to rank the various systems based on their Equivalent System Mass (ESM), Technology Readiness Level (TRL), scalability, crew time, overall logistics requirements, among others. The results of the study can serve as a basis for future inquiries and studies by NASA and other interested parties. The results of this study provides a down selection from 24 systems to 4 systems that trade very close to each other. The results provide a context and justification for a future comparative hardware test program to determine which of these system offer the best solution.


Michael Flynn, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Amanda Delos Reyes, San Jose State University, USA
Freddie Begabovic, San Jose State University, USA
Carlos Flores, San Jose State University, USA
Josh Hinkle, San Jose State University, USA
Soomin Choi, San Jose State University, USA
ICES501: Life Support Systems Engineering and Analysis
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems as held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


Water, recycling, planetary, trade, study