Next-generation Spacecraft Humidity Control and Water Recovery System (SHOWRS) – Combining the Condensate Separator for Microgravity Conditions (COSMIC) and Laser-Processed Condensing Heat Exchanger (LP-CHX)



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2024 International Conference on Environmnetal Systems


Spacecraft temperature and humidity control systems (THCS) are an essential part of environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) for all human spaceflight missions. Crew perspiration and respiration releases approximately 50% of consumed water into the cabin atmosphere, so failing to recover water from the atmosphere necessitates the transport of large quantities of water from Earth. The Spacecraft Humidity Control and Water Recovery System (SHOWRS) described herein combines Paragon Space Development Corporation's patented COndensate Separator for MIcrogravity Conditions (COSMIC) and Edare and UNL's Laser-Processed Condensing Heat Exchanger (LP-CHX) into a THCS that functions equally well in micro, partial or full gravity to provide high-efficiency water recovery for sustainable, long-duration human habitation and exploration missions in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), in cislunar space, on the Moon, on Mars, and in deep space. This paper discusses the SHOWRS system specifications and advantages compared to state-of-the-art THCS, showing the substantial benefits in performance, size, and power over alternative technologies. We describe the empirical, analytical, integrated COSMIC sizing and performance model that couples principal design and operating parameters to predict power draw as a function of condensate loads, airflow rates, and differential pump pressure. The paper also highlights the thermal, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties of the laser-processed silver condensing surfaces at the core of the LP-CHX and the resulting superior performance and longevity.


Robert Jacobi, Paragon Space Development Corporation, USA
Connor Joyce, Paragon Space Development Corporation, USA
John Sanders, Edare LLC, USA
Craig Zuhlke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
ICES305: Environmental Control of Commercial and Exploration Spacecraft
The 53rd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 21 July 2024 through 25 July 2024.


temperature and humidity control, condensing heat exchanger, condensate separation, liquid-gas phase separator, water recovery, microgravity, lunar, planetary, femtosecond laser surface processing