Inductively Heated Plasma Generator-based Waste Decomposition for Long Duration Crewed Space Missions

Date

2020-07-31

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems

Abstract

Human spaceflight to destinations further away from cis-Earth system imposes extra challenge of adequate waste management on the crew as a result of several constraints such as limited habitable volume inside the spacecraft, isolation from the Earth system and less waste storage capacity for the period of the mission. This paper discusses the development and results of the Waste for Energy and Volume Recovery (WEVR) campaign carried out at the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) of the University of Stuttgart as part of the collaboration with the University of Cape Town's SpaceLab. Waste package simulant (WPS) test samples, normalized to a mass of 25 g were thermally decomposed through exposure to plasma from high enthalpy inductively heated plasma generators (IPG3 and IPG4) operated with oxygen or nitrogen test gases in the Plasma Wind Tunnel 3 (PWK3), an atmospheric entry test facility at IRS. The test samples were placed inside a cylindrical sample holder and mounted onto a plasma probe that was moved into the center of the plasma plume to assess the decomposition process. Results from the tests campaign are presented in this document.

Description

Samuel Anih, SpaceLab, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, ZA
Adam Pagan, Institute of Space Systems (IRS), Universität Stuttgart, DE
Helmut Koch, Institute of Space Systems (IRS), Universität Stuttgart, DE
Peter Martinez, SpaceLab, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, ZA
Rene Laufer, SpaceLab, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, ZA
Georg Herdrich, Institute of Space Systems (IRS), Universität Stuttgart, DE
ICES304: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Waste Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Keywords

Waste-management, Long-duration crewed space mission, Inductively heated plasma generator, Waste package simulant

Citation