Heat Melt Compactor Test Unit
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The Heat Melt Compactor (HMC) is a logistical waste management system designed to process trash in support of human operations in space. Processing includes compressing the waste into a manageable tile and recovering water from the waste. Previous developmental systems have been built to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of this HMC waste compaction and water recovery technique. The HMC Test Unit leverages the design from these previous models to assemble a streamlined version that will be used to evaluate implementation of permeable bags to encase the trash during compaction. The HMC Test Unit design focuses on compaction of the trash and recovery of water using heat, partial vacuum, and compression. The unit is sized to accommodate an 11.5-inch square tile, somewhat larger than the 9-inch square tiles processed using the NASA Ames second generation HMC (GEN2) and smaller than the 16-inch square tiles processed using the SNC/ORBITEC Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (PMWC). Following design, fabrication, and checkout, the unit will be delivered for testing the application of permeable bags.