SINGLE PHASE SPACE LAUNDRY

Period of Performance: 01/01/1990 - 12/31/1990

$492K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Umpqua Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE BASELINE DESIGN OF NASA'S SPACE STATION INCLUDES A CLOTHES LAUNDRY FACILITY. FOAMING AND AIR ENTRAINMENT IN THE MICROGRAVITY OF SPACE CAUSE SERIOUS MATERIALS HANDLING PROBLEMS. ANTIFOAMS ADD CONTAMINANTS THAT MUST BE REMOVED IN THE WATER RECLAMATION SYSTEM. PHASE SEPARATORS ADD ADDITIONAL WEIGHT AND POWER. THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SINGLE PHASE LAUNDERING APPARATUS WILL ALLEVIATE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PHASE SEPARATION AND THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH FOAMING. CLOTHES DRYING SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SAME UNIT TO MINIMIZE WEIGHT AND SPACE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAUNDERING FACILITY. THE DESIGNS PRESENTED IN THIS PROPOSAL INCLUDE CLOTHES DRYING CAPABILITY. POWER CONSUMPTION OF A CLOTHES DRYING APPARATUS IS OF PRIME CONCERN. ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF THE DRYING CYCLE WILL BE MINIMIZED BY USE OF MICROWAVE ENERGY TRANSFER TO THE WET CLOTHING. MICROWAVE DRYING HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED TO OFFER SEVERAL ADVANTAGES: 1) LOW POWER CONSUMPTION, 2) LOW LINT PRODUCTION, AND 3) STERILIZATION OFCLOTHES.