Advanced Capabilities Medical Suction Device

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

A compact microgravity and hypogravity compatible vacuum device is proposed to provide medical suction and containment of extracted fluids. The proposed aspirator will draw up to 40 L/min of air and produce a nominal vacuum of 500-mm Hg, which is comparable to commercially available medical aspirators. The unit will also provide a means for separation and containment of up to 1000 mL of aspirated fluids. Waste material separation will be accomplished by a reticulated foam trap that will utilize hydrophilic adsorbent materials to sequester liquids within the reticulated foam structure. The aspirator assembly will also include a sub-micron filter to prevent aerosol from escaping to the spacecraft cabin. During the Phase I research, an efficient trap will be designed and tested using a commercial off the shelf (COTS) vacuum pump. Additional trap features will be investigated including collapsible walls to minimize storage space and chemical resistance to enable suction of corrosive and/or toxic materials. Phase II research will focus on improving overall ESM and incorporating features such as a trap fill level indicator, an emergency shutoff in case of liquid breakthrough, and an alarm indicating a blocked airway, which will improve microgravity performance.