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Application of Radioisotopes for Aerospace Waste Reclamation and Water Systems

Report Number: AMRL TR 67-158
Author: Metzger, Courtney A.
Author: Hearld, Albert B.
Author: Reynolds, Bobby J.
Author: Shivers, Rufus
Author: Murray, Robert W.
Corporate Author: General Electric Company
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1967-09
Pages: 22
Contract: AF 33(615)-3308
Project: 6373
Task: 637305
AD Number: AD0665457

A life support system designed for aerospace application was thermally powered by a radioisotope heat source at a significant saving in electrical energy. This report summarizes the research program and resulting design, development, and evaluation of a vacuum distillation-vapor pyrolysis water reclamation system that was subjected to a 30-day isotope powered unmanned test. In addition to the savings of electrical energy the application of a radioisotope heat source is expected to result in a simple and more reliable water recovery system producing an excellent quality water without the use of pre- or post treatment for extended periods of operation. Discussed are other water recovery processes that show good promise for the utilization of isotopes for the thermal energy that have been subjected to comparison evaluation using electrical energy. The use of several waste management techniques to obtain a complex integrated system are discussed including urine and fecal collection, fecal storage, potable hot and cold water storage and dispensing, and potability measurements that show promise for the use of the waste heat from the isotopes.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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