NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X3.02-9012
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Crew Accommodations and Waste Processing for Long Duration Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Microgravity Compatible, Integrated Laundry System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-7770

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William F Michalek
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-2654

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
An Advanced Microgravity Compatible, Integrated laundry System (AMCILS) is proposed that uses a two phase water / water vapor system to allow good agitation of clothing during the wash & rinse cycle. Drying will be accomplished utilizing microwave energy addition and "jet" air flow to fluff and move clothing in the washing chamber. Operation in a two phase water / water vapor system precludes the formation of sustainable foam in the wash effluent while allowing adequate volume for agitation of clothing in a weightless environment while using a minimum amount of water. Drying using air "jets" and microwave addition was proven during micro-gravity testing performed in the Single Phase Space Laundry Phase II program (NASA contract No. NAS9-18362, Jan. 1993) The Phase II effort will build upon the successful Phase I feasibility demonstration of the AMCIL concept and result in delivery of a working AMCIL prototype whose performance will be thoroughly characterized and delivered to NASA for independent testing.
The AMCIL promises a reduction in ESM associated with crew clothing on long duration missions through the reduction of expendables. Clothing can be re-used which minimizes ESM associated with storage of new clothing, and waste storage associated with used clothing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA application for this technology will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future, long duration exploration objectives beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) where efficient, reliable, laundering of clothing will reduce the ESM. On long duration missions re-supply is impossible. This technology promises to substantially reduce the ESM penalties associated with disposable clothing, including storage volume of new clothing as well as waste storage of used clothing. It will also increase astronaut comfort, as it will be more practicable to change clothing on a more frequent basis than when finite amounts of disposable clothing must be carried on the mission.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary focus of this program is to prevent the formation of sustainable foam and minimize the amount of water usage during the washing / rinsing cycles. The AMCILS relies on a weightless environment to minimize water consumption. Sustainable foam is only a problem in a weightless environment. At this time there are few customers that require operation of laundering facilities in a weightless environment. The drying function, utilizing microwave heat addition, could be easily integrated into Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) front loading wash machines. This would minimize space requirements in household by eliminating the need for a separate dryer unit. It may also provide a more energy efficient method of vaporizing liquid water entrained in clothing over simple heating with hot air. Commercial manufacturers of washing machines will be interested.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Waste Storage/Treatment

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04