Development of a reduced gravity test rig for waste management

U. Hegde*, Z. G. Yuan, N. Hall, J. Fisher, T. Liggett, Eric Litwiller, R. Alba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The space environment presents many challenges to the operation and functioning of life support systems. These challenges include reduced gravity, near vacuum ambient, extreme temperatures, and radiation. Proper testing and modeling of system components to account for these factors will be important for their verification. This paper describes the modeling and design of a reduced gravity test rig for waste management studies. The first investigation planned relate to the functioning of components of the Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) currently under development at NASA Ames Research Center. The planned reduced gravity tests will be carried out in NASA's C'9 aircraft which provides approximately 25 seconds of reduced gravity per parabolic trajectory. The filling of the commode bag under the influence of a directed air flow will be studied. Simulated waste will be injected and cabin air will be used for directing the waste into the bag. The motion of the waste as a function of the air velocity will be studied by video imaging and pressure scans. The relative influence of reduced gravity and air drag force will be determined. In addition, the operational procedure for bag installation, removal and sealing will be verified. The experiments and associated data analysis will serve to advance the readiness level of the FMC technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event38th International Conference on Environmental Systems - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2008Jul 2 2008


Other38th International Conference on Environmental Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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