QinetiQ develops water innovation for space

10 Mar 2014

Water treatment unit recycles urine and waste water

10 March 2014: QinetiQ Space has signed a 1.1 million euro contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of a ground prototype water treatment unit to recycle urine and waste water for use in space.

The prototype will be used to develop a system that will be used in future space missions to treat water for re-use by astronauts to wash, or to be purified further to drinking water. The ground prototype and testing will ensure the future system works successfully in space, with a design that has to take into account the lack of gravity, the launch and the life expectancy of the components in different environments.

Along with the prototype development and preliminary design, QinetiQ will provide project coordination with a consortium that includes NTE, who willcarrying out requirements analysis, VITO, who will work on membrane technology and UGent who are responsible for the urine related subsystem and overall life testing.

Sanjay Razdan, Managing Director New Technologies QinetiQ plc, said; “Water is obviously essential for long duration space missions.  For a space mission with six crew members it is estimated that they have a water consumption of 166 litres per day so the development of an efficient, reliable and safe water treatment system that can re-use water is essential. We are delighted to be developing a prototype unit that will enable this to be the case for future space missions.”

Notes for Editors:

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.

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QinetiQ develops water innovation for space