CMR Prototech has developed and qualified 5 flight models of hydrophobic filters. The customer, Thales Alenia Space Italy, has ordered a second batch of these flight unit hydrophobic filters.
The water system of the Service Module is pressurized by a separate nitrogen system. It is imperative to avoid water from entering this nitrogen system, which may occur in case of an unintended loss of gas pressure. Hydrophobic filters are used rather than mechanical check-valves. The hydrophobicity of the ceramic membrane ensures that water is prevented from passing through the filter up to 3.5 bar pressure differential, whereas gas is let through. The Norwegian company Keranor delivers the ceramic membranes.
The project, which included breadboarding, design, manufacturing, assembly, inspection and testing of one qualification model and 5 flight models, had a budget of 3.3 MNOK. The second batch of flight models has a budget of 1.1 MNOK and will be delivered by the end of the year.