MITRE CORP MCLEAN VA JASON PROGRAM OFFICE
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The methods of extracting oxygen from sea water for use as an oxidizer in an underwater vehicle are considered. The Aquanatics artificial gill is the baseline system its feasibility requires further improvements in the oxygen carrier, electrode surfaces, or both. Current performance of the baseline is half of what is required for the proposed test vehicle. JASON considers the proposed test vehicle premature much more work on electrochemical research is in order. An alternate technique, based on low pressure distillation and sparging, is analyzed and shows an improvement of about ten in the theoretical minimum relative to the baseline system. It is also simpler, since it has no need for the exchange membrane and the carrier molecules. Offsetting this simplicity is the existence of mechanical moving parts. Further research toward achieving the theoretical minimum is recommended for both, and other competing, approaches.