How is the Automatic Suit that recycles generated body water? Is this technology feasible in practice?

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2021-11-11 20:28:10

Adapted from the famous novel series of the same name by writer Frank Herbert, it is not surprising that Dune has become one of the most anticipated science fiction works of 2021. With a duration of about 2.5 This film has somewhat succeeded in bringing the majestic fantasy world that Herbert has drawn in the pages of the book to the big screen, especially the barren desert planet Arrakis – the main setting of the film.

In order for ordinary people to live and work on this planet, Frank Herbert created a special outfit called stillsuit. This is also one of the details that the Dune production team pays special attention to, from ideation, design to processing to be able to create products that are both close to the original and comfortable at the same time. Easy to wear, easy to operate for actors.

Stillsuit is one of Dune’s most distinctive details, and also the most impressive technology that this sci-fi novel series creates.

Basically, the stillsuit acts as a high-power filtration system. This suit consists of many layers of different materials, which can absorb and recycle waste water from the human body, such as sweat or urine. The wearer can then drink from the same recycled water to maintain energy and continue working amid the harsh conditions at Arrakis.

The stillsuit’s mechanism of action is also explained quite clearly in Dune: “This is a high capacity heat exchanger and filtration system. The innermost layer, which is in direct contact with human skin, is made of foam. Sweat will seep through this layer and cool the body, the evaporation process takes place at almost the normal rate. The next two layers include the heat exchanger fiber layer and the precipitated salt absorption layer.

“Body movement, especially respiration or osmotic activities, will power the process of ‘pumping’ recycled water – stored in the catchpocket bags located along the shoulder blades and back of the shirt. Users can drink water from here with a straw at the collar. Meanwhile, urine and feces will be handled separately in thigh pads.

“When operating in the desert, users need to wear a filter that covers their face, with a nosepiece designed to seal their nostrils. When breathing, they will inhale through the mouth filter, and exhale through the nasal tube. With a qualified stillsuit, we lose very little water per day.”

Behind the scenes of Dune: How is the Automatic Suit that recycles generated body waste?  Is this technology feasible in practice?  - Photo 2.

Stillsuit consists of many layers, many different parts to help absorb and recycle waste water from the human body, such as sweat and urine.

Stillsuit is one of Dune’s most iconic details, and Warner Bros. I want this costume to be properly designed when it comes to the big screen. In this post about the behind-the-scenes of this blockbuster (you can read it here), we mentioned how director Denis Villeneuve prioritized the use of realistic effects and very limited the use of cinematography. Therefore, the stillsuits that we see in the movie are “real products”, not products created by CGI.

Costume designers Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan and their collaborators created about 200 different stillsuits for the filming of Dune. More meticulously, each outfit is tailored to each actor’s body measurements, not mass-produced. They said that because Dune was filmed in actual deserts, each actor’s clothes had to be designed so that they could act most comfortably, and easy to put on and take off when needed.

However, Dune is still a work of science fiction anyway. Stillsuits, no matter how cool they are, are still a fictional product and cannot act as a high-performance water filter.

Behind the scenes of Dune: How is the Automatic Suit that recycles generated body waste?  Is this technology feasible in practice?  - Photo 3.

The technology the stillsuit uses is comparable to the wastewater recycling technology on the International Space Station, but does this mean we’ll be making real suits in the future? ?

But in fact, the on-site wastewater filtration mechanism has been applied in the aerospace industry for many years, although it has to be done a bit manually, but cannot be fully automated like Dune. With the latest systems and technology installed on the International Space Station (ISS), 98% of the waste water from the astronauts’ bodies can be recycled and reused.

So how was the stillsuit created to serve the Dune recording process? And what are the similarities between this fictional costume and the water purification technology on the ISS? Will we be able to create realistic stillsuits in the future? Please watch the video below.

[Vietsub] The process of creating stillsuits in Dune is meticulous and invested like this.

According to WIRED

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