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VAPORATOR

Fresh water is essential for survival, but on some worlds it so scarce that it must be coaxed from the air by devices known as vaporators. Found on many worlds, these devices are best known for their use on the planet Tatooine's moisture farms, where five-meter-tall Pretorium GX-8 vaporators are used to gather water vapor from the desert atmosphere.

The GX-8 projects a low-power ionized field and uses refrigerated cylinders and chilling bars to cool the surrounding air. This causes condensation even in barren environments where humidity is as low as 1.35 percent. The moisture condenses on the vaporator's chilled surface and trickles down into a collection chamber, where it is pumped into the vaporator's large underground storage tanks. The GX-8's control computer automatically adjusts ionization and refrigeration levels to account for wind speed and external temperature, while energy for the refrigeration units is stored in energy cells that are charged by retractable solar panels.

On, Tatooine, vaporators set 250 meters apart can be expected to gather 1.5 liters of water per day. In more arid areas, such as near the Dune Sea, moisture farmers must place their vaporators at least five hundred meters apart to achieve the same water yields.

Single-family moisture farms, each with a range of several square kilometers are the norm on Tatooine. These businesses are risky propositions, since even minuscule water loss can mean the difference between survival and bankruptcy. The moisture farmer's greatest foe is blowing sand, which gets into a vaporator's lubricants and can disable the refrigeration machinery unless it is removed promptly.

As the demand for water grows, moisture farms steadily spread into unexplored territory, and clashes with Sand People become increasingly common. Most vaporators on Tatooine are protected by security locks or voice recognition scanners to discourage attacks. The harvested water often is stockpiled in huge underground tanks adjacent to the family's farmhouse so that the farmer can personally fend off Tusken Raider attacks.

Moisture farmers may take their water directly into Mos Eisley spaceport for sale, ship it to the city by pipeline, or sell it to a broker. Some farmers also maintain underground hydroponics labs were vegetation are grown for later sale in Mos Eisley.

Many of Mos Eisley's streets have vaporators set up to reclaim water vapor exhaled by the city's residents. Scouts often carry small vaporators in their survival kits, while most escape pods have personal vaporators to provide fresh water to stranded pilots and crew members.

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Disclaimer: Star Wars and all related characters, trademarks, and graphics are all property of Lucasfilm Ltd. The above entry is from the Star Wars: The Essential Guide To Weapons And Technology by Del Rey.