A Conceptual Design for Programmable Advanced Life Support System with Flexible Food Production System 1999-01-1987
A Programmable Advance Life Support System (ALSS) that can accommodate all the demand changes necessary for life support must be developed particularly for bioregenerative functions. We have previously developed the Gravity Independent Photosynthetic Growing System (GIPGS)-a versatile multi-crop growing system), Automatic Plant Growing and Harvest System (APGHS). -a self-regenerating continuous food production systems, and the Inflatable Self-sufficient Growth Bags (ISGB). These systems can accommodate production of many other crops such as wheat, rice, lettuce, komatsuna, tomato, cucumber, sprout crops and fermented foods which can be all prepackaged in self-contained growth bags. GIPGS is capable of growing different crops and crops in different stages simultaneously with a high density and high-energy efficiency, APGHS has auto crop management for perpetual food production and auto harvest systems. Programmable logic controllers control most of these hardware functions. Bioregenerative functions such as Food Production (FP), Water Purification (WP), Air Revitalization (AR), and Waste Recovery (WR) must be suppressed or enhanced depending on the system demand changes. If the hardware complexity of the Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS) were lessened and variable factors such as biomass, gas exchange, and nutrient requirement were be kept constant, BLSS function can be easily programmed to analyze and change growing parameters to make necessary changes on specific function of BLSS. Intelligent Growth Bags of different types that alleviate complex hardware operations are being developed. When this is achieved, the operation of BLSS becomes more reliable and predictable to the point that a desired function, i.e. enhanced AR function mode, can be easily accomplished by changing the parameters of the growing system without disrupting food productions.