Approaching Gaia: Intelligent Automated Control in Bioregenerative Life Support Systems 1999-01-2082
Future human-tended space missions will require advances in life support technology. Designers must consider enhancing the capabilities of traditional physicalchemical life support technology by adding bioregenerative elements. Limitations placed on total mass will force life support components to be compact, reliable, energy efficient, and autonomous. Such systems must operate with minimal human interaction, while providing manual controls as needed. The control and monitor components of such systems will need to exhibit a high degree of intelligence, flexibility, and adaptability to environmental conditions. The NASA Advanced Life Support (ALS) Program at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has been engaged in the Advanced Life Support Advanced Control Technology (ALSACT) Project, an effort to build a computer system that will meet the above criteria. ALSACT makes use of improvements in computer hardware to answer the requirement for low mass, high performance platforms, while using commercial software development tools to build object oriented, rule based control systems. The resulting product continues to prove its ability to control bioregenerative environments with a high degree of accuracy, reliability, and adaptability.