Biomass Production System (BPS) Environmental Control Subsystem Performance 1999-01-2180
The Biomass Production System (BPS) was developed to meet science, biotechnology and commercial plant growth needs in Space. The BPS is a double middeck locker equivalent payload with four internal plant chambers. The chambers can be removed to allow manipulation or sampling of specimens, and are sealed to allow CO2 and water vapor exchange measurements. Each of the growth chambers has independent control of temperature, humidity, lighting, and carbon dioxide levels. Preliminary acceptance and performance testing has demonstrated temperature control within ±1.0°C (between 20°C and 30°C) and humidity control within ±5% (between 60% and 90% RH, depending on ambient temperature and plant load). The fluorescent lighting system provides light levels between 60 and 350 μmol m−2s−1. The CO2 control system controls to the greater of ±50 ppm or ±5% (with plants, as a scrubber is not currently available). Performance and science related tests are ongoing to characterize BPS function under a variety of environmental and operational conditions.