Top-Level Modeling of Food Processing and Nutrition (FP&N) Component of Advanced Life Support System (ALSS) 2000-01-2262
One of the desirable capabilities of an Advanced Life Support System (ALSS) is regeneration of the ingredients required to make palatable and acceptable menu items for crew consumption. This challenging task includes satisfying the nutritional requirements and the taste preferences of the crewmembers, as well as providing efficient food processing equipment in an ALSS.
The Food Processing and Nutrition (FP&N) component is one of the sub-models within a top-level model of an ALSS under development at the New Jersey NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NJNSCORT). Given a scenario, FP&N sub-model can be utilized to evaluate whether the nutritional needs of crewmembers are being satisfied and what resources are required for food processing. This sub-model is interrelated with three other ALSS sub-models representing the crew, biomass production, and waste processing and resource recovery. For example, the needs of the crew determine the necessary amount of daily nutrition. A daily diet is chosen based on nutritional needs and tastes of the crew. Subsequently, the quantities of required ingredients can be determined, based on the daily diet of the crew. This is the responsibility of the biomass production component. The amount of food wastes from food processing can be determined and this amount defines the load to the waste processing and resource recovery component. Food processing transforms ingredients into edible dishes. The resources needed for food processing may be investigated based on mass, volume, power, heat removal, and crew time requirements.
The top-level sub-model of FP&N component of ALSS will be capable of evaluating potential daily diets, while addressing nutritional needs, and determining food processing requirements. The FP&N component has been analyzed using object oriented techniques and has been undergoing implementation in the JAVA programming language. These techniques offer modular advantages that will allow for easy expansion and unification with other ALSS sub-models. Furthermore, the model is designed for possible use via the World Wide Web (WWW).