The New Italian Bioregenerative Life Support Program CAB 2007-01-3090
The Bioregenerative Life Support program CAB (Controllo Ambientale Biorigenerativo) is a key element of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) Medicine & Biotechnology scientific program, set forth in the ASI Activity Plan 2006-2008.
The CAB program started in October 2006, under the prime partnership of Thales Alenia Space Italia, with a feasibility study of a controlled biological system, allowing the regeneration of resources and the production of food for life support in long duration missions.
Main constituents of the CAB program are (a) higher plants as basic elements for food and oxygen production, CO2 regeneration and water purification via the photosynthetic and leaf transpiration processes, and (b) biological & physico-chemical systems for environmental control, monitoring, power & data distribution, etc. The sectors of technological and scientific concern are practically all the ones typical for life support systems in the frame of long duration human missions, i.e.:
Food production, in particular via the cultivation of higher plants, and food management
Air regeneration (Production of O2, Removal of CO2, Trace Gas Control)
Water regeneration (Urine processing, Gray water processing, Potable water management)
Solid waste processing
Resources allocation and storage
Control of environmental conditions (Thermal-hygrometric, light, pressure, radiation, etc).