A Rack-like Facility Prototype for Ground Demonstration of a LSS Based on Plants 2009-01-2582
In the frame of the space food production research activities conducted in the Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I) Advanced Life Support Research and Development laboratory (RecycLAB, ), and with the contribution of a degree thesis developed in collaboration with the Politecnico of Torino, a rack-like facility for ground research on Life Support Systems based on Plants has been designed, developed, integrated, verified and tested in TAS-I.
The new facility, called EDEN EPISODE 2, is a significant evolution of a previous TAS-I project (EDEN EPISODE 1) and takes benefit from other lower size TAS-I demonstrators (CUBE). It aims at realizing a completely closed and controlled environment for crop production, while a mobile lighting panel allows to maximize the delivered light in each phase of the plant life cycle. Hydroponic and aeroponic techniques have been implemented in the project for nutrient delivery to the plant roots. The entire system has finally been accommodated in an International Standard Payload Rack-like mock-up facility.
This paper illustrates the main capabilities of this new TAS-I facility, paving the way towards the future TAS-I research activities on bio-regenerative systems.