1989-07-01

BIOSPHERE II: Technical Overview of a Manned Closed Ecological System 891599

This paper reports engineering updates on the temperature and humidity control, water cycling, energy, ocean and marsh ecosystems, redundancies in energy systems, variable volume chambers, and computer monitoring and control systems for the Biosphere II project under construction at present and scheduled for completion in September, 1990 (see SAE Technical Paper Series 881096, “Biosphere II: Design of a Closed Manned Terrestrial Ecosystem”, 1988). Biosphere II is a 3.15 acre materially closed ecological system, 7 million cubic feet in volume, and will include approximately 3,800 species of macroscopic plants and animals in seven biomes: tropical rainforest, savannah, marsh, marine, desert, intensive agriculture, and human habitat. The project is being conducted by Space Biospheres Venture a private for-profit firm.
Potential applications for such biospheric systems include scientific and ecological management research, and as life habitats for manned stations on space craft or on other planets. Spinoff biotechnologies in air and water recycling, agriculture, sustainable development and natural resource management are expected.

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