1991-07-01

Bioregenerative Components for a Lunar CELSS: Modeling and Performance 911488

The use of bioregenerative components in a long-term mission closed ecological life support system (CELSS) will help lower mission costs by reducing the need for expensive resupply for oxygen, water, and food. By growing plants on a lunar base, we may be able to provide significant amounts of food and potable water while revitalizing the air supply. By processing solid wastes, we can supply growing plants with additional carbon dioxide and water. Recently, we added the capability of modeling plant growth and waste processing to the Computer-Aided System Engineering and Analysis (CASE/A) environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) modeling package. The objective of this study was to determine if a plant growth unit, embedded within a CELSS lunar base design, including a physical-chemical waste processing unit and crew, would be sufficient to handle system air revitalization requirements. The addition of a physical-chemical waste processing system to a lunar CELSS significantly increases the air revitalization requirements for a plant-growth unit. We have evaluated the performance of the plant growth and waste-processing units in simulations of CELSS lunar base operations. Results include specific system design recommendations based on air-revitalization requirements as a focus for CELSS component performance.

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