1994-06-01

Preliminary Test Results from the CELSS Test Facility Engineering Development Unit 941542

As part of the NASA Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Program, a CELSS Test Facility (CTF) is being planned for installation on the Space Station. The CTF will be used to provide data on the productivity and efficiency of a variety of CELSS higher plant crops grown in the microgravity environment of the Space Station. Tight environmental control will be maintained while data on gas exchange rates and biomass accumulation rates are collected.In order to obtain an early realistic determination of the subsystem and system requirements necessary to provide the environmental conditions specified for CTF crop productivity experiments, an Engineering Development Unit (EDU) has been designed, constructed and is in the process of subsystem and system testing at NASA Ames Research Center. The EDU is a ground-based test-bed which will be used to characterize the integrated performance of major subsystem technologies, to evaluate hardware candidates and control strategies required for the CTF, and to further define the ability to meet CTF requirements within present Space Station constraints. This paper reviews the functional requirements for the EDU, and focuses on the performance evaluation and test results of the various subsystems. Preliminary integrated performance results and control system operation are addressed, and plans for future science and technology testing are discussed.

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