1997-07-01

Controlled Environment Agriculture: NASA Technology Can Enhance Community Development 972508

Scientific understanding and technological capabilities developed by NASA and the NSF to support life in remote regions on Earth or in planetary stations can be transferred to communities to enhance economic development and improve the quality of life. High efficiency Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) production is the centerpiece. Extreme waste remediation and sanitation, health, and nutrition problems prevelant in small, remote communities in the arctic are the focus of technology transfer. Alaska's nearly 200 rural villages typify arctic conditions. Early work in CEA in Alaska demonstrated food production in CEA facilities has potential. NASA's improvements to CEA crop production and energy efficiency shows positive impact. Production per unit area and efficiency of energy conversion are increased by a factor of 3; system efficiency by a factor of 10. Knowledge from early work coupled with NASA advances is an ideal combination for success of CEA centers.

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