1997-07-01

An Ideal Design Concept for Bioregenerative Life Support Systems 972522

The implementation of Advanced Life Support Systems (ALSS) for missions of long duration is inevitable. Many research works have been conducted on systems which would eventually become part of an ALSS. However, when the actual integration takes place, compatibility of different systems may become another issue and require further research, redesign, and modifications to the hardware, controls and its programs. An uncoordinated design process will result in a costly integration effort later. If a main system with all possible integrations were adopted now, it would greatly reduce development costs and time. In the design of the subsystems, known parameters provided by researchers should be regarded. These subsystems can produce fermented foods, mushrooms, bean sprouts, escargot, radish and vinegar. Ecologically balanced subsystems include heat and water recirculation systems and biofilters with microbes and other biomedical material. These systems should be ascertained and interfaced to the degree now possible. Most of these can share part of the environment given to the main vegetable production system which will undoubtedly have a major role in regeneration, gas exchange via photosynthesis and biofiltering through transpiration. The total system design must have a harmonious balance among all the subsystems while providing economical and technical advantages. Detailed analysis of each component for consideration will not be the focus in this paper. The main focus will be the feasibility of integrating many compatible systems with plants growing machines which will most likely occupy the largest space and contribute most for the life support system. At the same time, we will investigate adoptabilities of our Gravity Independent Fluid Transfer System (GIFTS) in operating other subsystems as they all involve liquid transfer which is affected by gravitational changes. The actual findings from this development will lead to a more practical or straightforward approach to reach our goal.

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