1998-07-13

Performance Evaluation of the Commercial Plant Biotechnology Facility 981666

ABSTRACT

The demand for highly flexible manipulation of plant growth generations, modification of specific plant processes, and genetically engineered crop varieties in a controlled environment has led to the development of a Commercial Plant Biotechnology Facility (CPBF). The CPBF is a quad-middeck locker playload to be mounted in the EXPRESS Rack that will be installed in the International Space Station (ISS). The CPBF integrates proven ASTROCULTURE” technologies, state-of-the-art control software, and fault tolerance and recovery technologies together to increase overall system efficiency, reliability, robustness, flexibility, and user friendliness. The CPBF provides a large plant growing volume for the support of commercial plant biotechnology studies and/or applications for long time plant research in a reduced gravity environment. The CPBF consists of six major subsystems: temperature control; humidity control; lighting control; water/nutrient delivery; the atmospheric control, and information (data, command, and video) management. This paper presents the performance evaluation of the temperature, humidity, and lighting subsystems. Evaluations of other subsystems are being conducted.

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