A New Lab for Testing Biofiltration for Advanced Life Support
Bioregenerative systems for removal of gaseous contaminants are desired for long-term space missions to reduce the equivalent system mass of the air cleaning system. This paper describes an innovative design of a new biofiltration test lab for investigating the capability of biofiltration process for removal of ersatz multi-component gaseous streams representative of spacecraft contaminants released during long-term space travel. The lab setup allows a total of 24 bioreactors to receive identical inlet waste streams at stable contaminant concentrations via use of permeations ovens, needle valves, precision orifices, etc. A unique set of hardware including a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, and a data acquisition and control system using LabVIEW™ software allows automatic, continuous, and real-time gas monitoring and data collection for the 24 bioreactors. This lab setup allows powerful factorial experimental design.