Recent advances in technologies required for a "Salad Machine"
ABSTRACT Future long duration, manned space flight missions will require life support systems that minimize resupply requirements and ultimately approach self-sufficiency in space. Bioregenerative life support systems are a promising approach, but they are far from mature. Early in the development of the NASA Controlled Ecological Life Support System Program, the idea of onboard cultivation of salad-type vegetables for crew consumption was proposed as a first step away from the total reliance on resupply for food in space. Since that time, significant advances in space-based plant growth hardware have occurred, and considerable flight experience has been gained. This paper revisits the "Salad Machine" concept and describes recent developments in subsystem technologies for both plant root and shoot environments that are directly relevant to the development of such a facility.
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ABSTRACT: Vegetable cultivation plays a crucial role in dietary supplements and psychosocial benefits of the crew during manned space flight. Here we developed a ground-based prototype of horn-type sequential vegetable production facility, named Horn-type Producer (HTP), which was capable of simulating the microgravity effect and the continuous cultivation of leaf–vegetables on root modules. The growth chamber of the facility had a volume of 0.12 m3, characterized by a three-stage space expansion with plant growth. The planting surface of 0.154 m2 was comprised of six ring-shaped root modules with a fibrous ion-exchange resin substrate. Root modules were fastened to a central porous tube supplying water, and moved forward with plant growth. The total illuminated crop area of 0.567 m2 was provided by a combination of red and white light emitting diodes on the internal surfaces. In tests with a 24-h photoperiod, the productivity of the HTP at 0.3 kW for lettuce achieved 254.3 g eatable biomass per week. Long-term operation of the HTP did not alter vegetable nutrition composition to any great extent. Furthermore, the efficiency of the HTP, based on the Q-criterion, was 7 × 10−4 g2 m−3 J−1. These results show that the HTP exhibited high productivity, stable quality, and good efficiency in the process of planting lettuce, indicative of an interesting design for space vegetable production.Advances in Space Research 07/2013; 52(1):97–104. DOI:10.1016/j.asr.2013.03.020 · 1.24 Impact Factor
Conference Paper: Signal Processing For Atmosperic Backscatter Coherent Lidar SystemsLasers and Electro-Optics Society Annual Meeting, 1992. LEOS '92, Conference Proceedings; 12/1992
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ABSTRACT: In order to evaluate the effects of gravity on growing plants, we conducted ground based long-term experiments with dwarf wheat, cultivar Apogee and Chinese cabbage, cultivar Khibinskaya. The test crops had been grown in overhead position with HPS lamp below root module so gravity and light intensity gradients had been in opposite direction. Plants of the control crop grew in normal position under the same lamp. Both crops were grown on porous metallic membranes with stable -1 kPa matric potential on their surface. Results from these and other studies allowed us to examine the differences in growth and development of the plants as well as the root systems in relation to the value of the gravity force influence. Dry weight of the roots from test group was decreased in 2.5 times for wheat and in 6 times - at the Chinese cabbage, but shoot dry biomass was practically same for both test and control versions. A harvest index of the test plants increased substantially. The data shows, that development of the plants was essentially changed in microgravity. The experiments in the space greenhouse Svet aboard the Mir space station proved that it is possible to compensate the effects of weightlessness on higher plants by manipulating gradients of environmental parameters (i.e. photon flux, matric potential in the root zone, etc.). However, the average productivity of Svet concerning salad crops even in ground studies did not provide more than 14 g fresh biomass per day. This does not provide a sufficient level of supplemental nutrients to the crew of the ISS. A cylindrical design of a space plant growth chamber (SPGC) allows for maximal productivity in presence of very tight energy and volume limitations onboard the ISS and provides a number of operational advantages. Productivity from this type of SPGF with a 0.5 kW energy utilization when salad growing would provide approximately 100 g of edible biomass per day, which would almost satisfy requirements for a crew of two in vitamin C and carotene and partly vitamin B group as well as rough fiber.Advances in Space Research 02/2004; 34(7):1552-7. DOI:10.1016/j.asr.2004.06.006 · 1.24 Impact Factor