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ISBN 9783843911795

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978-3-8439-1179-5, Reihe Raumfahrt

Britta Ganzer
Integration of an Algal Photobioreactor in a Synergistic Hybrid Life Support System

215 Seiten, Dissertation Universität Stuttgart (2013), Softcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

One of the great endeavors of the 21st century is the human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Future environmental control and life support systems must recycle oxygen and water as well as produce food. While physicochemical technology is capable to retrieve oxygen from carbon dioxide and potable water from waste water, the production of food is reserved to biological technology. Seeing constraints of space application, food production in space systems poses a special challenge in more than one way. However, the cultivation of edible microalgae in photobioreactors is a feasible approach. The concept of an integrated hybrid environmental control and life support system utilizing microalgae cultivation in photobioreactors is investigated on theoretical and experimental levels. System studies involve simulations of system operation in typical exploration missions to destinations in outer space, Moon and Mars. The results demonstrate the assets of the ability to reinstate carbon partially into food. Experiment results reveal the technical realization terms of the proposed system concept. Crucial obstacles concerning individual components and joint infrastructure are reviewed. With a two‐phase fluid flow in the photobioreactor, a design suitable for a microgravity and reduced gravity environment is another key issue carefully investigated. Based on parabolic flight experiment results, a design providing for optimum supply of light, nutrients as well as carbon dioxide evolved. Subsequently, conceptions of photobioreactor systems applicable in microgravity and reduced gravity are presented.