Life Support System Components in Space
As Mankind ventures further out into space, innovative energy solutions and closed loop life support systems are needed. CMR takes part in these developments through our Life Support system components activities. There is a close link between the development of these types of technologies and the needs here on Earth for sustainable solutions in farming and resource management.
A selection of past and ongoing projects connected to Life Support system components:
- Plant Cultivation Chamber. The plant cultivation chamber is an experiment unique equipment, used in the experiment containers of the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) on the ISS. CMR Prototech was responsible for the design, development, manufacturing and testing of this plant cultivation chamber.
- Advanced Life Support System – TIME SCALE. CMR Prototech is the Technical coordinator for a consortium of European institutions and companies developing the successor to the plant cultivation chamber and its supporting systems through the EC H2020 programme. An advanced breadboard that allows for larger crop plants with greatly improved plant health monitoring and water nutrient systems is being developed. Click here for more information.
- Advanced Closed Loop System (ACLS, also known as ARES) for ISS. For this project, CMR Prototech was responsible for developing and testing the KOH & Droplets Filter for ACLS. No KOH & droplet filters have been qualified for use in space according to ARES dedicated performance and interface requirements. The KOH & Droplet Filter shall be used for separation of droplets and KOH from H2 and O2 gas streams coming from the electrolyser stack and shall protect the downstream equipment to ensure proper functioning. Further activities included breadboarding of ventline system onboard the ISS.
- Development of regenerative closed loop hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell systems for space applications. CMR Prototech is developing, within a series of ESA projects, fuel cell technologies and systems for water and humidity management in space and planetary environments.
- CMR Prototech is developing an electrolyser to extract oxygen from Mars' atmosphere.
- Methane Recovery Unit. CMR Prototech is, within a current ESA project, developing a unit for recovery of methane from biological processes or mechanical air revitalization systems. The baseline application is a 1000-day Mars mission.
- Gas Storage modules for Spacelab/ISS. CMR Prototech was responsible for development, manufacturing and testing of a of gas supply module (GSM) for the Advanced Gradient Heating Facility (AGHF). Successfully flown on the Space Shuttle-Spacelab mission LMS in June/July 1996. Refurbished by Prototech in 1997. Successfully flown on the Space Shuttle again in 1998. Further activities included development of highly serviceable components for Columbus.