anguard-bioeconomic-stewardship-and-technological-advancements

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) is working on a project to create a research infrastructure for closed food production. The aim of the project is to create an independently functioning world independent of the surroundings. The project name is VESTA – Unique R&I infrastructure to Vanguard bioEconomic Synergies and Technological Advancements for closed-loop food production.

As a VESTA consortium partner, Hydromars will contribute to the work package: “Water Management and Closed Loop Integration”, responsible for water management in the project. Hydromars shall develop a complete theoretical understanding of a closed-loop water management system with the following objectives: (1) Develop water management strategies to ensure efficient use of water within the VESTA research infrastructure; (2) Implement closed-loop water systems to minimize water waste and promote water reuse; (3) Explore optimized pre- and post-processing methods to tackle all kinds of wastewater and minimize consumable usage; (4) Monitor water quality and implement measures to maintain optimal conditions for plant growth and research activities; (5) Explore methods to provide optimal and nutrient-rich retentate (concentrated reject) to close the nutrition loop.

Hydromars’ proprietary thermal pervaporation-based water purification and recovery system will be conceptualized, modelled, tested, and validated according to VESTA requirements to fulfil overall research objectives. A systems engineering methodology will be employed to achieve following tasks:

  • Requirement formulation with emphasis on extraterrestrial environments
  • Subsystem and system design
  • Design trade-offs
  • Technical simulation and modelling
  • Interfacing and integration with VESTA.

The envisioned Hydromars system shall be the central node for all pure and contaminated water lines and shall interface with relevant systems to ensure optimal functionality of the VESTA.

VESTA is a follow up of the European project, EDEN ISS , focused on promoting bioregenerative life support systems, especially plant cultivation in space.

Apart from the main aim, VESTA project aims to create a research infrastructure that uses space as a testing ground in order to enable the transfer of cutting-edge innovations from the research environment to the broader terrestrial market. VESTA has potential to drive the progress in both space exploration and terrestrial sustainability and bioeconomy.

VESTA consortium is led by the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, Germany and includes, among others, the following partners: Liquifer Systems Group, Swedish University of Argicultural Sciences, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy, International Space Asset Acceleration Company, Spartan Space, BlueThink, Coesia and others.

Hydromars is delighted to become part of this amazing project and consortium!

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Sustained human presence in space requires development of new technologies and processes to maintain environmental control, to manage waste, to provide water, oxygen, food, and to keep astronauts healthy and psychologically fit. Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS), particularly the cultivation of higher plants, are advantageous in this regard due to their ability to be used for food production, carbon dioxide reduction, oxygen production, water recycling and waste management. In addition, fresh crops are not only beneficial for the physiological health of people, but also have a positive impact on the psychological well-being.

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