MELISSA (Micro Ecological LIfe Support System Alternative) is envisaged as a life support system based on a loop of interconnected bioreactors enabling the recycling of the wastes generated in a close environment (such as a planetary base or an orbital permanent station), mainly CO2 and organic materials, into an edible material and O2 for respiration, using the light as an energy source. The MELISSA loop is divided in a number of compartments, each one with a given objective within the complete biotransformation loop. Different research groups and companies under the coordination of ESTEC (ESA) are in charge of the developement of the individual compartments, as well as their modelization and control. The MELISSA pilot plant is a facility devoted to integrate all these developments and to demonstrate the feasibility of the whole concept (including the connectivity between bioreactors) and the robustness of its continuous operation. Recently, the laboratory hosting the MELISSA pilot plant, previously in ESTEC, has been transferred to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. This communication focuses on the description of the current state of development of the pilot plant and the future perspectives to be realised.
|Journal||European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP|
|Issue number||400 PART 2|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 1997|