ognizant Communication Corporation

LIFE SUPPORT & BIOSPHERE SCIENCE

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 2, 2000

Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 149-159, 2000
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Mapping and Monitoring the Health and Vitality of Coral Reefs from Satellite: A Biospheric Approach*

Phillip Dustan,1 Supriya Chakrabarti,2 and Abigail Alling3

1Department of Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424
2Center for Space Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215
3Planetary Coral Reef Foundation, 9 Silver Hills Rd, Sante Fe, NM 87505

Biospheric studies of coral reefs require a planetary perspective that only remote sensing from space can provide. This article reviews aspects of monitoring and mapping coral reefs using Landsat and Spot images. It details design considerations for developing a sensor for equatorial orbiting spacecraft, including spectral characteristics of living corals and the spatial resolution required to map coral reef communities. Possible instrumentation choices include computer techniques, filtered imagers, push-broom spectral imagery, and a newly developed hyperspectral imaging scheme using tomographic reconstruction. We compare the salient features of each technique and describe concepts for a payload to conduct planetary-scale coral reef monitoring.

Key words: Coral reefs; Biospherics; Satellite; Ecology; Health and vitality; Remote sensing

Address correspondence to Phillip Dustan. Tel: (803) 953-8086; Fax: (803) 953-5453; E-mail: dustanp@cofc.edu

*Presented at The Third International Conference, Life Support and Biosphere Science, January 11-15, 1998, Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Florida




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 161-170, 2000
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A Hierarchical Approach to the Sustainable Management of Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems: Part 1, An Ecological and Engineering Synthesis

Christopher W. Pawlowski and David M. Auslander

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720

In this article we present, in an expository manner, an approach to the sustainable management of a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) based on concepts from both engineering and ecology. Our perspective leads us to express the sustainability of CELSS in terms of constraints imposed on its subsystems. These constraints are of two types: static and operational. Static constraints capture the basic sustainability requirements of the individual subsystem components--they represent the absolute limits (bounds) on the operating range of these subsystems. Operational constraints, on the other hand, represent a response to global changes in the availability of system resources. They are imposed as the system evolves dynamically to avert shortages or surpluses in resources in various subsystems. As well as having implications on design, our perspective, termed the constraint perspective, leads naturally to a management hierarchy. The second article (this issue) in this series will explore the feasibility of this approach and demonstrate some of its consequences based on a simple CELSS model.

Key words: Closed ecological system; Hierarchical control; Systems; Ecology; Sustainability

Address correspondence to Christopher W. Pawlowski. Tel: (510) 642-1001; E-mail: chrisp@biosys2.me.berkeley.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 171-185, 2000
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A Hierarchical Approach to the Sustainable Management of Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems: Part 2, System Realization and Analysis

Christopher W. Pawlowski and David M. Auslander

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720

The second in a series of two articles exploring the sustainable management of a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS), this article examines the feasibility of the approach outlined in Part 1 using a simple, abstract CELSS representation comprising buffers and pumps. We develop a two-level management hierarchy in which the top level imposes constraints on the operation of the lower level. The compartments can operate freely within these constraints. This freedom can be used to enhance system performance and robustness. Additionally, the higher level does not require detailed subsystem representations. Our approach to sustainable management of CELSS allows for the active distribution of system mass, taking into account component constraints and system dynamics.

Key words: Closed ecological system; Hierarchical control; Modeling; Sustainability constraints

Address correspondence to Christopher W. Pawlowski. Tel: (510) 642-1001; E-mail: chrisp@biosys2.me.berkeley.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 187-192, 2000
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Safety Analysis and Hazard Control During Food Processing and Storage in the Bio-Plex Interconnecting Transfer Tunnel

Dawn L. Hentges

School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

The food system, being designed for the BIO-Plex (Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex), will be a plant-based diet that requires most of the food to be grown, processed, and prepared in the BIO-Plex. Conversion of crops to edible foods will require extensive food processing within the closed environment of this habitat. Because all consumables in the BIO-Plex will be recycled and reused, food safety is a primary concern. Multifunctional equipment necessary for food processing of the baseline crops (wheat, soybeans, rice, peanuts, dried beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, chard, tomatoes, green onions, carrots, and radishes) was identified. Recommendations for placement of the food processing equipment in the Interconnecting Transfer Tunnel (ITT) of the BIO-Plex were made to facilitate the processing flow diagrams, increase work efficiency, and prevent cross-contamination of pathogens and antinutrients. Sanitation equipment and procedures necessary during food processing in the ITT are described.

Key words: Food safety; Sanitation; Food processing; Advanced life support

Address correspondence to Dawn L. Hentges. Tel: (419) 372-8090; Fax: (419) 372-7854; E-mail: hentges@bgnet.bgsu.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 193-201, 2000
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Development of a 10-Day Cycle Menu for Advanced Life Support

Katherine A. Ruminsky and Dawn L. Hentges

School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

The Advanced Life Support (ALS) program at NASA-Johnson Space Center was initiated for use in long-duration space missions. With weight and volume restrictions and prolonged periods between resupply from Earth, as much as 90% of the energy requirements must come from food grown, processed, and prepared in space. ALS involves the use of hydroponically grown crops to supply and regenerate air and food for the crew. A 10-day cycle menu has been developed consisting of items prepared from the baseline crop list: potato, sweet potato, brown rice, wheat, peanut, soybean, lettuce, tomato, carrot, chard, radish, spinach, green onion, and dry beans (pinto and lentil). Of the recipes created for the menu, resupply items contributed only 4.54% by weight and 9.18% of the total calories. The menu has been analyzed to conform to the baseline crop list and nutrient recommendations for long-duration space missions.

Key words: Menu cycle; Advanced life support; Long-duration space missions; Nutrition

Address correspondence to Dawn L. Hentges. Tel: (419) 372-8090; E-mail: hentges@bgnet.bgsu.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 203-207, 2000
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Preliminary Development and Evaluation of an Algae-Based Air Regeneration System

James A. Nienow

Department of Biology, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698

The potential of air regeneration system based on the growth of microalgae on the surface of porous ceramic tubes is evaluated. The algae have been maintained in the system for extended periods, up to 360 days. Preliminary measurements of the photosynthetic capacity have been made for Chlorella vulgaris (UTEX 259), Neospongiococcum punctatum (UTEX 786), Stichococcus sp., and Gloeocapsa sp. Under standard test conditions (photosynthetic photon flux 66 mmol m-2 s-1, initial CO2 concentration 450 mmol mol-1 ), mature tubes remove up to 0.2 mmol of CO2 per tube per minute. The rate of removal increases with photon flux up to at least 225 mmol m-2 s-1 (PPF); peak rates of 0.35 mmol of CO2 per tube per minute have been achieved with Chlorella vulgaris. These rates correspond to between 120 and 210 mmol of CO2 removed per square meter of projected area per minute.

Key words: Air regeneration; Microporous tubes; Microalgae; Chlorella

Address correspondence to James A. Nienow, Ph.D. Tel: (912) 249-4844; Fax: (912) 333-7389; E-mail: jnienow@valdosta.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 209-218, 2000
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Pythium Invasion of Plant-Based Life Support Systems: Biological Control and Sources

David G. Jenkins,1 Kimberly L. Cook,2 Jay L. Garland,2 and Katherine F. Board2

1Department of Biology, University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, IL 62794-9243
2Dynamac Corporation, Mail Code, DYN-3, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Invasion of plant-based life support systems by plant pathogens could cause plant disease and disruption of life support capability. Root rot caused by the fungus, Pythium, was observed during tests of prototype plant growth systems containing wheat at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). We conducted experiments to determine if the presence of complex microbial communities in the plant root zone (rhizosphere) resisted invasion by the Pythium species isolated from the wheat root. Rhizosphere inocula of different complexity (as assayed by community-level physiological profile: CLPP) were developed using a dilution/extinction approach, followed by growth in hydroponic rhizosphere. Pythium growth on wheat roots and concomitant decreases in plant growth were inversely related to the complexity of the inocula during 20-day experiments in static hydroponic systems. Pythium was found on the seeds of several different wheat cultivars used in controlled environmental studies, but it is unclear if the seed-borne fungal strain(s) were identical to the pathogenic strain recovered from the KSC studies. Attempts to control pathogens and their effects in hydroponic life support systems should include early inoculation with complex microbial communities, which is consistent with ecological theory.

Key words: Pythium; Community complexity; Wheat; Biocontrol

Address correspondence to David Jenkins. Tel: (217) 206-7341; E-mail: jenkins.david@uis.edu




Life Support & Biosphere Science, Vol. 7, pp. 219-224, 2000
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Methodology of Biospherics for Theoretical Sciences and Practical Use

N. S. Pechurkin and T. Maryasova

Institute of Biophysics, SBRAS, Krasnoyarsk-36,660036, Russia

This article deals with some methodological aspects of biospherics connected with theoretical sciences development and prospective use for practical application. Properties of experimental objects, methods and goals of biospherics as synthesising science have been discussed. The problem of stability of incomplete (natural and artificial) ecosystems has been considered. The concept of the ecosystem health based on effective functioning of different types of ecosystems has been developed.

Key words: Biospherics; Ecosystem; Biotic cycle; Mathematical model of ecosystem

Address correspondence to N. S. Pechurkin.