March 2017

Featured Projects: 



Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies for Safe Food Production in Space

Greenhouse-power up!
The mobile greenhouse is currently being set-up in Bremen, Germany in preparation of its voyage to Antarctica in October. In January, the Heliospectra plant growth LED lamps were installed and tested in different wavelengths; blue, red, red+blue (pink), and white. 
photos credit: DLR, 2017
Also, integrated into the greenhouse early this year; the thermal rack and atmosphere management rack to control the greenhouse climate.


EDEN ISS platform - up!
Simultaneously in Antarctica, partner-institution, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, built the platform required to dock the EDEN ISS greenhouse.
photos credit: Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung,
visualization below: LIQUIFER Systems Group, 2017
EDEN ISS is a Mobile Test Facility (greenhouse); designed and constructed to provide fresh produce for overwintering crews at the Neumayer III Antarctic station. It serves as an analogue environment for controlled-plant growth in space and on-board the ISS. EDEN ISS consists of two cargo-sized containers and will be used to develop operational procedures for space missions and at the same time advances a number of key plant-growth technologies to spaceflight readiness.
Consortium members:
Deutsches Zentrum Fuer Luft - Und Raumfahrt Ev  (DLR), Germany
LIQUIFER Systems Group (LSG), Austria
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
University Of Guelph, Canada
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz- Zentrum Fuer Polar- Und Meeresforschung (AWI), Germany
Enginsoft Spa (ES), Italy
Airbus Defense and Space, Germany
Thales Alenia Space Italia Spa, Italy
Aero Sekur S.p.A., Italy
Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (DLO), the Netherlands
Heliospectra AB, Sweden
Limerick Institute Of Technology (LIT), Ireland
Telespazio SPA, Italy
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 636501
Barbara Imhof of LIQUIFER Systems Group, will partake as an
interdisciplinary participant at the Antarctic Biennale 2017
 ‘an international socio-cultural phenomenon that uses artistic, scientific, and philosophic methodologies to address shared spaces such as Antarctica, the Ocean, and Outer Space.’
photo credit: Antarctic Biennale, 2017

Shifting space perspectives: a space prospect on the Antarctic, looks at the similarities between the wild frontiers of outer space and our most southern continent, Antarctica. From the viewpoint of a space architect, Barbara will join the Antarctic Biennale expedition in March of 2017 in search of:
Tangible (outer) space
Outer space can be mentally grasped, only roughly by us earth-bound creatures.
Antarctica on the other hand, provides us the opportunity to touch space.
Close to the Transantarctic Mountains, ‘Martian rocks’ have been preserved for possibly millions of years due to the geology and the environmental conditions of the continent.
Life in extreme conditions
The question as to whether there exists life beyond earth, has driven humans to explore deep into space. The same question propels scientists and engineers to drill, with the expectation of discovering ancient/alien life forms, through 3000 meters of ice at Lake Vostok, in the midst of the Antarctic continent.
Globally shared (research) spaces
Antarctica offers a shared research space for the global community, fostering international collaboration for achieving common goals and the peaceful-use of research - as does the International Space Station.
Akademik Sergey Vavilov research ship
Boarding: 17. March 2017
Return: 28. March 2017
Participation in event co-funded by:
sintering regolith with solar light

3D solar sintering campaign and review meeting
Colgne, Germany, 2.February 2017

RegoLight explores the use of a concentrated beam of light to heat powdered material to form a coalesced solid without reaching temperature hot enough to melt the medium. A solar-sintering oven at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) serves as the starting point for the RegoLight project.

The first RegoLight printing campaign at DLR was to use a manual approach to building a basic building element, researching optimal conditions for successful sintering. Once these parameters were located, progression was made to automating the system in February 2017.
Video: x,y,z translation table with shutter eclipse, credit: RegoLight Consortium
A feeding mechanism is developed to stock raw material in a sealed tank and to spread it on the printing area during the sintering process. Because of the abrasive property of the regolith, proper deposition of the powder can be difficult to control. The thickness of each layer can be regulated through the number of auger screws. 

Based on the principles of an actual 3D printer, the x,y,z, translation table displaces the printing area (the regolith tray) under the fixed solar beam. The different trajectories that need to be performed on each layer are extracted from sliced CAD models. Displacement resolution and velocities are being programmed by Space Applications Services to meet the requirements set by DLR. 

LSG / COMEX / Bollinger & Grohmann  

Based on mission scenario roadmaps including the International Space Exploration Coordination Group ISECC roadmap 2013, the ESA Space Exploration Strategy, and NASA document, Lunar Surface Missions - Human and Robotic Surface Activities 2003, scenarios address at the potential ‘phasing’ of a Lunar base construction.

Phase 1 provides equipment to support a short-term mission.
Phase 2 utilizes the common construction technology derived from the processes of solar-sintering defined in the RegoLight project to support a long-term mission. Through application of the tetrahedron-style building element designed by the team, an undulating architectural form is created. Providing strength against the loads and forces present on the Moon, and consistent with the physical strength properties of sintered regolith, the catenary dome typology is used. 
Phase 3 enables the construction of an entire Moon village.
visualization: LIQUIFER Systems Group, 2017

Interlocking building element 
DLR / LSG / COMEX / Bollinger&Grohmann

Considering different structural typologies and construction principles, a single Tetrahedron-type geometry was selected as the essential building block to be explored further in the RegoLight project. The tetrahedron exhibits a large potential for interlocking, even with modifications to a standard building block’s shape and size. Using variations in building parameters for a single building block, the overall forms of entire structures can be articulated. 
photo credit: DLR, 2017
Project partners;
German Aerospace Centre, DLR, Germany
Space Applications Services NV, Belgium
LIQUIFER Systems Group GmbH, Austria
Compagnie Maritime D Expertises SA (COMEX), France
Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT GmbH, Austria
The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement no 686202.
Copyright © 2017 LIQUIFER Systems Group, All rights reserved.

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