LIQUIFER Systems Group is a trans-disciplinary platform engaged in designing our future on earth and in space. We engage in INNOVATIVE RESEARCH AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT for space and space related habitation and technologies.


May 2016


Project start:  April 2016
Duration: 3 years

Living Architecture (LIAR)

Copyright: Rachel Armstrong

The goal of project LIAR is to design and build a proof-of-concept ‘living architecture’ whose targeted breakthrough is to transform our habitats from inert spaces into programmable sites. It is envisioned as an integral component of human dwelling, capable of extracting valuable resources from sunlight, waste water and air and in turn, generating oxygen, proteins and biomass through the manipulation of their interactions.  

A freestanding partition composed of bioreactor ‘building blocks’ will be prototyped. The ‘building blocks’ are conceived as standardized building segments and can be incorporated into common building construction methods.

The outcome will be two bioreactor ‘building blocks’; one, a programmed and configured Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) to produce electricity, the other to purify air and water. 
LIAR is receiving funding under FET_OPEN by the EU as part of H2020 programme under the grant agreement no. 686585

The LIAR Interdisciplinary team includes experts from:
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (UNEW)
University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE, Bristol)
Spanish National Research Council / Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)
LIQUIFER Systems Group (LSG)
University of Trento / University Degli Studi di Trento (UNITN)
University of Florence / Universita Degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) 


Mars Simulation 

Image: MOONWALK Consortium, Credit: Alistair Nottle, 2016

The MOONWALK team has completed a two week long Mars Simulation campaign in Rio Tinto near Seville, Spain to test astronaut/astronaut and astronaut/rover interaction during surface exploration.

It was one of the very few integrated mission simulations conducted on European grounds and the first to include a space simulation habitat.

The main scenarios were detailed in procedures by LIQUIFER.

LSG also provided novel sampling tools including the pantograph scoop for sampling loose material and a foldable pick-up claw for collecting small sized rocks. LIQUIFER designed, developed and built the payload box to carry samples and tools. Additionally, LSG provided two simulation astronauts. 

SHEE, a Self-Deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments was utilized in the simulations and provided a suitport, designed by LSG, for ingress/egress from the astronaut suit.
Project MOONWALK, is a 3-year cooperative Research & Development project funded by the European Commission under the Space theme of the 7th Framework Programme and aims to compare the performance of different compositions of astronaut-robot teams over multiple tasks and operational scenarios, in two Analogue environments.

SHEE - Self deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments was co-funded by the European Commission under the Space theme of the 7th Framework Programme and was concluded Dec. 2016.

MOONWALK Consortium:
German Centre for Artificial Intelligence  (DFKI) 
Airbus Group 
LIQUIFER Systems Group 
Space Applications Services 
NTNU Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space 
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA) - Centro de Astrobiological (INTA-CSIC)


Period 1 - complete


The goal of the EU-funded EDEN ISS project is to advance state-of-the-art, controlled-environment agriculture technologies for the production of nutritious food on-board the International Space Station (ISS) and for future crewed space vehicles and planetary outposts. In October 2017, the complete facility will be shipped to the German Neumayer III Antarctic station for a 15-month, overwintering period to test the developed technologies and the impact of nutrition enhancement through fresh vegetables and fruits. It is foreseen that the container-sized greenhouse of the EDEN ISS project will provide year-round fresh food supplementation for the Neumayer Station III crew.
Image: EDEN ISS Consortium, rendering: René Waclavicek

Main achievements in Period 1
  • Detailed System Analysis -  focused primarily on the environmental parameters at Antarctica, the existing infrastructure at Neumayer Station III and top level requirements for plant varieties
  • Developed Methodology for Plant Selection - taking into consideration physical constraints, characteristics of plant growth, human perception, nutritional values and labour requirements
  • Drafted Mission Plan - including a detailed Assembly, Integration & Test plan. A draft of the application to the German Environmental Agency (UBA) for Antarctic access and environmental compliance was prepared
  • Preliminary Detailed Design of bread board systems and/or experimental set-ups, respective to all project partners
  • Successful integration of LED lamps in the EDEN ISS growth chambers, replacing and upgrading the metal halide lamps at Heliospectra (partner)
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

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



Meta.Morf 2016 – ‘Nice to be in orbit!’

Trondheim, Norway, March 14
As part of Scandinavia’s most extensive biennale for art & technology, Barbara Imhof of LIQUIFER Systems Group was invited to speak at the symposium “Nice to be in orbit.”

Other speakers Included architects, artists and researchers such as Rachel Armstrong, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Rolf Hughes and Tomás Saraceno.

The biennale in Trondheim runs for a total of 8 weeks, from March 10 to May 8, and includes a fantastic group of artists, researches, writers and musicians representing their work through exhibitions, conferences, workshops and concerts.



WiA (Women in Aerospace)  - Launches Vienna chapter

Vienna Museum of Natural History, Austria, May 9
Barbara Imhof (co-manager of LIQUIFER) and director of the board of Women in Aerospace Europe (WiA-E) has co-initiated and co-organised a launch event for the new local chapter of the European association of Women in Aerospace in Vienna.

Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs and President of WIA-Europe gave the welcoming address. Speakers included;

Gerda Horneck, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center DLR

Lisa Kaltenegger, Associate Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, USA

Irmgard Marboe, Director, NPOC Space Law Austria / Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University of Vienna

Konstanze Zwintz, Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, University of Innsbruck

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LIQUIFER Systems Group GmbH · Obere Donaustraße 97/1/62 · Vienna 1020 · Austria

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