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.  Currently LIQUIFER Systems Group comprises of Waltraut Hoheneder, Dr. Barbara Imhof, Dr. Susmita Mohanty, Dr. Norbert Frischauf, Valentin Eder, Stephen Ransom, Dr. Lutz Richter, René Waclavicek, Bob Davenport, Chris Gilbert, Molly Hogle, Dr. Kaspar Vogel, Damjan Minovski



September 2014


Final workshop and Demonstration of project FASTER!
23. October 2014

FASTER - Forward Aquisition of Soil and Terrain for Exploration Rover

The European consortium of six partners from five member states is developing and will demonstrate concepts for an efficient in-situ acquisition of soil and terrain properties on planetary surfaces which will increase travel velocities.  FASTER – the Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain for Exploration Rover describes an alternative method of collecting surface information of unknown terrain during planetary exploration missions. In most cases, robotic rovers venture into vast and varied terrain conditions with limited precursory knowledge of its trafficability.  Based on relatively sparse and remote sensing data rovers may find themselves stuck in a stretch of soft sand or other unforeseeable obstacles.  This happened to the otherwise very successful NASA Mars rover, Spirit. 

All rights reserved by FASTER - Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain data for Exploration Rover

LIQUIFER Systems Group led the efforts to define mission context and the establishment of mission-specific system requirements. LSG also developed a wheeled-bevameter as a Soil-characterization sensor for the mother rover.  LSG contributed to overall system testing and verification of the soil sensor and to the dissemination and exploitation of project results.

Project partners:
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), DE
University of Surrey, Surrey Space Center, UK
AIRBUS Defense and Space, UK
Space Applications Services N.V., BE
Astri Polska Sp. z o. o., PL


UPCOMING - This Month, PROJECT REVIEW by the EU-REA (Research Executing Agency), marking one-year of the project's development
Conclusion August 2016


The goal of project MOONWALK is to develop and test technologies and training procedures for astronaut-robot cooperation in earth-analogue environments as it applies to Extra-Vehicular-Activities (EVA) on Moon and Mars.

Image credit: COMEX/ Alexis Rosenfeld

Surface EVA on planetary missions primarily involves soil sampling and exobiology activities. Robots can help carry material for the astronauts, assist in the installation of equipment, scout sites that are too dangerous for humans, or assist in search and rescue activities.

For MOONWALK, the underwater site at the Marseilles Space Analogue site will serve as a Moon mission analogue, while the Martian-like Rio Tinto terrain in Spain will be the Mars mission analogue.

Marseilles Subsea -
Moon analogue

Rio Tinto, Spain -
Mars analogue
LIQUIFER is currently researching and creating realistic scenarios of future space exploration. LSG is currently collaborating with project partners on the tool and suitport designs for MOONWALK and leads the continuous effort of dissemination and outreach.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 607346.
Consortium members:
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), DE
Compagnie Maritime D'Expertises SA, (COMEX), FR
Space Applications Services N.V., BE
NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS  -  Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS), NO
Instituto Nacional De Técnica Aeroespacial Centro de Astrobiologia (INTA-CAB), ES

Presentation upcoming at the IAC - International Astronautical Congress
Toronto, September 2014

CAAS - City As A Spaceship

Copyright: Damjan Minovski

City as a Spaceship (CAAS) inspires technological humane innovation by positing the spaceship as an analogy of the modern densely built urban space with its complex structures and technologically intelligent infrastructure. It is the anticipation of an ‘open city’ in the 21st century, autonomous and globally connected. All systems are configured to eco-efficiency – that means effective consideration of available resources.

CAAS is a project, which is funded in-house with contributions from national research and cultural institutions in Austria and India. CAAS was presented at the Wiener Forschungsfest (Research Festival) 2012. It is under development since 2008.

CAAS was conceived by its founders Susmita Mohanty and Siddarth Das to investigate the reciprocities between space and terrestrial architecture. Currently, the CAAS team also includes Sue Fairburn and LIQUIFER Systems Group. LIQUIFER furthers the theme through lecture series and workshops at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, University of Liechtenstein, Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf and other global institutions and organizations.

UPCOMING:  Lecture: City As A Spaceship

65th International Astronautical Congress 2014

September 30th 2014    2.45pm Toronto, Canada
D4. 12th IAA SYMPOSIUM ON VISIONS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE / Session 2. Contribution of Space Activities to Solving Global Societal Issues

While past visions of future cities were often inspired by space and exploration of the unknown, and thus based in science fiction, we propose future visions of the city based in science fact; that which is known and learned from our accumulated space exploration.
Technological spin-offs from space design could integrate seamlessly into our daily lives, but the confined conditions of extraterrestrial shuttles seldom serve as Earthly inspiration. If Earth were a spaceship and we were the Astronauts, how would we live differently? What if living conditions in outer space informed and exchanged the cramped social environments down below, such as the worker-housing and informal settlements of Mumbai? How can the way one thinks about space living systems inform the structure of urban development: Is the city is a spaceship? Yes.
We have explored the City as a spaceship and the reciprocities it offers and we are mapping extraterrestrial experience onto earthly settings. (Fairburn, Mohanty, Imhof)

UPCOMING:  Lecture: Microcosmic Getaways

Michigan Taubman College

October 7th 2014    University of Michigan
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, USA

Microspaces in confined environments. Extreme situations regarding socio psychological factors and the limited space to live in. Designing human activties within constraints and learning from space for earth.

Copyright © 2014 LIQUIFER Systems Group, All rights reserved.

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