GROUND DEMONSTRATION ACTIVITY
Any space hardware has to be robust and efficient, but it is of course even more critical for a life support system aiming to maintain astronaut life.
Therefore, before any flight hardware development it is crucial to demonstrate the robustness of MELiSSA processes on ground.
This demonstration started by an engineering phase, to study all the Nitrification requirements and design the relevant Nitrifying bioreactor.
In terms of aeration, sparging with air and oxygen has been shown, as well as gravity-independent membrane aeration. For effluent withdrawal typically a membrane is used, generating a bacterium-free stream.
Besides validation of key performances, the effect of key parameters (e.g. oxygen, mixing, nitrites concentration...) has been studied, and a predictive control law was implemented (figure 3).