Biosphere II: Closed Ecological Systems Engineering

by William F. Dempster, Space Biospheres Ventures, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II


This paper provides a general description of the Biosphere II project - a 3.15 acre materially closed ecological system containing tropical rainforest, savannah, marsh, marine, desert, intensive agriculture and human habitat biomes - currently under construction and scheduled for completion in September 1990. It further describes the approach taken to solve particular problems that arise due to the fact that the system is completely materially closed and contains several complex ecosystems. Materials selection for avoidance of contamination and methods of controlling contamination are discussed. A method for pumping water which is benign to life forms in the water is described. Systems choices are strongly influenced by the criterion of no external resupply of equipment, spare parts, or consumables for very long durations. The Biosphere II project is aimed at creating regenerative ecological systems as life habitat prototypes for space locations, and to conduct ecological research applicable to the biosphere of the Earth.

Subject Headings: Space life support systems | Construction materials | Lifeline systems | Systems engineering | Tropical regions | Rainfall intensity | Arid lands | Space structures

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