Aerospace: Space Technology
Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System
Challenge: To research the behaviour of fish, snails and aquatic plants in zero gravity conditions. On a space shuttle mission to the ISS scientists wanted to find out more about the development of cells and reproductive behaviour of aquatic life in space. A closed laboratory system for a variety of lifeforms was required. The laboratory needed to allow feeding with dry food.
Our role included development and construction of a self-sufficient environment including sensors and data recording. The laboratory included:
- A stable container
- An aquarium
- Water pumps
- A filter system
- An automatic feeding system
- Heat exchanger
- Video recording
Solution: The CEBAS laboratory consisted of a nine litre aquarium made from special plastics held together with a bio-compatible glue, which we developed specially. A chamber system provided food. The whole laboratory was set up in an aluminium container.
Special details: The system not only needed to be able to operate in zero gravity, it also had to withstand extreme stresses of takeoff and landing. Its location in the mid-deck locker of the shuttle also entailed meeting extremely high safety standards.