Competitions‎ > ‎

Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC-AL) 2014

Drexel University RASC-AL Team During Poster Presentation at RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, FL

Name: Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Student Competition
Held By: The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)
Location: Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel in Cocoa Beach, FL
Date: June 16th to 19th
Placed: Did not place

KEYWORDS: Bio-regenerative life support systems, holistic habitat design, NIA/NASA collegiate competition, algae, space waste recycling systems, space mission planning

RASC-AL (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage) is a competition held every year by the NIA in order to encourage students to develop innovative and well planned space missions that are in link with the space industries future goals. A list of topics are announced every September that detail specific goals and requirements each team must meet in their design in order to be considered for being accepted at the forum. Teams accepted to the forum (held in Cocoa Beach, FL) received funding in order to pay for registration and transportation costs. At the forum, each team presents to a committee of aerospace professionals (shown in link below - RASC-AL Steering Committee) and are graded according to topics and ideas written in their paper, quality of presentation, and innovative and original ideas. Our team was accepted to the forum that occurred on June 16th to 19th, 2014 in Cocoa Beach, FL.

The goal was to develop a holistic space habitat design that would be able to to house a minimum of 3 astronauts for at least 40 days. Main focuses were on mass reduction and energy consumption that was also able to maintain a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for the crew. Our team decided to use innovations in radiation shielding using BNNT technology, life support systems using and algae based life support, and recycling methods using 3d printing, fused deposition modeling (FDM), and waste recycling systems.

Our paper for the competition will be found at the bottom of this page titled "RASC-AL2014_PAPER" once the file has been found.

I was the sole member of the algae life support system team. I performed research on how life support systems and algae lift support systems work, and current state of algae life support systems as well as future systems that are currently being hypothesized and tested. Compiling all this information, I determined the environment, location, size, resources needed, and possible failures if this system were to be placed on a spacecraft. I determined that 7.5 cubic meters of algae water would be needed in order to be able to supply nutritional supplements, treat waste water, and provide a constant supply of oxygen to the crew. This system would use a cell like structure with 60 different pods containing algae water. This allows for different types of algae to be used without have to mix two different types in one container. As well with this, it allows for easy replacement if need be. The location of this pod was placed at the front of the space craft within a larger transparent pod that would slowly rotate to allow for the entire pod to be exposed to sunlight multiple times per earth day. All this information can be seen in the life support section of "RASC-AL2014_PAPER", which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Frederick Wachter,
Nov 1, 2014, 5:44 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Nov 1, 2014, 5:45 AM