Material Circulation Control with Modules Addition in Advanced Life Support System using Hierarchical Autonomous Control Method
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An advanced life support system (ALS) recycles and circulates materials within a system, and will eventually make possible sustained life in outer space. This study addresses a subsystem that recycles the elements of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, with planned functions that include waste recycling and food production. We have previously proposed a procedure for such a system that combines automatic generation of scheduling and multi- agent reinforcement learning (MARL), based on a hierarchical control method. This procedure is again used in this paper to simulate material circulation during modifications to the ALS. Specifically, one module was added to both the existing human habitation module and the plantation module while the scheduling calculations were in progress. The results indicated that both the upper and the lower control layers successfully adapted to the new environment and performed control. Also, it was demonstrated to be possible to guarantee effective overall control of the ALS, with a flexible response to system modifications, which had been difficult under a decentralized autonomous control scheme alone.