LSS design tool for the Space Station Design Workshop at the Institute of Space Systems – University of Stuttgart



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Space Station Design Workshop (SSDW), carried out by the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart since 1996, is an international and interdisciplinary workshop, targeted to undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals. Currently, 40 participants are divided into two teams, which within six days have to fulfil one goal: to design a space station. That includes, among other subsystems, the Life Support System (LSS). The mission statement changes every year, including target locations such as Low Earth Orbit, cis-lunar space or Mars vicinity, often reflecting the current development in global exploration roadmaps. Several tools are provided by the workshop organizers to facilitate the design process. Due to the complexity of a LSS for long duration missions, and the restricted amount of time provided during the workshop, the IRS has developed a LSS simulation tool, ELISSA (Environment for Life-Support Systems Simulation and Analysis), to facilitate the task. ELISSA is a time-discrete simulation tool, which contains a wide library of physico-chemical and biological components for air, water, food, and waste management. The components have been modeled depending on their Technology Readiness Level and current available reference data, either from specifications of existing technologies, experimental data, or from physical/chemical fundamentals from literature. The SSDW participants select the LSS components to be used as well as other mission specific parameters such as size of the crew, mission duration, initial consumables, or tank sizes, all through a user-friendly interface. The simulation results show the behavior of the system over the mission elapsed time, allowing to properly size the components, tanks, and consumables for a specific mission, and the required power and produced heat. This paper analyses the use of ELISSA for the Stuttgart SSDW, using as example the results and lessons learned of the past three SSDW editions.


Gisela Detrell, Instiute of Space Systems (IRS), University of Stuttgart, Germany
Reinhold Ewald, University of Stuttgart, Germany
ICES307: Collaboration, Education Outreach, and Public Engagement
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


Students Workshop, Simulation Tool, Life Support System Design