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October 2021

Life Support Biosph Sci. 1997 ; 4(1-2): 3-20.

CELSS-3D: a broad computer model simulating a controlled ecological life support system.

Schneegurt MA, Sherman LA.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.

CELSS-3D is a dynamic, deterministic, and discrete computer simulation of a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) focusing on biological issues. A series of linear difference equations within a graphic-based modeling environment, the IThink program, was used to describe a modular CELSS system. The overall model included submodels for crop growth chambers, food storage reservoirs, the human crew, a cyanobacterial growth chamber, a waste processor, fixed nitrogen reservoirs, and the atmospheric gases, CO, O2, and N2. The primary process variable was carbon, although oxygen and nitrogen flows were also modeled. Most of the input data used in CELSS-3D were from published sources. A separate linear optimization program, What'sBest!, was used to compare options for the crew's vegetarian diet. CELSS-3D simulations were run for the equivalent of 3 years with a 1-h time interval. Output from simulations run under nominal conditions was used to illustrate dynamic changes in the concentrations of atmospheric gases. The modular design of CELSS-3D will allow other configurations and various failure scenarios to be tested and compared.

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