Biocontamination Integrated Control of Wet Systems for Space Exploration

For Safe Water and Habitat Management on-board ISS
and Future Human Space Exploration Vehicles and Planetary Outposts.

Microbiological contamination can be attenuated and controlled, never eliminated. As demonstrated in several years of ground studies and actual space operations, humid areas and wet systems are the most prone to biocontamination. Space exploration requires the development of more reliable, rapid, significant and safe methods for preventing, monitoring and controlling biocontamination within human confined environments. These methods have to be automated, simple, lightweight and with minimal consumables. Both space and terrestrial monitoring and prevention/mitigation methods are currently working separately, rather than in synergy. The proposed BIOWYSE project foresees development and demonstration of an integrated biocontamination control system for water and humid areas, for space exploration habitat management within infrastructures, experimental payloads, cargo and crew transportation elements, to be demonstrated on the ISS. BIOWYSE stems from the results of actual flight experiments, such as Viable ISS, the biocontamination control requirements of experts working groups, and state of art prevention, monitoring and mitigation technologies. By adopting a clear modular and concurrent approach, the BIOWYSE consortium will design, build and test innovative prevention, monitoring and mitigation modules, which will be then integrated in a compact system. A portable prototype will be tested in laboratory and then deployed to selected locations for field testing, to demonstrate its ability to operate under actual conditions. Modules containing gravity-dependent technologies will be designed and built with the goal of In Orbit Demonstration on the ISS, in the Columbus module. The device has full potential for exploitation within several space programs, and commercial applications in confined habitats, hospitals, greenhouses and water systems. The BIOWYSE project is focusing on water loops and humid areas on board ISS and future human exploration missions. The main goal of the BIOWYSE project is: Development and demonstration of compact, integrated solution (hardware & software) and operational method for preventing, monitoring and mitigating the microbial contamination risk in water systems and humid surfaces onboard ISS and in future human space exploration missions.