EDEN ISS - Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies and Operation in Space

The overall goal of EDEN ISS is the adaptation, integration and demonstration of higher plant cultivation technologies and operation procedures for safe food production on-board ISS and for future human explo-ration missions. The following key technologies and procedures will be advanced beyond the state-of-the-art:

  • Nutrient delivery systems
  • LED lighting systems
  • Bio-detection and decontamination systems
  • Food quality and safety procedures
  • Operation procedures for safe food production

Due to the necessity of validating key technologies for space greenhouses under mission relevant conditions and with representative mass flows, the EDEN ISS consortium defined six objectives:

  1. Manufacturing a space analogue mobile test facility
  2. Integration and test of an International Standard Payload Rack plant cultivation system for future tests on-board ISS and a Future Exploration Greenhouse for planetary habitat
  3. Adaptation, integration, fine-tuning and demonstration of key technologies
  4. Development and demonstration of operational techniques and processes for higher plant cultivation to achieve safe and high-quality food
  5. 5. Study of microbial behaviour and countermeasures within plant cultivation chambers
  6. 6. Actively advancing knowledge related to human spaceflight and transformation of research re-sults into terrestrial applications

Strategic expected achievements:
The proposed EDEN ISS project provides several benefits over the current state-of-the-art while advancing European technological competency by:

  • improving the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to 6 of key technologies for plant cultivation to be deployed in future BLSS,
  • developing an ISPR cultivation system in preparation for future deployment on-board the ISS,
  • manufacturing an in-situ plant production system to provide year-round fresh food supplementation for Neumayer Station III Antarctic crews,
  • enhancing yield per production area while minimizing energy and resource requirements,
  • utilizing the mobile test facility and its integrated subsystems to analyse the overall biomass production, resource use and crew time in a highly integrated plant production module,
  • establishment of an international research partnership between Europe and Canada,
  • leveraging the idea-to-market capacities by facilitating the interaction between space actors with non-space actors as well as SMEs in order to strengthen European competitiveness in this field,
  • strengthening European research efforts within the BLSS domain while remaining complementary to pre-sent research initiatives (e.g. MELiSSA @ ESA, CAB @ ASI, FCU @ TAS-I, :envihab @ DLR).

Potential market areas for strengthening European competitiveness:
The following terrestrial markets and applications will benefit from EDEN ISS: full control of growth environment (increased resource efficiency), food quality and safety technologies and procedures, molecular farming and especially the present megatrend urban agriculture (e.g. vertical farming).

Project consortium:

  • German Aerospace Center (DLR) - Institute for Space Systems (Germany)
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR) - Institute for Aerospace Medicine (Germany)
  • Liquifer Systems Group (Austria)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
  • University of Guelph (Canada)
  • Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany)
  • Airbus Defence and Space (Germany)
  • Thales Alenia Space Italia (Italy)
  • AeroSekur (Italy)
  • Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands)
  • Heliospectra (Sweden)
  • Limerick institute of Technology (Ireland)
  • Telespazio (Italy)

Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Dr. S. De Pascale - University of Naples (Italy)
  • Dr. R. Wheeler - NASA (USA)
  • Dr. G. Giacomelli - University of Arizona (USA)
  • Dr. H.-C. Gunga - Charité (Germany)
  • Dr. A. Tikhomirov - Russian Academy of Sciences - Siberian Branch (Russia)
  • Dr. Y. Kitaya - Osaka Prefecture University (Japan)

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EDEN ISS - Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies and Operation in Space

The EDEN ISS consortium will design and test essential CEA technologies using an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) cultivation system for potential testing on-board the ISS. Furthermore, a Future Explo-ration Greenhouse (FEG) will be designed with respect to future planetary BLSS deployments. The technologies will be tested in a laboratory environment as well as at the highly-isolated Antarctic Neumayer Station III, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute. A small and mobile container-sized test facility will be built in order to provide realistic mass flow relationships for the ISPR section and FEG. In addition to tech-nology development and validation, food safety and plant handling procedures will be developed. These are integral aspects of the interaction between the crew and plants within closed environments. In this sense, the ISS can be seen as a test-bed for long-duration space missions and future planetary outposts.

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Curation policy:
Publications, reports, data, etc. related to the EDEN ISS project funded within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 636501.
July 8, 2015
Harvesting API:
OAI-PMH Interface

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