This project is solving the Growing Food for a Martian Table challenge. Description
Lightweight (under 1 ton) We use a crater in which the installation is deployed. The low weight is a result of the lack of hard walls a ceiling and the need for supports. The subterranean design also has the advantage of being immune to high wind speeds and sandstorms.
Compact (less than 3 meters in diameter, less than 2.5 meters high) Our greenhouse consists only of a support mast, insulation, storage containers and the machinery and electronics needed to operate the greenhouse. We are using textile insulation which can be easily folded so it takes much less space. When folded the whole complex solar panels and storage spaces included is 2.2 meters in diameter and a little less than 2 meters high
Fully mechanized crop handling. (harvesting, drying, storing, composting and replanting) The CIBS is equipped with a robotic arm which can reach up to 5 meters which is enough to reach any point inside the enclosure. One of the containers houses a dehumidifier and an oven for drying the produce. Another container is used for compost and four containers are used solely for storage purposes. There is an irrigation system complete with 500 liters of water and a pump.
Fully autonomous operation (internal and external power modules, water and mineral stores) Two internal MMRTGs provide heat during the space fair, after landing they are complemented by external solar panels on the Lander providing additional power.
Subterranean self-deployment The installation is equipped with a compressor and the mast it self is in fact a three stage pneumatic piston. The stretchers are designed to open and lock in position as the mast fully extends, afterwards the mast contracts until the stakes at the end of each stretcher are firmly planted in the ground. A crater is most easily created using explosives. A singleshot grenade launcher as the ones used on tanks and APCs to deploy smoke screens but of a bigger caliber can be used to produce a crater of the desired size at a safe distance from the Lander. The greenhouse can be equipped with tracks so it can move about until it reaches said crater.
A connection to other modules would be made via tunnel or a trench. CIBS will not carry a tunnel, only the means to make an airtight seal in an appropriate position along the bottom insulation piece. Those means will include an interface for integration of the CIBS power and irrigation systems with the rest of the colony.
Other The installation can be equipped with an oxygen concentrator and extract the oxygen produced from the plants for use by future manned missions.
PROGRESS: Mast is 95% complete - a connection for the robotic arm must be added and an intake valve for the compressor; Stretcher assembly - complete; MMRTG - complete; Compressor - complete; Dryer - complete; Transparent canopy - complete; Insulation bottom - beta version complete (needs some work); robotic arm - beta version complete (needs upgrade due to high power consumption);
TO DO: insulation - top; Irrigation - SW model to be resized; Robotic arm - update; Environmental controls for the electronics compartment and greenhouse; Oxygen concentrator - SW model - optional; Chassis + tracks - optional; Mortar - optional; Lander external module - optional; Additional lighting - optional;
License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)
Source Code/Project URL: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4Wnx_PfPy-9a1p1RFlneXd6YkE&usp=sharing
clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eunkMHZfUfQ&edit=vd
presentation - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4Wnx_PfPy-9MjNId0VFSm5SM3M/edit?usp=sharing