This project is solving the Growing Food for a Martian Table challenge. Description
Hexafield Project has been developed by a team of four students in Architecture and Design. We genuinely enjoyed working on the NASA Space Apps Challenge and we were able to use our modeling, design thinking and analytical skills to develop prototypes, detailed plans and 3D models and renderings. Hexafield project: Hexafield is designed to be launched on Mars. Hexafield’s vision is to replicate the photosynthesis process by which carbon dioxide and water are converted into organic molecules. We will be using this process too, with nutrients enriched liquid, allowing the growth of algae with nutritional benefits. The first step is to plant spirulina, in our hexagonal hothouse. Our choice of Spirulina is based on various factors, including its nutritional benefits. However, this model can be reproduced for a numerous edible algae. We then decided to create a greenhouse, which would not take form until it’s installed on Mars. - Its design will allow the greenhouse to adapt to the topographic environment, once deployed. - We took care of designing a greenhouse which is adaptable to any extreme variation in temperature. This way, it can successfully be launched on Earth as well. - We took a high level approach to design the model. The greenhouse will have an initial form similar to a big ball; then, once deployed, it will take a hexagonal form (one meter on each side).We had worked on different scales. - The hexagonal form allows the hexagonal greenhouse to be connected to other future hexagonal greenhouses that will be launched, creating therefore a field of greenhouses, that we decided to call hexafield. Each hexagonal greenhouse has six parts called petals. The petals correspond to different programs. - There are three different petals: 1. A petal for the growing environment for the Spirulina. 2. A petal used as water filtering station with a harvest filter. 3. A petal with solar panels, that can be adapted depending on the greenhouse energy needs. - The petals are isolated with two layers. There is a cable network between the layers to keep each petal to a stable temperature. - When there is no light, the spirulina’s growing environment will have a low concentration in nutriments. This will allow the Spirulina not to over grow and therefore not to produce a lot of carbon dioxide. - Each petal can be replaced, in case it needs to be taken checked, repaired or exchanged. - Every hexagonal greenhouse will adapt to the local environment and its needs. For example, the solar panels can be installed, based on the lighting needs for each greenhouse. Therefore, this will make it more convenient to adapt to the lighting exposure, that will produce an optimal number of spirulina. - The petals are interconnected by a central nucleus. The nucleus which is the heart of the hexagonal greenhouse pumps all the fluids and gas which are in the petals. The nucleus is potentially connected to the human habitat, where the spirula, the oxygen are stored. Hexafield scenario of installation: Each hexagonal greenhouse is assembled on Earth to meet specific needs on site. Petals made for the growth of Spirulina are filled under vacuum with an accurate amount of it, in a dehydrated state to prevent its growth during the travel between the Earth and Mars. Each hexagonal greenhouse is transported by a drone holding a reserve with air, nutrients and water. Once in Mars the Hexagon greenhouse will be dropped by the drone after being filled with the necessary water, air and nutrients through the nucleus. Once deployed, the greenhouse will take its hexagonal shape. After their travel, the drones goes to the local base station to be recharged with electricity. Every hexagonal greenhouse has various sensors monitoring the fluid and gas levels, like the CO2/O2, the water quality, the quantity of spirulina and electricity, the temperature. All the informations collected by the sensors are sent to the local human habitat where they are processed.
License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)
Source Code/Project URL:
hexafieldproject - https://issuu.com/hexafield/docs/hexafield
Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxuhY5vnuYU