For ground-testing of improved plant cultivation modules, the TIME SCALE project includes design and development of a Modular Test Bed by DTM Technologies.
DTM Technologies is an Italian company, specializing in high performance engineering. The company has been involved in several projects related to space research and development, including subcontractor roles in the development of facilities on board the International Space Station, such as the Biological Experiment Laboratory (Biolab) and the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS). The company offers mechanical design and analysis as well as testing and integration facilities. Using advanced materials technology, DTM optimize both design-components and production towards improved product performance and quality.
Development of a Modular Test Bed
The TIME SCALE project includes development of a breadboard; a prototype construction for demonstrating operational capability of improved plant cultivation modules developed by TIME SCALE. DTM designs and tests the project’s so-called Modular Test Bed. This test bed is a ground-support equipment with mechanical and electronical interfaces for the different improved EMCS modules, such as the Water and Nutrient Management system and the Crop Cultivation System. In addition to the mechanical and electronical infrastructure, the test bed will provide electronics and software controllers so that operators can perform plant cultivation experiments as ground-testing of the TIME SCALE equipment.
The ground-testing will provide important results and experience for further refinement of flight versions of improved EMCS hardware, and for such hardware used in future regenerative life support systems in space. The TIME SCALE Modular Test Bed and its breadboard equipment is made of standard industrial equipment, but designed so that it can be upgraded to a future flight scenario.