Avalon's Semi-Closed Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Part I - Crops for Food and Soil Production

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R. J. Soilleux (2020), JBIS, 73, pp.198-209

Refcode: 2020.73.198
Keywords: Avalon, Environmental Control and Life Support System, ECLSS, Aquaponics, Soil production

A semi-closed ECLSS for Avalon with some imported nutrients, principally water and carbon with some nitrogen, is described. Aquaponics greenhouses attached to the end caps plus soil grown crops with animal and mushroom units produce high quality food for the inhabitants. Quantitative estimates are made of the required inputs and subsequent outputs including the yield of soil and some surplus gasses, notably oxygen. There is sufficient surplus biomass from food production, composted and mixed with 35,770 tonnes/year of imported ground rock, to generate the required 72 ha of topsoil 30cm deep over 30 cm of subsoil in ~30 years. A rolling process could shorten the time to full productive farmland by ploughing in pioneer plants with added compost to support annual food crops before finally planting trees. This process should eventually produce a robust complex of artificial ecosystems with multiply redundant biological sub-systems to provide food, air and water purification with nutrient recycling.

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