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Development of a Prototype Algal Reactor for Removing CO2 from Cabin AirControlling carbon dioxide in spacecraft cabin air may be accomplished using algal photobioreactors (PBRs). The purpose of this project was to evaluate the use of a commercial microcontroller, the Arduino Mega 2560, for measuring key phot~ioreactor variables: dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, light, and carbon dioxide. The Arduino platform is an opensource physical computing platform composed of a compact microcontroller board and a C++/C computer language (Arduino 1.0.5). The functionality of the Arduino platform can be expanded by the use of numerous add-ons or 'shields'. The Arduino Mega 2560 was equipped with the following shields: datalogger, BNC shield for reading pH sensor, a Mega Moto shield for controlling CO2 addition, as well as multiple sensors. The dissolved oxygen (DO) probe was calibrated using a nitrogen bubbling technique and the pH probe was calibrated via an Omega pH simulator. The PBR was constructed using a 2 L beaker, a 66 L box for addition of CO2, a micro porous membrane, a diaphragm pump, four 25 watt light bulbs, a MasterFiex speed controller, and a fan. The algae (wild type Synechocystis PCC6803) was grown in an aerated flask until the algae was dense enough to used in the main reactor. After the algae was grown, it was transferred to the 2 L beaker where CO2 consumption and O2 production was measured using the microcontroller sensor suite. The data was recorded via the datalogger and transferred to a computer for analysis.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Patel, Vrajen
(University of Central Florida Orlando, FL, United States)
Monje, Oscar
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
April 2, 2014
Publication Date
July 29, 2013
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Inorganic, Organic And Physical Chemistry
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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