Next One O'clock Space Webinar with Malica Schmidt
01 June 2020
Malica Schmidt from CNIE is giving a webinar on "Nature-Inspired Multi-Functional Surface Coatings for Sustainable Life Support in Space and on Earth". The seminar takes place on 11 June, 1pm and is part of the One O'clock Space Webinar organised by the UCL Space Domain. You can register for the event here.
The environmental control and life-support system (ECLSS) is, among other things, responsible for the absorption of humidity from cabin air in spacecrafts. Currently only 70 to 93% of water is recyclable, and costly resupply from Earth is required. Additionally, microbial contamination can occur due to the high humidity levels posing a potential health risk for the astronauts. Ionising radiation further threatens bio-regenerative ECLSS.
These limitations make ECLSS unfeasible for missions to Moon, Mars, and beyond. Hence, finding new approaches for regenerative life support through passive systems is crucial. At CNIE we work on a design of a nature-inspired, multi-functional surface coating, which absorbs excess atmospheric moisture produced by astronauts’ indoors activities and transports it passively to improve existing and future ECLSS. The design is inspired by the structures of cicada wings, moth eyes and tree capillaries consisting of vase-shaped microstructures, fabricated by 3D microprinting.