Call for a Open Source Life Support Toolset

Global Village Construction Set

Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology’s Global Village Construction Set provides a “modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.” An important point about machine tools is that they are a sort of ecosystem, where the various tools are used in combination to build each other. For example, a lathe can be used to make many of the components required for a milling machine, and vice versa. This construction set is also open source.

This is analogous to a closed-loop life support system, where the “waste” from one component can provide essential material for processing in other components. For example and animal produces CO2 which is essential of plants, and plants provide O2 which is essential for animals. Other components of this ecology of life include water and nitrogen flows and transformations.

Perhaps there should be a set of open source components of closed-loop life support systems? Standards could be established so that major components could interface with each other. Likewise, components could be interchangeable, so that different parties could work in parallel on different approaches to each component.

Distribution of some existing technologies are controlled by ITAR and patents, but alternatives could be created that do not. Further, different versions of the components could be developed for space versus Earth use, but they still could be subject to interconnectivity standards.

Note: “closed-loop” really means nearly closed-loop. There still would need to be energy inputs and a waste heat output.

Link: Global Village Construction Set

WEST 2014 Call for Solutions Deadline: January 15, 2014

WEST The Sustainable Silicon Valley call for solutions deadline has been extended to January 15, 2014. This is an opportunity to showcase your own sustainability solutions at the  WEST (Water, Energy, and Smart Technology) Summit/Showcase to be held on May 22, 2014 at Stanford University.

Last year’s finalists included several space-related ventures, such as AstroSolar, Spaceship Earth Mission Control, and International Centre for Earth Simulation. The 2014 call includes various problems that could benefit from space technology, such as “How will food be produced as climate worsens?” and “Clean Water Production and Deliver under condition of scarcity?”