Adafruit and Raspberry Pi parts monitor building materials on the Space Station #ISS #Space #PiDay @Raspberry_Pi @Adafruit

The Biopolymer Research of In-Situ Capabilities is an experiment developed by Nanoracks and Stanford University. This research will be used to determine how microgravity affects the process of creating biopolymer soil composite (BSC).

BSC, a concrete alternative made of organic compound and silica, will one day be used to create habitats on other planets. During the investigation in space, small bricks will be made using a Nanoracks platform and will be studied to determine their relative strength.

The payload consists in part of 12 pinch valves, securely fastened within the Nanoracks enclosure. Each pinch valve has the ability to make two 1 cm long bricks. Servos on the pinch valves are activated roughly once per day, allowing adequate time for each pair of bricks to dry before introducing new humidity into the environment. Desiccants are interspersed throughout the interior box to ensure the humidity remains constant as the bricks dry. A Raspberry Pi Zero logs pressure, temperature, and humidity values from six (Adafruit BME680) sensors every 30 seconds on an SD card. The daily average of these measurements and the daily status of the pinch valves, which total less than 25kb in data, is stored for a weekly downlink. In the unlikely case that the humidity becomes too high, the Raspberry Pi ceases activation of the servos until the desiccants absorb the excess moisture.

See the video below, more in the article on the CRS-25 mission.

Read the NASA page on this experiment.


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