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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access April 13, 2017

Advanced Life Support Research and Technology Transfer at the University of Guelph

  • M. Dixon EMAIL logo , M. Stasiak , T. Rondeau and T. Graham
From the journal Open Agriculture


Research and technology developments surrounding Advanced Life-Support (ALS) began at the University of Guelph in 1992 as the Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture (SALSA) program, which now represents Canada’s primary contribution to ALS research. The early focus was on recycling hydroponic nutrient solutions, atmospheric gas analysis and carbon balance, sensor research and development, inner/intra-canopy lighting and biological filtration of air in closed systems. With funding from federal, provincial and industry partners, a new generation of technology emerged to address the challenges of deploying biological systems as fundamental components of life-support infrastructure for long-duration human space exploration. Accompanying these advances were a wide range of technology transfer opportunities in the agri-food and health sectors, including air and water remediation, plant and environment sensors, disinfection technologies, recyclable growth substrates and advanced light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems. This report traces the evolution of the SALSA program and catalogues the benefits of ALS research for terrestrial and non-terrestrial applications.


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Received: 2017-1-17
Accepted: 2017-3-13
Published Online: 2017-4-13
Published in Print: 2017-2-1

© 2017

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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