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Computer Control System for Kennedy Space Center's New Biological Sciences Research Facility: Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory (SERPL)

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034068,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13875) @2003
Authors:   Jennifer J. Mathieu, John C. Sager, Doug Hammond, Pam Mullenix, Lawrence Prevatte, Phil Fowler, Sue Waterman, Elias Victor, Curtis Ihlefeld, Brian Buckley, Ron DuBois, and Paul Burke, Neil Yorio, Caro
Keywords:   NASA, environmental control, distributed control, automation, growth chamber, life sciences, computer network, sensor, alarming, life sciences, controlled environment agriculture

A computer control system, which provides control and monitoring as well as data storage and configuration tracking capabilities for research hardware, is being developed under the name SERPL Autonomous Ground Equipment Regulation System (SAGERS). The SAGERS system architecture is presented along with operational lessons learned and system reliability quantified. This paper will also serve as an introduction to the control system for all users of SAGERS. Initially, SAGERS will be implemented for fifteen controlled environment chambers, eight bioreactors or experimental apparatus, and two orbiter environmental simulators. The control system is designed to be platform independent using open source components where possible. The general approach in developing the control system was to utilize commercial off-the-shelf hardware and control software. Distributed control is necessary for system reliability and centralized control of set-points, time sequencing, and data logging is desirable for ease of use. The main innovation of SAGERS is configuration tracking with emphasis on ease of re-configuration.

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