2012

NASA’s New Mission on Earth — Sustainability Base

NASA has repurposed its aerospace technologies in innovative ways to create a smart building unlike any other government building. Designed in harmony with its environment, Sustainability Base is located at NASA Ames Research Center in California.

altThis ultragreen building generates much of its own renewable power. It uses photovoltaics (solar panels) and solid oxide fuel cell technology from a Bloom Energy Box, an example of repurposed NASA space technology, for on-site energy generation.

The intelligent control technology used in Sustainability Base is being developed as part of the Subsonic Fixed-Wing Project in NASA’s Aviation Safety Program to provide optimized guidance control for aircraft. It will be used in Sustainability Base to achieve building zone control.

Other repurposed technologies include an Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) and Hybrid Diagnostic Engine (HyDE), both originally developed at Ames. IMS is used to monitor systems on the International Space Station. Sustainability Base will use IMS to learn about and monitor its performance. HyDE is a model-based reasoning engine designed to detect and isolate faults in complex systems. In the new building, HyDE will be used to monitor the geothermal systems.

Another important factor in water conservation is NASA’s forward-osmosis water treatment system. Designed by scientists for use on the space station, this system cleans greywater (water that drains from the bathroom sinks and showers), and recycles it in the building to flush toilets.

See the video about Sustainability Base on Tech Briefs TV at www.techbriefs.com/tv/sustainabilitybase.