We are excited to announce that the 19th Cycle ASP multidisciplinary projects have just kicked off at the end of last month.
The students of Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino will work on 22 projects in multidisciplinary teams, each one assigned to a project. The projects will be developed between May 2023 and September 2024.
The teams will be assisted by tutors from Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino, as well as from experts from the proposing external companies, to set up and solve, through a multidisciplinary approach, the proposed theme, developing frontier issues that lead to real innovation.
As for the last Cycle, new multidisciplinary projects can be framed within four main “problem-based learning” orientations: Business, Social, Industry & Innovation, and Research.
We are confident that these projects will provide the students with valuable learning experiences and opportunities to work on real-world problems with significant industrial relevance. We wish them all the best in their endeavours and look forward to seeing the results of their hard work in the coming months.
Check-out the 19th Cycle ASP projects!
- Entrepreneurship & hi-tech start-ups
- Social impact and engagement
- Industry & innovation oriented
- Academic research
Augmented Reality Vehicle Interface – ARVI
The proposed project is fully in line with the development plan of HMDrive (the proposing party) and therefore represents an activity that needs to take technological and market aspects into account, focusing on end users, in a UX-centred design logic. HMDrive develops a highly innovative technology that enables the use of augmented reality (AR) glasses as a vehicle-driver interface. This technology is configured as a HW/SW platform, which integrates advanced concepts of Computer Vision, Sensor Fusion, Optics, Electronics, Human-Machine Interaction and UI/UX Design. The project will therefore initially focus on studying HMDrive’s technology, in order to understand its potential, identify areas for improvement and propose possible solutions. Subsequently, the project will focus on the development of an MVP, i.e., an augmented reality interface application on the HMDrive platform. Students will have full freedom in the process of studying and analysing the market, collecting feedback from end users and in the design process of the application, in order to experience 100% of the meaning of technological/entrepreneurial innovation. The complexity of the technology and project proposal requires the involvement of different skills: project management, software engineering, computer vision, UX/UI design and product design.
Sergio Savaresi, DEIB, Politecnico di Milano
A Music Platform based on Blockchain Technology – Quarkk
The project aims to develop a decentralized platform for creating, distributing, investing and enjoying music, relying on Blockchain technology. Blockchain aid to radically disrupt the music business by giving an alternative to the ‘trusted intermediates’ that have established themselves to manage registries, records, transactions, and negotiate agreements about music. Quarkk aims to become a strong self-publishing conduit for musicians and rights holders, bypassing a complicated ecosystem and giving them more control over how their songs and data move among consumers. The project supports the transition to a fairer, transparent and innovative music industry, developing a platform where creators, consumers, publishers, and distributers gravitate around the Blockchain. Creators could benefit from:
– Transparent and fair revenue-sharing model.
– Collect money to speed up their growth.
– On-time payment.
– Custom right and IP management.
Consumers could benefit from:
– An all-encompassing platform that offers music in streaming and investments in music rights.
– Drive profits directly to artists they like.
– Invest in both emerging and established artists.
The project calls for a multidisciplinary team to design the decentralized platform based on blockchain technology: computer science and blockchain programming, communication, digital and interaction design, management engineering, law and regulation experts.
Mauro Bonfanti, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino
Zero Carbon Roadmap for Concrete – ZeCRoCo
The aim of the project is to identify developments in the use of prefabricated reinforced concrete technology to respond to the high demand for affordable housing in emerging countries with strong housing deficit. Planet aims to build 15-20 prefabrication plants in 6 target countries for a total investment of 180 million. This will result in the construction of approximately 1,500 homes per year. It is expected that the work done at ASP will accompany the completion of the investment. The project must collect and study the sustainable innovations in precast reinforced concrete technology and their compatibility with the aspiration to build high quality places, receptive to digital and typological innovations, suitable for saleable buildings on the market in the next 50 years. In addition, the work must highlight innovations in materials and construction processes to ensure that the environmental impact of buildings is taken into account. The theme requires a multidisciplinary approach to reconcile the limitations of prefabrication and the materials used with the diversity of users (couples, families, the elderly, singles, temporary residents) and the influence of spaces on social dynamics. A project capable of reconciling technology, materials, type, morphology and social aspects can bring environmental, social and economic benefits, the impact of which must be measured in terms of resource consumption, speed of implementation, scalability of the project and market response.
Planet Smart City, London, UK
Home of the Future – FutureHome
To develop a business model to introduce innovative services and solutions in customer Home in order to allow energy and economic savings. There are different services and solution that can be found on the market regarding the so called “SmartHome” but it’s difficult to find an Actual “Smart” Home. Alexa, Google and Apple has developed their own platform relying on third parties developers and are able to control appliances and devices. We want to develop a solution that really allows home to be “Smart”, granting customers energy saving and not only.
Enel X Global Retail
Material Impact Passport: tagging building materials with a unique record containing impact KPIs to enable transparency in the supply chain and lower the green premium – MIP
MIP’s mission is to support the transition towards a Net Zero construction industry. The objectives of this project are: 1. Understanding and defining the “business case for sustainability” in the construction industry; 2. Identifying the methodology for capturing and tracking impact data along the lifecycle of mass timber-based construction materials; 3. Creating a secure and transparent database mechanism (Material Impact Passport) for building materials to contain information related to the material’s ESG performance and its LCA. The goal is to create a tool that increases traceability of construction supply chains, both upstream and downstream and incentivizes the use of sustainable building materials at scale. The focus of this project will be on mass timber and bamboo (GLT / CLT) products that are manufactured from known forests. If the embedded information includes the appropriate methodology for tracking CO2 sequestration/absorption records, the MIP will also unlock the ability to sell carbon credits on the carbon markets and “offset the green premium” of sustainability. The beneficiaries of MIP are ultimately the mass timber market and planet Earth. From a business perspective, the MIP will directly increase the wallet share for forestry operators and timber manufacturers, whilst reducing costs for developers.
Alessandra Oppio, Politecnico di Milano
Bonzano (Italian timber product manufacturer)
Casa Congo (Latin American NGO and bamboo social housing provider)
Exploring Conversational Technology to Improve Sustainable behaviors – ECTIS
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argues with about 95% certainty that climate change is anthropogenic. In 2019, World leaders at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit defined the 2020s as a Decade of Action in which nations must collaborate in the development of scientific knowledge and cutting-edge tools to achieve sustainability goals. Only a collective effort can tackle this urgent challenge: everyone must implement sustainable behaviors and contribute as individuals to a “greener” world. In 2022, the presentation of generative Artificial Intelligence to generate text (like in ChatGPT) or images (as in Midjourney) disrupted the technological panorama, automating processes and tasks that were not imaginable even a few weeks before. Sustainability is a complex challenge requiring the cooperation of many disciplines and stakeholders to obtain tangible results. The aim of this project is to explore how the power of generative technologies can support the design of new products or services to help people in a shift toward more environmentally sustainable behaviors. In this multidisciplinary context, students will combine computer science, electronics, design (product, communication, and service), energy, and management knowledge to propose innovative solutions in home automation environments.
Franca Garzotto, Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano
Edison SpA, RD&TI department
Social Innovations for Children Hospice, Fondazione Hospice MT. Chiantore Seràgnoli Onlus – FoSCHe (Fondazione Séragnoli Children Hospice Healthcare)
The MT Hospice Foundation Chiantore Seràgnoli Onlus is a non-profit organization, born in 2002, which through the management of the Bentivoglio, Bellaria and Casalecchio Hospices, the future Pediatric Hospice and the Academy of Palliative Medicine Sciences – ASMEPA – works intending to improve the quality life and alleviate the suffering of patients with advanced and progressive disease and support families. The Pediatric Hospice project – on which the ASP team must focalize – aims to represent the first study within the world panorama of the practice of palliative care for children, which combines in a virtuous and effective way all the consolidated scientific best practices with all the contributions that the technological innovation to ensure that the human being is at the center of the therapeutic process. This attention to the care and well-being of the people who will live in the Pediatric Hospice translates into the need to identify or design innovative services aimed at caregivers, patients, families and members of the medical team. The main objectives are the identification of a systemic approach that also becomes a guideline at national and international levels, the use of innovative technologies that guarantee the scalability of the projects and possibly their engineering, and the positive social impact that the services will have to guarantee.
Manuela Celi, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano
Fondazione Hospice MT. Chiantore Seràgnoli Onlus
Imperial College London Research Centre
Mais Tech – Mais Family Office
Developpment of artificial vision device in order to keep under control carcasse tire fabrication and green tire talc deposition – Visio MAC
The project aim is divided into two themes. The first one is focused on tire carcass fabrication process. The fabrication is fully automatic and the cycle time is very short (less than 8 seconds). The aim of this part is the exploitation of the actual system in order to keep under control: size of products, splice and geometry of the carcass. A pilot plant has been developed on External sidewall deposition and it has to be regulated in order to understand if this technology can be transferred on to the others similar stations. The second theme is focused on talc deposition onto the internal part of green tires before curing in press. The aim of the project is to check, between the actual artificial visual technologies, the best solution in order to control the presence of defaults that can be present during this operation. Naturally the proposed solution must be sustainable as cost of development compared to the scrap costs generated by the deposition defaults. The beneficiaries of the project is a reduction in scrap for manufacturer and a better architecture of tires produced.
Michelin Italiana S.p.A.
A Multisensor Bridge Monitoring System – AMBROSE (A Multisensor BRidge MOnitoring SystEm)
The aim is to implement a holistic monitoring system on a real case study managed by the Metropolitan City of Turin (MCT). The peculiarity of the envisioned system stems from its multidomain approach, combining sensors for geotechnical, environmental, and structural health monitoring, potentially including low-cost alternatives as well. To achieve this aim, the following specific Objectives (O) are formulated:
O1. Design and installation of hardware (sensing devices), which requires multidisciplinary efforts of electronic, civil, and environmental engineers.
O2. Design and implementation of the monitoring software, including signal processing, multidomain data fusion, feature extraction, and data analysis procedures via Machine Learning. This will require multidisciplinary knowledge from Computer Science experts and the aforementioned domain experts.
O3. Combination of all the gathered information into a decision-making algorithm, aiming at automated, unsupervised, and data-driven asset management. That will require the joint application of domain experts, data analysts, and specialists in management engineering.
The potential beneficiaries are: the MCT will benefit from the outcomes of the monitoring system in terms of enhanced structural management and safety for users, and the research community, particularly the Politecnico di Torino (PT) and Politecnico di Milano (PM), will benefit from a unique benchmark to test different monitoring strategies.
Bernardino Chiaia, Department of Structural, Geotechnical and Building Engineering (DISEG), Politecnico di Torino
Città Metropolitana di Torino – Metropolitan City of Turin
Novel methodologies for stability analysis in power systems – AISTABLEPOWER
This project aims at developing methodologies for the analysis of power system stability by means of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. Indeed, monitoring stability in real-time is a major concern for Transmission System Operators (TSOs), as the ongoing displacement of conventional generators by renewable generation technologies has reduced system inertia, thus affecting system stability. The applicants will employ AI-based techniques with the goal of detecting the onset of system instabilities, with emphasis on monitoring the inertia of the system. A recently developed approach for inertia estimation based on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) will be used in the project to continuously estimate the inertia of the system. This is in contrast with most existing algorithms, which rely on disturbances (such as load trips or line faults), and are therefore difficult to apply during normal operating conditions.
This project is inherently multidisciplinary since it involves fields of research as diverse as electrical engineering, computer science, computational data analysis, and mathematics.
A successful project outcome would prove beneficial for TSOs (i.e., the Italian TSO Terna) to assess stability indices in real time and take appropriate countermeasures, such as the activation of conventional generators in one or more areas of the network.
Daniele Linaro, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano
Life cycle assessment of offshore airborne wind energy systems – LCAirborne
The world energy demand has increased significantly over recent decades, making clean and efficient energy production one of the most crucial challenges. As for wind energy exploitation, the emergence of airborne wind energy (AWE) turns out to be a promising option compared to conventional wind technologies. In particular, the realization of offshore AWE (OAWE) farms also eliminates the problem of land availability of on-ground sites.The goal of this project is to develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluating the environmental impact and costs of an hypothetical OAWE farm. Moreover, this analysis allows one to identify inefficiencies within the actual AWE systems and understand how to improve performance and sustainability, quantifying the impacts by means of standard and customized indicators and adapting AWE to the harsh marine environment.
For a more reliable result, these analyses are separately carried out for any life-cycle stage, from raw materials supply and manufacturing, to installation, operation and maintenance, and end-of-life. The project is highly multidisciplinary, since analyses range from economical and environmental to technical, as well as social. The main benefits of this work can be resumed in:
– Create a benchmark in the literature regarding OAWE systems assessment;
– Help manufacturers understanding the main critical points requiring future developments;
– Provide policy makers information about AWE efficiency to accelerate the energetic and sustainability transition.
Lorenzo Fagiano, DEIB, Politecnico di Milano
Wave for Energy
Development of a Hub with the objective of designing and managing the trainings, logistics, sales and installation of heat pumps and other energy saving products in the area of northern Italy – THE HUB
The Academy represents a key element in our organizational structure since it will train our energy technicians (installers and surveyors of heat pumps) to become Aira ambassadors who are not only champions of installing a heat pump but also offer an outstanding customer journey with the objective to become the top-of-mind energy saving brand. Each installation will be evaluated both by Aira and the customer. The objective is to identify the optimal location (based on various criteria), given the market boundaries, design the layout, define the needed processes and optimize the structure of the hub in order to make it innovative, aesthetically appealing and functional. Since the building hosting the Academy will also include the warehouse, the office and a showroom, the project also includes modeling the optimal size and layout for different levels of product flow and installations from a logistical and functional point of view including analyzing and proposing the organizational structure. At the end of the project duration the objective is to obtain an actual working greenfield hub, having identified the location and deliver a complete proposal that provide all necessary input for Aira management to make a decision.
Tommaso Toppi, Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano
Aira Italia SpA
Future of heavy-duty vehicles: a novel ecosystem holistic approach and tools to optimize the freight transport – PROTON
Aim of the project is to develop a holistic approach to define and assess the optimal ecosystem to move goods across European road network with the best environmental footprint at the lowest overall system cost considering the hydrogen and electricity as main energy carriers. The project will focus on the optimization of today and future logistic operations involving Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV), which is the result of a complex scenario and multi-dimensional systems (environmental impact, business model, technology competition, sustainability, Market trend, customer needs, industrialization approach, energy demand and availability, etc.). A concrete study case will be defined and different technology options for net-zero emission vehicles will be compared and assessed. The new methodology to assess the final GHG (Green House Gas) emissions from transport of goods will have to consider the whole ecosystem, i.e., not only the impacts related to the use-phase of different vehicle technologies, but also those deriving from the production of fuel/energy carriers as well as from the infrastructure needed for their distribution at the recharging/refueling points.
Considering hydrogen and electricity as the main energy carriers for future logistic solutions, the project will cover different dimensions where metrics of the methodology should be considered and weighted in the full life-cycle perspective, complemented with the contribution that Digitalization will also bring in optimizing the logistic operations.
The project will provide a procedure to steer both OEMs and logistic companies/fleet operators in proposing sustainable freight transport solutions. The new structured and consistent approach will allow to breakdown the complexity of the system, providing indications to energy players and public Authorities useful to set the most suitable conditions for the ecosystem optimization.
Ezio Spessa, Department of Energy (DENERG), Politecnico di Torino
Iveco Group (Iveco and FPT brands)
Artificial Intelligence & Sensing Systems for Smart Agriculture – AISS4SA
Bio-mimicking has emerged as a way to attain unprecedented performances by smart systems, in terms of resilience under the adverse effects of climate change. In recent ASP projects, we proposed to exploit origami/kirigami-inspired morphable structures to react in real-time to the changing environment and reduce the energy footprint. We also proposed smart sensing systems to collect data and process them in situ, to reduce the water footprint of crop production. With a similar perspective, the goals of this multidisciplinary project are:
In the field of agriculture, to review the state-of-the-art concerning the use of deployable protection structures for crops.
Such goals can be effectively attained only if engineering, architecture, and design provide a truly multidisciplinary environment.
Stefano Mariani, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Improving Plastic Sorting and Ecodesign – IPSE
The proper management of the continuously increasing streams of plastics packaging source separated from the municipal waste is posing a challenge to the automated sorting plants. They are currently based on optical sensors operated in the Near Infrared (NIR) sector of the light spectrum, able to detect different polymers and colours, followed by a refining carried out manually by operators. This is a routinely and stressful type of work, that might be replaced by advanced systems based for example on image recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning. A second challenge is the need for a better analysis of the composition of the different input and output streams, which is now carried out by hand, involving high costs but also high uncertainty due to the poor representativeness of the samples.
Aim of the project is to carry out a comprehensive and multidisciplinary evaluation of the potential to upgrade the plastic sorting plants with such technologies; this will include some preliminary theoretical evaluations, some practical testing on both an experimental facility owned by Corepla and a full-scale sorting plant, an environmental, economic and social assessment, the latter related to the potential loss of work. Finally, the outcome of the work will become inputs for the eco-design of the plastic products that will allow a better sorting and handling at the plants.
Mario Grosso, DICA, Politecnico di Milano
All-Sky Camera Cloud Type Classifier – ASCLOUD-TC
Automatic classification of clouds plays a valuable role in numerous applications linked to weather forecasting, such as predicting dangerous climate changes for airplanes and ships and predicting the production of solar implants and wind turbines. It is vital to have accurate predictions in some applications to ensure safety. In other cases, it is economically necessary to avoid wasting time and money. A wise business choice guided by a good prediction and expert guidance can improve production, reduce the environmental impact, and increase the profitability of an investment.
The expected result is a versatile tool that many applications could exploit to provide real-time analysis of weather conditions. There exist many ways to categorize clouds, therefore one goal is to understand which classification can be the most significant for many utilizations. Multidisciplinary backgrounds are needed to design and develop an effective, versatile, and helpful tool based on the input of domain experts and considering its impact on business processes in different domains.
Emanuele Giovanni Carlo Ogliari, Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano
Reuniwatt, Saint-Mandé, France
RSE Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico – Sustainable Development and Energy Sources Department, Milano
Urban Mini-factory – uFactory
The uFactory project aims at developing Industrial mini-factories based on Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and other Manufacturing Techniques. Innovative manufacturing frameworks based on the creation of small-local-agile manufacturing units, “Mini-factories” enabling the distribution at local (mini-factory@retailer) and district scale (mini-factory@area/close-to-retails) of technologically advanced fabrication operations. The systems are highly flexible, can be automatically reconfigured or readdressed to produce when and where needed. Digital systems can guarantee variable volume of production and automatically follow the flow of information between the individual users (needs) and the manufacturing units (offers) seamless and instantaneously. A new way to produce: distributed, flexible and personalized (our-key-goals).
The key project goals are related to themes of innovation and multidisciplinary. Nowadays, in fact, local or distributed manufacturing has been only experimented by FabLabs. Here, most of the fabrication activities remain confined in the prototyping domain. Enable the local production, as a concrete possibility, would require a multidisciplinary approach to develop new concepts of Mini-Factories able to satisfy specific needs and guarantee a certain level of industrial quality, while unlocking the flexibility of such approaches. This would be a new way of crafting (digitally) personalized-goods, near users that take part of the manufacturing journey with their data and wishes.
Marco Cavallaro, DCMC, Politecnico di Milano
Brainport Industries Campus
Cruise towards Sustainability – C2S
The main objective of the project is to apply digital technologies to achieve more sustainable cruise ship and navigation, which aims not only to reduce energy consumption and emissions but also to reduce operating costs on board. This theme is linked to the topic of innovation in many ways, starting with the collection of data coming from external (i.e. weather conditions to optimise navigation routes) or from equipments, moving on to the use of LED technologies that reduce electricity consumption, continuing with energy recovery technologies that improve energy efficiency by reducing fuel consumption, and ending, among other reasons, with the use of efficient propulsion systems that reduce CO2 emissions.
The theme would also be strongly multidisciplinary since the areas of economic and financial sustainability, artificial intelligence, UX and UI, mechanical, hydraulic, energy, electrical engineering, and others, would be involved. The beneficiaries of this project will certainly be the ship owners, but on the whole value chain there could be a tangible benefit as the required change involves various stakeholders.
Massimo Violante, Dip. Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino
Accenture Spa, Industry X ICEG – Mobility
chatIMPACT: Towards a structured categorization of generative AI promises and pitfalls in domain-specific, multi- and interdisciplinary settings – chatIMPACT
Generative AIs have recently gained attention in the public following the release of tools like DALL-E and chatGPT, which allow the generation of realistic photos, videos and long documents based on the users’ input. Such technologies, which are based on deep learning models trained on massive amounts of textual documents using a Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback paradigm, are considered as revolutionary as the invention of mobile phones and the Internet. Still, they are subject to the dual-use dilemma, as their usage can have both beneficial and detrimental effects.
The general objective of this project is to evaluate in a structured manner the impact of chatGPT-like models by testing their capacity to address questions and issues pertaining to specific domains of application and/or settings in which multidisciplinary expertise is required. Students may consider a wide range of complexity, from very specific tasks related to their background up to broader issues such as climate change or socio-economic inequalities, among others of the UN’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
A number of potential stakeholders might benefit from the expected outcomes. These include not only academics and practitioners but also investors and suppliers in the industry world as well as regulators and policymakers.
Stefano Ceri, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano
MOSS Moon Outpost Smart Structures – MOSS
The MOSS project aims at developing technologies for building smart structures for a human lunar surface outpost using in-situ resources. This complex and challenging project requires innovative solutions based on a multidisciplinary approach. The goal is to develop a sustainable and automated technology to manufacture building materials for erecting smart structures on the Moon by exploiting in situ resources to be extracted from the lunar regolith, thus minimizing material to launch from Earth. Settling on the moon requires dealing with thermal vacuum, tribocharging, high radiation doses, and micrometeoroid impacts. These harsh lunar conditions, coupled with the high safety standards typical of crewed expeditions, require disruptive solutions such as structurally embedded devices for remote and continuous health monitoring of the critical outpost elements. The multidisciplinary nature is an intrinsic and essential part of this project since different experts coming from various fields such as aerospace engineering, materials science, robotics, architecture, infrastructures, and living designers are required to collaborate. The potential beneficiaries of this project include not only the human spaceflight community but the spring-off of novel technologies that can also benefit terrestrial industries and applications in the framework of sustainable constructions.
Carlo Giovanni Ferro, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino
DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V. Ger-man Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany
ESA EAC European Space Agency European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany
University of Derby, Derby, UK
Bio-inspired design and Adaptive Strategies to TAckle fragility fractures – BASTA
The development of new materials with enhanced performance has always presented a challenge for scientists and engineers. A promising approach is to study natural materials that possess unique properties and attempt to replicate their characteristics using new artificial solutions. This approach, known as bio-inspired design, has been utilized to develop materials that mimic the adaptable internal structure of bone tissue, which can specifically adjust to environmental demands. While recent efforts have been made to apply bio-inspired design in the healthcare system, there is still a long way to go to overcome the burden of fragility fractures.
Here, BASTA comes into play, providing a cutting-edge multidisciplinary approach oriented at translating bio-inspired strategies to the design of optimal constructs for bone repair. BASTA will adopt patient-specific adaptive solutions, by merging inter-disciplinary competences in biomechanical engineering, high-resolution synchrotron imaging and artificial intelligence. Indeed, the generation, for the first time, of a novel AI-based bone phantom will be the key for improving the accuracy of medical diagnoses, as well as the design of scaffolds for bone repair. Additionally, the combination of advanced 3D bio-printing techniques and the use of AI algorithms can enable researchers to simulate bone remodeling in pathological patients.
Federica Buccino, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
TU Delft University
ClOSed Loop Micro-algae system for in-spaCe Architecture – COSMICA
Space architecture is a combination of several subjects which provide the framework that allows planning for the safe inhabitation of LEO, the Moon, or Mars. Designing in isolated, confined and extreme environments is a challenge, which can be tackled with new design approaches, such as computational design tools, multi-objective optimization processes, and, especially, a circular design methodology.
The scope of the COSMICA project is to investigate the nexus between technology and the reutilization of bio-materials and components in the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS), radiation shielding, construction materials and greenhouse of deep space habitats, targeting a full closed loop system. Specifically, the idea is to analyze the potential of using microalgae in space since they are versatile microorganisms that could be used to extract and produce many molecules for applications in several sectors, like superfoods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biomaterials, biohydrogen and biogas, and could be integrated within several technological systems within space habitats. Indeed, the concept is the design of a space habitat that could embed microalgae in its ECLSS, food production and radiation shielding strategy. COSMICA will investigate the connections, overlaps, and reciprocal impacts between design, technology, and re-utilization in the future of construction, while enabling more intelligent methodologies for terrestrial utilization and promises to directly impact how we approach design challenges on Earth.
Valentina Sumini, Dept. ABC, Politecnico di Milano
Thales Alenia Space