Six abstracts accepted to ICES 2022

Today the SIMOC and SAM teams received notice of acceptance of six research abstracts to the ICES 2022 conference!

“Integrating Mushrooms into an Agent-based Model of a Physico-chemical and Bioregenerative ECLSS” by Sean Gellenbeck, UA PhD Student and aerospace engineer at Paragon. This paper will bring Sean’s PhD research into the SIMOC agent-based model. Cool!

“Lessons learned from the construction of a hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed Mars analog and research station” by Kai Staats, Trent Tresch, John Adams. This is a re-submit as we did not have SAM far enough along to write a proper paper, in Feb/Mar of this year.

“Parameter Space Exploration of Entropic Systems in a Mars Habitat” by Grant Hawking and Ezio Melotti. Grant joined the SIMOC development team this summer and has demonstrated himself as capable and tireless. With our lead developer Ezio and a bit of guidance by myself, we will explore the effect of increased entropy against a steady-state baseline in our agent-based model. This brings us back to my very first design session in June 2017. We have arrived!

“Responses to Elevated CO2 on Food Production and Life Support Systems in a Mars Habitat” is another proposed research project by Grant that is a combination of developing an advanced model in SIMOC whereby the correlation of CO2 levels to plant production is both informed by and the validated against published research and data. This is a solid challenge, but if we can pull it off, it will be highly valuable.

“Integrating real-time data from a Mars habitat analog into an educational web interface” by the ASU undergraduate Capstone team Meridith, Gregory, Ian, Ryan, and David. This paper describes how real-life data can be provided to citizen-scientists, establishing a tangible interface between simulation and real-world systems. Congrats for taking on this incredible challenge and even greater reward!

“On the creation of a compact solution for monitoring air quality in a Mars habitat analog” also by the ASU undergraduate Capstone team, provides a clear methodology for citizen scientists and researchers alike to monitor atmospheric quality of any enclosed space … life support system integration, by which collected data can be used to calibrate indoor air conditions for any extraterrestrial habitat. The team gave a live demo of the first live feed just last week!

By |2022-01-16T06:50:09+00:00December 13th, 2021|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

Mars Base Rhino auto-constructed from SIMOC parameters

Thomas Lagarde's "Mars Base Rhino"

Thomas Lagarde, Ingénieur système pour habitats dans les environnements extrèmes (System engineer for extreme environment habitats) has developed a Grasshopper code base that imports the results of a SIMOC simulation, then generates a 3D Mars base that corresponds to the parameters configured by the SIMOC user.

As presented at IAC 2021, Thomas developed this unique project to demonstrate the possibility of using existing solutions and concepts developed and used for earth applications as a design architecture for outer-space habitats. The future habitats/cities will need to evolve constantly, fixing a form, a system or a program is not the solution to adapt to an environment that we will learn a lot from when we get there. The design for a habitat and its systems will require constant modifications to adapt to changes in the environment, our knowledge of it and/or our reaction to it. Interior and exterior organizations will certainly change rapidly depending on new requirements. To produce an optimal design at a fast pace and correctly we need to use computational techniques such as parametric design or topology optimization. The new design solution should be the best according to a chosen set of conditions. For example: well-being, comfort, ease of operation and construction. With the help of software such as Rhino/Grasshopper and SIMOC we can demonstrate the practicality and the necessity of this approach for future human settlements in any extreme environment.

Thomas Lagarde's "Mars Base Rhino" Thomas Lagarde's "Mars Base Rhino"

By |2022-02-13T22:42:20+00:00October 29th, 2021|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

SIMOC Publication at ICES 2021

ICES 2021, July 12-14, 2021
The paper “SIMOC – A hi-fidelity simulation of off-world, human habitation and bioregenerative life support as a platform for citizen scientists and virtual classrooms” was presented to the virtual International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) 2021 was authored by Kai Staats and Ezio Melotti of Over the Sun, LLC;, Tyson Brown of National Geographic Society; Pete Barnes of the New Albany Intermediate school; Gretchen Hollingsworth of the Barrow Arts & Sciences Academy; and Michael Pope of the Zama American Middle/High School, Japan.

Watch the virtual presentation (above) | Read the full paper.

By |2021-08-07T17:46:15+00:00July 15th, 2021|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

Space Radio with Dr. Paul Sutter

Astrophysicist Dr. Paul Sutter interviews SAM Director Kai Staats from within the Biosphere 2!

“This week on Space Radio I had the opportunity to catch up with my good friend Kai Staats. Kai joined us from the grounds of the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 as we talked about his newest project, Space Analog for the Moon and Mars. Among other topics, we discussed the removal of perchlorates from the Martian soil and how Methane could potentially be used.” — Dr. Sutter

By |2021-06-12T22:12:12+00:00June 10th, 2021|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

Kai Staats Presents SIMOC and SAM to the Space Habitat Event

The Space Habitat Event is an international event dedicated to debate the operation of space analog stations and future Mars and Moon colonies / settlements / stations. The theme of this second edition is: “Sustainable Technologies for Future Space Habitats (Moon and Mars) and Analog Space Habitats”.

Director of SAM at Biosphere 2 Kai Staats provided an overview of SIMOC and SAM to the international audience.

By |2021-06-03T19:21:10+00:00June 3rd, 2021|Categories: Publications, Videos|0 Comments

Trent Tresch, Kai Staats of SAM attend The Space Show

The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston

Tuesday 05 Jan 2021
Interview with Trent Tresch and Kai Staats of the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM)

Dr. David Livingston writes in summary of the interview, “We welcomed Trent Tresch back to the show and Kai Staats for the first time to discuss the SAM analog study at Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Our 65 minute discussion started by my asking Kai about his background and what specifically led him to the point of developing the SAM simulation model. Trent had experiences … that not only brought him in contact with Kai but to playing a substantial role in developing space [related projects] and the SAM.”

Download the entire interview …

By |2021-04-10T19:01:45+00:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Publications, SAM|0 Comments

SIMOC, SAM presented at the Mars Society Convention

SIOMC at Mars Society Convention 2020

The Mars Society’s 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention will convene Thursday-Sunday, October 15-18, 2020, across this planet via the Internet!

The Mars Society’s four-day, international, virtual conference brings together leading scientists, government policymakers, commercial space executives, science journalists and space advocates to discuss the latest scientific and technological developments and challenges related to the human and robotic exploration of Mars and the eventual human settlement of the Red Planet.

Kai Staats will give a talk and live demonstration of SIMOC followed by a unveiling of SAM, a hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed Mars analog being constructed at the iconic Biosphere 2. [download slides (PDF)]

By |2021-06-20T00:48:41+00:00October 13th, 2020|Categories: Publications, Videos|0 Comments

SIMOC featured in Planetary Society ‘Wow of the week’!

“With the SIMOC web interface, you can design your own Mars habitat and then run a simulation to find out if your astronauts would survive. By choosing life support systems, crew quarters, plants to clean the air and provide food, and more, you can learn a lot about just how complex and delicate extraterrestrial habitats are.”

In the weekly Planetary Society Downlink news update, SIMOC is featured as the Wow of the Week, Read the full post …

By |2020-07-15T19:33:09+00:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

SIMOC Publication at ICES 2019

At the International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) 2019, Kai Staats, project lead for the Interplanetary Initiative pilot project SIMOC will present the procedure and findings of the barley growth experiment conducted at the Biosphere 2, Feb-Mar 2019, with an emphasis on the non-linear functions developed for SIMOC.

ICES 2019, July 7-11, Boston Omni Parker House
ECLSS Modeling and Test Correlations
ICES-2019-368, Wednesday, July 10
Download the Publication

Title: An agent-based model for high-fidelity ECLSS and bioregenerative simulation.

Abstract: Mathematical models can combine baseline assumptions about relatively simple, real-world systems into complex simulations, providing researchers with access to otherwise difficult to build or cost prohibitive environments. An agent-based model (ABM) employs the actions and interactions of individual and collective, autonomous agents such that their behavior, when allowed to unfold over a specified time, may exhibit non-linear, dynamic, and probabilistic behavior. SIMOC (a scalable, interactive model of an off-world community) is a Python agent-based model with both a research and educational component, developed to simulate hybrid ECLSS and bioregenerative closed systems, as those considered for long-term human habitation of the Moon or Mars. The SIMOC web-based agent editor enables rapid design of new agents to approximate real-world systems. While SIMOC was built upon data for both humans and plants extracted from the NASA Baseline Assumptions and Values Document, this publication sees first application of this novel approach to modeling the growth cycle of a single plant species in a semi-sealed, controlled environment, from seed to harvest, tracking air temperature, relative humidity, PAR, carbon dioxide, water run-off and biomass accumulation.

By |2019-07-02T06:22:38+00:00June 29th, 2019|Categories: Publications|0 Comments

SpaceTalk, The Next Generation

In SpaceTalk, The Next Generation, February 2019, the magazine for the all International Space University Alumni, SIMOC is featured! In this 7-page spread, the story of how SIMOC got started through the first two phases of development is told. Read the full publication at

By |2019-10-05T15:53:58+00:00February 15th, 2019|Categories: Publications|0 Comments