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Major SIMOC update now live!

With more than six months development effort by the core SIMOC development team Ezio, Grant, and Kai, working in parallel to the Arizona State University Computer Science Capstone team (Meridith, Greg, Ryan, David, and Ian) who are nearly complete with their effort to introduce live sensors feeds into a new SIMOC back-end (server) and modified front-end (web) interface for use at SAM and in classrooms worldwide!

The Phase V development of SIMOC (July 2021 – May 2022) introduces staggered crop rotation of food cultivars, a foundation for tracking food nutrition, advanced life cycle plant growth functions, the addition of random variation and total system entropy, and improved server-side management of agent definitions and data to provide a more dynamic, rich experience with even greater potential for non-linear outcomes and simulation of the real world.

With construction of the SAM Mars habitat analog at the iconic Biosphere 2, SIMOC now includes SAM Presets, a configuration of the SIMOC simulation that closely approximates the real-world SAM habitat. And with the newly introduced 3D objects during Configuration and on the Dashboard, the user can now visualize the habitat before and during the simulation, including SAM.

  • Learn about all the improvements and updates at Phase V.
  • First Time Users: Enjoy a quick introduction before you dive.
  • Advanced Users: Learn how the SIMOC ABM functions, and how to analyze your data.
  • If you are a returning user eager to try the new version, launch SIMOC now!
By |2022-04-19T06:01:48+00:00April 19th, 2022|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Modeling elevated CO2 versus plant growth

Grant Hawkins, SIMOC developer offers this insight to his research into the effect of elevated CO2 levels on plant growth, and how he is modifying SIMOC to capture these response systems.

Modeling plant responses to elevated CO2
One of the research papers being submitted to ICES this year looks at the impact of elevated CO2 on plant growth and bioregeneration. Scientists have been experimenting with eCO2 since the 1970s, so there is ample literature on what the impact is and how to model. Our goal is to use SIMOC to show the system-level dynamics of these effects in an enclosed habitat like SAM.

Grant dug into the literature and augmented our SIMOC plant agents to vary their currency exchanges based on the co2 levels in the greenhouse. Below are some charts from his initial testing and implementation. The next steps are to investigate the system-level impacts, and then compile the results into a paper for ICES. Stay tuned!

CO2 response parameters in SIMOC Wheat response to CO2 in SIMOC Radish growth under eCO2 in SIMOC

Plant Nutrition
Nutrition is a critical aspect of bioregenerative system design, and one we’ve long meant to incorporate into SIMOC. And now, as part of the research for our ICES paper on plant responses to CO2, it’s finally been

Plant descriptions in SIMOC include several currency exchanges (inputs and outputs), a lifetime, and an edible/inedible ratio. We also have currency descriptions, which specify currency classes (‘atmosphere’, ‘food’), labels, etc. For food currencies, these now include nutrition fields: kcal, water, protein, carbohydrates and fat (per 1kg).

Over a plant’s lifetime, it accumulates biomass based on its natural growth cycle (sigmoidal), augmented by resource availability and ambient co2. When it’s ready to harvest, the total accumulated biomass is converted to waste biomass and food, based on the edible/inedible ratio. The food then goes to ‘food storage’, which the human agents consume immediately, grateful to be eating something besides rations.

Nutrition will be incorporated into our Plant CO2 Response paper for ICES as one of two primary ‘plant utility metrics’. Stay tuned for more!

Wheat currency description in SIMOC Plant utility metrics at eCO2 in SIMOC Plant utility calories per day in SIMOC

By |2022-04-19T05:30:59+00:00February 18th, 2022|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Advanced plant growth modeling against varied CO2

Plant growth versus CO2 levels The initial effort is underway to introduce varied plant growth performance based on varied input levels of critical currencies, starting with carbon dioxide (CO2). Grant Hawkins of the SIMOC development team is simultaneously preparing a paper for the International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES 2022) as he develops a deeper understanding of these known functions, as assembled through a literature review.

By |2022-01-16T06:34:27+00:00January 12th, 2022|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Demonstration of live data feed from sensor to SIMOC!

Today the ASU Computer Science Capstone team conducted a live demo of a sensor generating data and delivering it into the SIMOC front-end dashboard. This marks an exciting point in development as we move to provide SAM with a rich, dynamic sensor array for real-time monitoring of the breathable air, capture of the data for local observation, and display to the world via the National Geographic hosted SIMOC interface.

– interpolated every second
– 24 seconds load and cache
– demonstrated an increase to 14,000 ppm with Greg’s breathing on the sensor
It works! and looks great!

By |2022-01-16T07:03:18+00:00December 5th, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

A half year in review: Jun-Nov 2021

The SIMOC development team lead by core Python developer Ezio Melotti and Grant Hawkins, and Meridith, Greg, Ryan, David, and Ian of the Arizona State University Computer Science Capstone team have made significant strides in SIMOC development this past six months.

A major re-write of the Advanced Configuration Editor (ACE) now matches the current agent descriptions and capabilities, enabling local-install users to modify and download the configuration file, which can then be used on local installations to run custom simulations.

Other updates include:
* Jun 21, FE/INFRA: added linting check to the front-end
* Jun 23, BE/INFRA: added a basic testing framework
* Jul 1-9, BE: removed the ACE
* Jul 13, BE/SAM: added SAM agents
* Jul 26, FE: new confirmation popup
* Jul 28, FE: improved plant validation
* Jul 29, FE/INFRA: update docker image and dependencies

A User feedback survey is now included, made available from the Main menu and prompted when
exiting a simulation for the first time. This enables the SIMOC development team and sponsor National Geographic to receive feedback from users during run-time engagement.

The new 3D view now matches the user-defined habitat configuration, visible on both the Configuration and Dashboard screens.

Other updates include:
* Aug 4, FE: new modal popups
* Aug 9, FE: added the survey
* Sep 8, BE: added documentation with Sphinx
* Sep 11, FE: update to VueJS 3, bumped FE version to 1.0.0
* Sep 13, FE: added the 3D view
* Sep 22, BE/INFRA: removed DockerHub dependency
* Sep 23, BE/INFRA: removed staging branch, misc infra updates
* Sep 27, FE: improved the 3D view, fixed bugs, added rocket
* Sep 28, FE: added the script
* Sep 29, BE/ABM: added a CO2 tank and makeup valve agents

The holy grail of software development, SIMOC now incorporates Pytest for unit and integration testing for the SIMOC configuration files, model and agents. Finally!

Other updates include:
* Oct 5, BE/ABM: refactored connections and added the agent_conn.json file
* Oct 10, FE/INFRA: disabled artifact creation on GitHub
* Oct 12, BE/ABM: all agents are now storages too
* Oct 18, BE/INFRA: added custom SSL certs for NGS
* Oct 20, BE/ABM: atmo storages included in cq/gh, added atmo_equalizer agent
* Oct 26, BE/INFRA: added a separate DB for testing and more BE tests
* Oct 27, BE/ABM: added the currency_desc.json file
* Oct 29, BE/INFRA: added an adminer container for DB inspection
* Nov 2, BE/ABM: created the data_files dir and moved the JSON files there
* Nov 2, BE/ABM: currency classes, sold_fertilizer replaced sold_n/p/k, more tests
* Nov 13, BE/ABM: food/ration prioritization

By |2022-01-16T07:03:52+00:00November 26th, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Food versus Rations

Food vs Rations design by Grant Hawkins for SIMOC Food vs Rations design by Grant Hawkins for SIMOC Food vs Rations design by Grant Hawkins for SIMOC

Early in the development of SIMOC we recognized the need to differentiate various kinds of food. While it it is the ultimate goal to track energy from fats, sugars, and proteins, we are immediately concerned with distinguishing food from rations, meaning, the food grown in-hab from the food brought from Earth. This sounds simple enough, yet it invokes a function not yet implemented in SIMOC—the ability to prioritize one currency over another in the presence of both.

SIMOC team member Grant Hawkins took on this challenge and this week complete made major strides with the effort, which invoked a moderate redesign of the means by which agents (e.g. Humans) consume their respective currencies (e.g. food, rations, water, etc.). As such, local food is the first priority for consumption, but if depleted, the humans return to consumption of rations.

By |2022-01-16T06:28:21+00:00November 3rd, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

ASU CS Capstone help design SAM data services

ASU CS Capstone team generates draft SAM sensor array for SIMOC

Initiated in early October, the Arizona State University undergraduate Computer Science Capstone team, in concert with Ezio, Grant, and Kai of the SIMOC development team have completed a second-draft work-flow for the sensor array to be embedded in the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) at Biosphere 2.

This design will continue to evolve as SAM is constructed and the SIMOC team dives into real-world sensor tests in place of the current SIMOC simulated data. Stay tuned!

By |2022-01-16T06:18:21+00:00October 31st, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

3D view of habitat added to Wizard, Dashboard

Screenshot of the new 3D interface to SIMOC

The SIMOC development team has added the long-awaited 3D view of the habitat, available to the user both while configuring the habitat and on the SIMOC simulation dashboard. Users enjoy a dynamic visual representation of the habitat provided by space architecture designer Bryan Versteeg of SpaceHabs, such that as they select varied sizes of the habitat components, the image updates.

By |2022-01-16T06:55:24+00:00September 13th, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Arizona State University Computer Science Capstone team joins SIMOC!

We are pleased to welcome David Wingar, Gregory Ross, Ian Castellanos, Meredith Greythorne, and Ryan Meneses to the SIMOC team for the next nine months. They will be working with SIMOC developers Ezio Melotti and Grant Hawkins to build a new back-end to the SIMOC web interface, providing a live data feed from the array of sensors in SAM, the hi-fidelity Mars habitat analog being constructed at the Biosphere 2.

By |2021-10-04T18:59:18+00:00September 7th, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Moving into Phase V of SIMOC development

As the SIMOC team transitions from Phase IV into Phase V development, we are shifting design and coding gears from a year spent principally in improving the scalability and stability of the SIMOC deployment across Google Cloud Platform coupled with several improvements to the user interface, back into an effort to more closely define the agent interactions, improving their real-world representation.

Learn more

By |2021-06-02T22:57:21+00:00June 2nd, 2021|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments