The project

General objectives

  • To develop a mathematical model to describe the biocontamination phenomena in confined spacecraft environments. 
  • To provide a model allowing predicting biocontamination dispersion supporting implementation of proactive countermeasures 
  • To provide tools to help to establish a better biocontamination control strategy in spacecrafts. 

The BIOSMHARS project aimed so to develop, to calibrate and to validate a mathematical model to predict the transportation of bioaerosols in a closed environment and the concurrent spread of biocontamination, first on-ground, without human activities. 

The project included the following tasks:

  • Review of the of current knowledge on microbial contamination in spacecrafts, identification of shortcomings
  • Definition of the requirements of the model
  • Development of the model
  • Calibration of the model within a special test room at VTT in Finland (Experiments & refinement of the model). 
    • First using physical non-viable particles generated by conventional aerosol generators
    • Then using bacterial and fungal aerosols
  • Validation of the model with BIOS-3 facility
    • First with physical non-viable particles
    • Then using bacterial and fungal aerosols
  • Recommendations / Scientific and Technical Roadmap

For the biological calibration and validation, calibrated bioaerosols were generated. 

The microbial species are chosen because they are representative of the microbial florae found on the International Space Station (ISS). The tested strains are isolated by IBMP from samples retrieved from ISS. These species are: Staphylococcus Auriculare, Bacillus subtilis and Penicillium expansum. 

An important activity of the project is also the upgrade of BIOS-3 facility for this type of research. 

For further details, see the page Logic & tasks of the project. 

BIOSMHARS as part of longer term objectives

BIOSMHARS should be considered as a first step of a longer term research aiming to produce a versatile and robust modelling tool for predicting airborne microbial contaminant dispersion and concentration distribution in a spacecraft. Several phases are required to reach this objective. 

Theses phases can be divided in:
  • Phase 1: Development of a predictive model for microbial contamination in confined environments and validation of the model in ground facilities.   
  • Phase 2: Identification of adequate proactive sanitary control measures and rescue countermeasures, and validation of these strategies in ground facilities.
  • Phase 3: Validation of the predictive model in space environment.
  • Phase 4: This final phase comprises the integration of the previous phases and the actual implementation in space crafts and space missions.
The enclosed figure represents these different phases (click on the figure to enlarge it).