Laboratory Biosphere

Advanced Life Support System Experimental Chamber

The Earth’s biosphere is basically a system that is materially closed (with some input from the solar system such as meteorites and some output from Earth such as escaping gasses) and open to information and energetic sources (such as sunlight and heat radiation).

Biospherics is the study of biospheres: an exciting and essential new science, first envisioned by Vladimir Vernadsky (Russia) in the 1920’s. Biospherics differs from systems ecology in that it deals with materially closed systems and thus complete biogeochemical cycling. Biospheres, as a class of objects to study, are defined as energetically open, materially closed life systems, natural or artificial, and capable of long term self-renewal under the proper conditions. Biospheric closed systems include the project Biosphere 2, its test module, and more recently a 1200 cu ft Laboratory Biosphere.

The Laboratory Biosphere Experimental Chamber is a custom designed cylindrical steel chamber, measuring 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet in length. The chamber has an internal capacity of 1200 cubic feet and is connected to a variable Volume Chamber (the “Lung”) which, depending on temperature and humidity conditions within the total system, varies in volume between zero and 400 cubic feet. This gives a total volume for both chamber and lung together of between 1200 and 1600 cubic feet.

The Laboratory Biosphere was designed and built by a Biospheric Design, the Institute of Ecotechnics and the Biosphere Foundation. It is a highly sealed materially-closed system, designed to carry out cutting-edge experiments that will further our understanding of the engineering and science of Biospherics. In particular, the facility has been designed:

  • to experiment with a sustainable soil-based agricultural system;
  • to study the biogeochemical cycling of elements such as Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and other trace elements;
  • to test candidate food crop varieties and evaluate optimal lighting and other environmental growing conditions.

Laboratory Biosphere Specifications

Laboratory Biosphere Objectives