The Virtual Habitat – A tool for dynamic life support system simulations

M. Czupalla, A. Zhukov, J. Schnaitmann, C. Olthoff, M. Deiml, P. Plötner, U. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper we present the Virtual Habitat (V-HAB) model, which simulates on a system level the dynamics of entire mission scenarios for any given life support system (LSS) including a dynamic representation of the crew. We first present the V-HAB architecture. Thereafter we validate in selected case studies the V-HAB submodules. Finally, we demonstrate the overall abilities of V-HAB by first simulating the LSS of the International Space Station (ISS) and showing how close this comes to real data. In a second case study we simulate the LSS dynamics of a Mars mission scenario. We thus show that V-HAB is able to support LSS design processes, giving LSS designers a set of dynamic decision parameters (e.g. stability, robustness, effective crew time) at hand that supplement or even substitute the common Equivalent System Mass (ESM) quantities as a proxy for LSS hardware costs. The work presented here builds on a LSS heritage by the exploration group at the Technical University at Munich (TUM) dating from even before 2006.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2683-2707
Number of pages25
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • International Space Station
  • LSS
  • Life support system
  • Mars mission
  • Virtual Habitat


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