In order to test Terraformation designs associated to semiarid ecosystems, we are developing a terraformation microcosm facility that will allow to test diverse types of designed synthetic circuits in both soil crust samples as well as special test environments. Soil crust requires well defined conditions of light and humidity, and both will be automatically regulated in such a way to mimic field conditions, but also future scenarios of warming. 

In other words, the aim is to build several isolated compartments able to replicate very accurately the actual dynamic daily conditions of the arid climates; particularly the spectrum of sunlight including UV radiation, the moisture dynamics of morning dew and the daily rise and fall of temperature.



The design of the Microcosm Modules is reproducible in any FabLab and has been keept as low-cost as possible.

The modules have been shaped to fit a standard lab shelf and the metracrilate box has been cut with a laser cutter.

The metacrilate box will be insulated with polystyrene, and a continuous almost closed slow air flow will be created with small fans in order to maintain the desired levels of humidity, temperature and CO2. The systems to cool, heat, humidify and maintain CO2 levels will be embedded in a closed tube. 

Two separated electronic boards are designed to incorporate:





Two separated electronic boards are designed to incorporate:

Sensors: CO2 – Humidity – Temperature 


2. Actuators: Dew generator, CO2 gas, cooling and heating system and full spectrum leds


Once the electronics are coupled together, the RasberryPI allows for the calibration of the (PDI) algorithm to control the conditions precisely and without damping oscillations. The board Pi also will store/send the sensors data in order to keep track of the data continuously.