PIUME (Portable Independent Utilities and Modules for Extreme Conditions)


PIUME for Humanitarian application

Technology abstract

The Italian branch of a major space player is proposing a line of products, originally developed to enable life in the International Space Station, to be applied for nonspace applications typical of industries working in harsh extreme environments, such as Oil & Gas or Humanitarian activities e.g. in Artic or deserts. The Italian large company is offering a modular, reconfigurable and already proof-tested in space system and is willing to find partners acting as potential clients or cosuppliers

The technology originates from the Italian branch of a major space company. They are willing to collaborate to transfer their technology from typical space to non-space applications.

- Alessandra Masini -

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Technology Description

PIUME (Portable Independent Utilities and Modules for Extreme conditions) stems from the donor experience and heritage in human spaceflight systems and technologies now flying on the International Space Station (ISS). About a half of the pressurized volume of the ISS originates from the Italian space player, and includes pressurized habitats, systems and utilities necessary for human spaceflight key functions. On the ISS, as for every human system, there is the necessity to satisfy vital needs, providing the crew with a physical and psychological support in line with standards.
Building on this experience, PIUME is conceived as the next-generation system for habitability and affordable management of all necessary resources on Earth.
It provides life support capabilities in extreme conditions through a Product Line including six primary utility functional blocks:
• Water recycling,
• Thermal control,
• Control and regeneration of air,
• Power management and distribution,
• Telecommunications and
• System monitoring and data processing.
Like in space where each subsystem provides functions to support human life, on Earth, each utility may have its own specific application. Providing mechanical and power I/F standardization, PIUME utilities can be used in different Earth condition providing integrated systems (habitat or networks) and integrating external pre-defined items (plugins).
Each utility/functional block can be designed for integration with in-situ energy production systems exploiting renewable resources and other functions called plugins.

Innovations & Advantages

PIUME aims at providing the first complete and integrated Resource Management system for life in extreme conditions on Earth, leveraging on the donor consolidated experience in human spaceflight systems.
The new multi-functional systems and solutions will support provision of key vital resources (recycling systems for water & air, food provision) and protection from the harsh environment (Thermal / Environmental Protection and Control Systems). Characterised by a high degree of modularity, integrability, reusability, standardization, autonomy and ease of use and care, PIUME system is furthermore conceived with the aim of ensuring economic competitiveness with the existing solutions.

Further Information

As stated above, PIUME aims at providing a safe and completely reconfigurable living habitat in any critical environment. It could be also extended to a platform using the benefits of artificial intelligence and big data. In order to reduce human presence in harsh environment, PIUME can be a first step towards system allowing interaction with artificial intelligence. This feature is considered a possible evolution of the current offering integrating it with robotic functions, humanoid robots or artificial intelligence.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

The technologies, from which PIUME originates, currently guarantee vital needs in the space environment. They provide the crew with the physical and psychological support in line with such restrictive standards like the ones prescribed by the space human flights. Considering these features, PIUME is designed to be applied for non-space applications in harsh extreme environments typical e.g. of industries working in the Oil & Gas, maritime and mining sector. It could be also proposed as a reference technology for Non-Governmental Organisations Field Operations for e.g. humanitarian missions in Artic or deserts.