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Prior ISS Experiments
ISS Facilities and Inserts
     
  Acceleration Measurement and Environment Characterization
   

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) and Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS) provide continuous measurement of the ISS vibratory and quasi-steady acceleration environment, respectively.  SAMS measurement capability extends to all three laboratories, while MAMS data can be mathematically mapped to any arbitrary location using rigid-body assumptions.

SAMS and MAMS support NASA’s Physical Sciences Research Program.  These systems along with PIMS analysis serve a critical, ongoing role in support of vehicle/loads monitoring.  These instruments along with the Principal Investigator Microgravity Services (PIMS) project serve a critical, ongoing role in support of vehicle loads and dynamics monitoring, assist technology developers and principal investigators in various disciplines.  The goal is to characterize and understand the acceleration environment as related to a wide array of disturbances and events that routinely or uniquely take place on the ISS.

   
SAMS Unit     color spectrogram
Figure 5.1-1.  SAMS control unit and tri-axial sensor head. Figure 5.1-2.  Spectral analysis of SAMS data as shown in the spectrogram above reveals structure & boundaries in time and frequency to help qualify microgravity events.

  Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS)
  Principal Investigator Microgravity Services (PIMS)
  Space Acceleration Measurements System II (SAMS-II)
     


  Cumbustion Integrated Rack (CIR)
   

The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) was designed to test experiments that focus on fire prevention, detection and suppression of fires in space.  The hardware was delivered on STS-126 (November 2008) to the ISS and installed in the US LAB.  The CIR provides a 100-liter chamber with eight optical windows with easily reconfigurable diagnostics, digital cameras and lighting with large data storage capability, gas distribution/cleanup, passive vibration isolation, and vacuum resources to support a wide range of gravity-dependent gaseous, liquid and solid combustion experiments.


cir rack     Astronaut Mike Finke

Figure 5.2-1.  CIR designed to test fire prevention, detection and suppression of fires in space.

Figure 5.2-2.  Astronaut Mike Fincke completing install of the CIR/MDCA insert prior to CIR activation in January 2009.




  Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)
   

The Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) was designed to test and understand critical technologies needed for advanced life support and future spacecraft thermal control, research in complex fluids (colloids) and life science experiments.  The hardware was delivered on STS-128 (August 2009) to the ISS and installed in the US LAB.  The FIR provides the largest, contiguous volume for experimental hardware of any ISS facility, easily reconfigurable diagnostics, customizable software, active rack-level vibration isolation, and other subsystems that are required to support a wide range of gravity-dependent fluid physics and life science investigations.


fir rack     astronaut bob thirsk

Figure 5.3-1.  FIR designed to test and understand; critical technologies needed for advanced life support and future spacecraft thermal control, research in complex fluids (colloids) and life science experiments.

Figure 5.3-2. Astronaut Bob Thirsk completing install of the FIR/LMM prior to FIR activation in December 2009.




  Electro-Magnetic Levitator (EML)
   

Five of the current US materials science investigations are to be performed in the Electro-Magnetic Levitation (EML) facility.  The facility utilizes electromagnetic induction to position and heat samples and high speed video and optical pyrometry to observe the samples.  A sample’s viscosity, surface tension, thermal expansion, and nucleation behavior can be determined over a wide range of temperatures.  This facility was built as a cooperative effort between ESA and DLR.  NASA investigators use the EML through a barter arrangement with ESA.  The EML is to be delivered to ISS on ATV-4.  Experiments are in planning for the following six years.  A new set of EML samples is to be delivered to ISS each year once the facility is on orbit. 


eml     levitated sample

Figure 5.5-1.  The ELM facility is pictured in a European Drawer Rack (EDR). Major subassemblies include the gas supplies, Levitation Power Supply/Water (LPS/WAT) pump module, Experiment Module (EXM) and Experiment Controller Module (ECM).

Figure 5.5-2. Levitated sample (glowing sphere in center) surrounded by a heating and positioning coil.




  Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Racks
   

The eight EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) racks are multi-use facilities which provide standard interfaces and resources for Middeck Locker (MDL) and International Subrack Interface Standard (ISIS) Payloads.  Payloads using single, double, or quad locker configurations can be accommodated by these racks.  The racks provide a number of services for payloads including Nitrogen, Vacuum, RS422, ethernet, video, air and water-cooling. 


express rack
Figure 5.7-1. Front view of an EXPRESS rack



  Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG)
   

The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is a rack facility aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in which fundamental and applied scientific research is conducted. The MSG has been operating on the ISS since July 2002 and is located in the US Laboratory. The unique design of the facility allows it to accommodate science and technology investigations in a “workbench” type environment. The facility has an enclosed working volume that is held at a negative pressure with respect to the crew living area. This allows the facility to provide two levels of containment for small parts, particulates, fluids, and gases. This containment approach protects the crew from possible hazardous operations that take place inside the MSG work volume. Research investigations operating inside the MSG are provided a large 255 liter enclosed work space, 1000 watts of dc power via a versatile supply interface (120, 28, + 12, and 5 Vdc), 1000 watts of cooling capability, video and data recording and real time downlink, ground commanding capabilities, access to ISS Vacuum Exhaust and Vacuum Resource Systems, and gaseous nitrogen supply. These capabilities make the MSG one of the most utilized science facilities on ISS. In fact, the MSG has been used for over 10,000 hours of scientific payload operations. MSG investigations involve research in cryogenic fluid management, fluid physics, spacecraft fire safety, materials science, combustion, plant growth, human health, and life support technologies. The MSG facility is ideal for advancing our understanding of the role of gravity upon science investigations and research and to utilize the ISS as a technology platform for space exploration.

pdf icon Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Quad Chart


msg     astronaut clay anderson

Figure 5.6-1.  The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is designed to provide a sealed work environment and two levels of containment for hazardous materials processing on the ISS.

Figure 5.6-2.  Astronaut Clay Anderson at the Microgravity Science Glovebox in in the US Lab.




  Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR)
   

The MSRR is designed to study a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, semiconductor crystals, and glasses for developing improved materials. The MSRR was launched on STS-128 in August 2009 and is installed in the USLAB. Eight current NASA investigator lead projects are to be conducted in Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR) furnace inserts. An additional three NASA funded projects provide modeling support to international science teams utilizing the MSRR. The rack is a NASA development and contains the ESA developed Materials Science Laboratory (MSL). Two furnace inserts that interface to the MSL are also supplied by ESA. NASA and ESA utilize the rack and its inserts in a shared arrangement. MSRR is a highly automated facility in which sample cartridges can be processed up to temperatures of 1400 °C. The experiments can be run by automatic command or via telemetry commands from the ground. The initial US MSRR investigations are to be performed between 2013 and 2017. Additional MSRR investigations are to be selected in the 2015-2016 timeframe.

pdf icon Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR) Quad Chart


msrr     astronaut frank dewine

Figure 5.4-1.  Components of the ESA Materials Science Laboratory within the MSRR.

Figure 5.4-2.  Astronaut Frank Dewine completing installation of the MSRR on ISS.




     
Physical Science Research Program Facilities
Physical Science Research Program Prior NRA's
Physical Science Research Program Schedules
Physical Science Research Program Heritage
Acrticles Background
Related Links
 Interntional Space Station
Space Station Research & Technology  
Advanced Capabilities Division Research & Technology task Book  
 

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