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Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)


FIR Rack from rear
FIR Rack from rear
    Fir Environment
 
    FIR Environment  
   
FIR Integration
 
    FIR Integration  
   
FIR Optics
 
    FIR Optics  
       
     
   
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FIR Short Overview Presentation
 
   

The Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) features a large user-configurable volume for experiments. The volume resembles a laboratory optics bench. An experiment can be built up on the bench from components, or it can be attached as a self-contained package, or a combination. The FIR provides data acquisition and control, sensor interfaces, laser and white light sources, advanced imaging capabilities, power, cooling, and other resources. Astronauts can quickly mount equipment with final positioning by remote control from the FCF Telescience Support or from the Principal Investigator (PI) home institution. FIR is designed to be adaptable to nearly any kind of fluids experiment.

FIR Rack with front doors open
FIR Rack with front doors open

The FIR contains the hardware and software necessary for conducting fluid physics science experiments.  It is designed to accommodate a broad range of fluids experiments while meeting the ISS requirements and limitations related to safety, power and energy, cooling, mass, crew time, stowage, re-supply flights, and downlink.  The FIR will utilize six major subsystems to accommodate experiments.

FIR Team
FIR Team

The International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) provides the supporting and mounting elements for the FIR subsystems and mechanical connections to the Destiny Module.  The Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) enhances the microgravity environment for experiments in the FIR by attenuating on-orbit vibrations transmitted from the Destiny Module to the ISPR.  The centerpiece of the FIR structural sub-system is the optics bench. The optics bench provides a mounting surface for FIR light sources and avionics packages on the back of the bench and for payload hardware on the front of the bench. Depending on the use of the FIR diagnostics, the optics bench will be able to accommodate up to 250 kg of payload hardware.  The environmental subsystem will utilize air and water to remove heat generated by the FIR and payload hardware.  Heat rejection by payload hardware to the air on the front of the bench is nominally limited to 500 W.  The Electrical Power Control Unit (EPCU) is the heart of the electrical subsystem. All power from ISS will flow through the EPCU.  The EPCU will provide power management and control functions, as well as fault protection.  Payload hardware will have access to 120 VDC (up to 1400 W) and 28 VDC (up to 672 W) of power from the EPCU.  The FIR will provide payloads with access to the ISS gaseous nitrogen and vacuum systems through the gas interface subsystem, (Gas Interface Panel).  These systems are available to support experiment operations such as the purging of experimental test cells and pressurizing or creating flows within experimental test cells.  The FIR Command and Data Management Subsystem (CDMS) provides command and data handling for both facility and payload hardware.  The main components of the FIR CDMS are the Input Output Processor, the Image Processing and Storage Unit, the Fluids Science Avionics Package, and the Mass Data Storage Unit. In addition, the CMDS can support real-time image analysis as well as post-processing data capabilities.  The FIR cameras will offer color and black and white imaging.



Project Management:


Contacts at NASA Glenn Research Center

Project Manager: Ron Sicker, NASA GRC
Ronald.J.Sicker@nasa.gov
216-433-6498

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