Erasmus USOC payloads
The Erasmus USOC is the FRC for the internal ISS/Columbus facility European Drawer Rack (EDR) and in the past for the external facility EuTEF, which was mounted outside Columbus between February 2008 and September 2009. The Columbus laboratory – a 4.5 m diameter cylindrical module launched and attached to the ISS in February 2008 - is Europe's largest contribution to the International Space Station Programme.
Columbus is equipped with up to 10 flexible research facilities racks, named International Standard Payload Racks (ISPRs), one of them being EDR.
European Drawer Rack (EDR)
The EDR is a modular and flexible experiment carrier rack for a large variety of scientific disciplines. The overall design of the facility is optimised for the parallel accommodation of three to four payloads at a time. The Protein Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility (PCDF) was the first EDR sub-rack payload operated from the Erasmus USOC. The B.USOC (Belgium User Support & Operations Centre) acted as the Facility Support Centre for this facility. Operations with this payload required close cooperation between the B.USOC and the Erasmus USOC.
At the Erasmus USOC, the EDR Engineering Model (EM) is located in its Clean Room. This is used to validate/test the experiments (like the PROTEIN experiment in the PCDF), procedures and to train personnel.
The European Recording Binocular (ERB2) is a technology experiment camera which has been launched on 36P to the ISS in February 2010. The ERB-2 is a second generation stereoscopic camera. It will capture the entire ISS in a 3D film in the current HDTV standard (720p). It will contribute to increasing awareness of the ISS programme. ERB2 commissioning took place in a spread campaign during spring/summertime 2010 and is since then ready for the filming scenarios. The first scenarios contain e.g. a film of the crew flying through the entire ISS.>
FOCUS experiment (FOam Casting and Utilization in Space) is an industrial materials science experiment to investigate foam formation and stability in microgravity. The experiment has been launched on the 36P flight and was performed in the beginning of February 2010.
During the experiment high resolution pictures were taken of some foam columns. These pictures provide data about the cell size and the volume evolution of the foam in time. Because foam generation is quite dependent on gravity, the scientists expect interesting results from this experiment.
KUBIK Drawer (KID)
The KUBIK Drawer (KID) allows KUBIK incubator to be operated inside of the Columbus module, in the European Drawer Rack (EDR). The KUBIK facility is a transportable incubator designed for biological experiments in space. Additionally, a centrifuge insert permits simultaneous 1.g control samples to be run in parallel with microgravity samples. Operations with this EDR/KUBIK setup will require close collaboration between Erasmus USOC responsible for EDR and BIOTESC acting as facility responsible center for KUBIK. Commissioning campaign took place spring/summertime 2010. PADIAC was the first experiment operated in KUBIK Drawer beginning of October, followed by the SPHINX experiment lasting for almost entire November 2010, with 24/7 operations.
The FASTER (“Facility for Absorption and Surface Tension”) experiment is a Capillarity Pressure Tensiometer developed for the study of the links between emulsion stability and physico-chemical characteristics of droplet interfaces. The FASTER experiment will be integrated on orbit into the European Drawer Rack (EDR) inside the Columbus module. Operations will be supported by Erasmus USOC together with MARS Center acting as Facility Support Center for FASTER facility.
The European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) was the external facility comprising the Data Handling and Power Unit for the nine instruments on it.
The experiments performed with the instruments range from material-degradation study with the MEDET unit to the Plasma research done by PLEGPAY. As the Erasmus USOC was the FRC for EuTEF, all operations done with EuTEF or the instruments were coordinated by the Erasmus USOC, together with other partners.
EuTEF was operational from February 2008 until September 2009, it has been dismounted from the Columbus Module and brought back to Earth with the STS128-17A flight. EuTEF flight model is currently dismounted and sent back to the developer and its instruments to the scientists for post flight investigation.
The nine experiments accommodated by EuTEF were:
- TRIBOLAB, a test bed for Tribology properties of materials in space
- PLEGPAY, a Plasma Electron Gun; Payload for studies of plasma discharge in orbit
- MEDET, a Material Exposure and Degradation Experiment in space
- DEBIE-2, for Micrometeoroid and orbital debris detection studies
- FIPEX, a Flux Probe Experiment, with an atomic oxygen detector
- EXPOSE, for photobiology and exobiology research
- DOSTEL, a Dosimetric radiation Telescope for radiation measurements
- EUTEFMP, a temperature measurement instrument used during unpowered transport from Shuttle to Columbus
- EVC, an Earth Viewing Camera used for capturing images of Earth
Last update: 11 April 2011