Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) - 01.09.14

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

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The Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/INcubator (MERLIN) incubators will store samples at temperatures -20.0 degrees C to + 48.5 degrees C.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



This content was provided by Dan Connor, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Facility Details

OpNom:

Facility Manager(s)

  • Dan Connor, University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering (CBSE), Birmingham, AL, United States
  • Facility Representative(s)
    Information Pending

    Developer(s)

    University of Alabama at Birmingham - Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, Birmingham, AL, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    ISS Expedition Duration
    October 2008 - March 2015

    Expeditions Assigned
    18,19/20,21/22,23/24,25/26,27/28,29/30,33/34,35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

    Availability
    Information Pending

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    Facility Overview

    • Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) provides a single middeck locker-sized EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Rack compatible freezer/refrigerator or incubator that can be used for a variety of experiments. Temperature range for MERLIN is -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F) to + 48.5 degrees C (+119 degrees F).


    • MERLIN is part of the Cold Stowage Fleet of hardware which includes Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) and General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER), Coldbag and GN Dewar.
    Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) is a rear-breathing Middeck Locker (MDL) replacement incubator that provides a thermally controlled environment for scientific experiments in the International Space Station (ISS) EXPRESS Rack, the Middeck of the Space Shuttle, or a SPACEHAB module. With the capability of being operated on Shuttle and ISS, MERLIN provides cold stowage transport for samples to and from the ISS as well as On-Orbit operations on the ISS.

    MERLIN can be operated as a freezer or refrigerator or incubator aboard the ISS. Cooling is accomplished via thermoelectric elements (creation of a heat difference from an electric voltage). MERLIN is capable of providing temperatures as cold as -20 degrees C while operating with ISS water cooling or -10 degrees C while operating with ISS air cooling. The experiment volume can be maintained to temperatures within the range of -20.0 degrees C (-4 degrees F) to + 48.5 degrees C (+119 degrees F) with a tolerance of +/-0.5 degrees C using either a set point or programmable temperature profile. It is designed to operate with minimal crew interaction by most of the controls being commanded from the ground.

    The structural design of MERLIN allows for the internal volume of approximately 2 ft3. The outer box structure is composed of aluminum with the dimensions of 0.75 in. x 18.125 in. x 20.56 in. The top, bottom, right and left covers mount to the rear and front panel. Internal Power and data connections are available for Users if required. Tool guides for installing the MERLIN into the Shuttle and EXPRESS Rack are provided along each corner of the unit. MERLIN will be activated, using battery power, prior to loading onto the Space Shuttle. Once onboard the Space Shuttle, it is connected to power supplied from the vehicle. MERLIN will be deactivated briefly for transfer to ISS where it will be connected to a power source once onboard. Depending on the types of samples that are placed into MERLIN, it will be used as a refrigerator, freezer or incubator with temperature capabilities of -20.0 degrees C (-4 degrees F) to + 48.5 degrees C (+119 degrees F). The crew will perform maintenance and routine checks of the hardware. MERLIN can also be monitored and commanded from the ground.

    Operations

    Facility Operations

    • MERLIN will be activated, using battery power, prior to loading onto the Space Shuttle. Once onboard the Space Shuttle, it is connected to power supplied from the vehicle. MERLIN will be deactivated briefly for transfer to ISS where it will be connected to a power source once onboard. Depending on the types of samples that are placed into MERLIN, it will be used as a refrigerator, freezer or incubator with temperature capabilities of -20.0C (-4F) to + 48.5C (+119F). The crew will perform maintenance and routine checks of the hardware. MERLIN can also be monitored and commanded from the ground.

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    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    image MERLIN is a single middeck locker sized facility that can be used as a freezer, refrigerator, or an incubator.
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    image This image shows seven MERLIN units that will be used to transport samples to and from the International Space Station by Space Shuttle.
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    image NASA Image: S123E008721 - Dominic Gorie,STS-123 commander,poses in the forward middeck on Space Shuttle Endeavor, in front of the Microgravity Experiment Research Locker INcubator (MERLIN) during STS-123/1J/A Expedition 16 during joint operations.
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    image NASA Image: S118E06151 - View of STS-118 Mission Specialist, Barbara R. Morgan, working to transfer the Streptococcus Pneumoniae Expression of Genes in Space (SPEGIS) experiment from the Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/INcubator (MERLIN) during STS-123/1J/A Expedition 16 during joint operations.
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    image NASA Image: S123E008807 - View MERLIN on STS-123.
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