Combustion Integrated Rack - Fluids and Combustion Facility (CIR) - 08.27.15

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion experiments in microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Terrence F. O'Malley, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: CIR

Facility Manager(s)
Terrence F. O'Malley, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s) Information Pending

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ISS Expedition Duration 1
April 2009 - September 2012; March 2013 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview

  • The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) provides sustained, systematic microgravity combustion research.

  • The CIR houses hardware capable of performing combustion experiments to further research of combustion in microgravity.
The Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) accommodates the unique challenges of working with fluids and combustion processes in microgravity and provides services and capabilities comparable to those found in traditional Earth-based laboratories. The FCF occupies two powered racks on the International Space Station (ISS): the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) and the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR). The FCF is a permanent modular, multiuser facility that accommodates microgravity science experiments onboard the ISS. The FCF supports sustained, systematic research in the disciplines of fluid physics and combustion science.

The CIR is used to perform combustion experiments in microgravity. The CIR can be reconfigured easily on orbit to accommodate a variety of combustion experiments. It consists of an optics bench, a combustion chamber, a fuel and oxidizer management system, environmental management systems, and interfaces for science diagnostics and experiment specific equipment. For diagnostic purposes, five different cameras are available for use by the investigator. The CIR features a 100-liter combustion chamber surrounded by optical equipment and diagnostic packages, including a gas chromatograph. Experiments are conducted by remote control from the Glenn Research Center (GRC) Telescience Support Center (TSC).

The CIR has been designed for use with the Passive Rack Isolation System (PaRIS), which connects the rack to the ISS structure using eight spring-damper isolators and a special set of umbilicals. Modeling and analysis show that the PaRIS can attenuate much of the U.S. Laboratory's vibration and provide a much quieter environment than a simple hard-mounted rack. The CIR is the only combustion research facility onboard the ISS. The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) chamber can operate at low (0.02 atm) or high (up to 3 atm) atmospheric pressures. Tools are not required to open the chamber or change or service the eight windows on the chamber. Gases are delivered through the bottles on the front of the rack. The exhaust package features a filter that can recycle the gas used or convert it to an expellable gas. The CIR can be used to explore droplet, solid fuel, and gaseous fuel combustion.

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Facility Operations

  • The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) houses several combustion experiments; different chamber inserts are used to process different experiments.

  • The CIR uses different diagnostics, experiment assemblies, and computer hardware for each experiment, which the International Space Station crewmembers set up.

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Results/More Information

Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    O'Malley TF, Sheredy WA, Stocker DP.  Combustion Research on the International Space Station. 59th International Astronautical Congress. Glasgow, Scotland; 2008 08-A2.1.07.

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Related Websites

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image The training unit with the rack doors open in Payload Development Laboratory II at Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.
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image The Combustion Integrated Rack flight unit at Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio.
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image NASA image: ISS018E35752 Sandra Magnus as she works with the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during maintenance.
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image Video screen shot of Multiuser Droplet Combustion Apparatus Flame Extinguishment Experiment (MDCA-FLEX) Ignition 1 on March 5, 2009, (GMT 64/17:21) inside the Combustion Integrated Rack. The methanol fuel droplet is being formed on the tip of a needle (droplet size approximately 2.5 mm). Image courtesy of NASA.
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image NASA Image: ISS020E029879 - European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer, works with the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.
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image NASA Image: ISS020E042207 - NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer, works with the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.
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image NASA Image: ISS027E022529 - NASA astronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 27 flight engineer, services the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Multi-user Drop Combustion Apparatus (MDCA) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.
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image NASA Image: ISS033E016630 - Image of CIR open for maintenance and cleaning during Expedition 33.
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