Image Processing Unit (IPU) - 01.09.14

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The Image Processing Unit (IPU) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility that receives, records, and downlinks experiment image data for experiment processing. The IPU is housed in the Ryutai (fluid) experiment rack with the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF), Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF), and Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF).

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

Facility Details

OpNom: IPU

Facility Manager(s)

  • Tsuyoshi Ito, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Facility Representative(s)

  • Kenji Noguchi, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Developer(s)

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, , Japan

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    April 2008 - March 2015

    Expeditions Assigned
    17,18,19/20,21/22,41/42

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

    Availability

  • Onboard
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    Facility Overview

    The Image Processing Unit (IPU) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility that is used to record and downlink images of experiments in microgravity in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), Kibo, on the International Space Station (ISS).


    The IPU is located in the Ryutai (fluid) experiment rack with the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF), Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF), and Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF).


    The Image Processing Unit (IPU) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility located in the Ryutai (fluid) rack. The IPU collects experiment data from various sources, compresses the data, and transfers it to Earth for processing.


    The IPU is housed in Ryutai, a JAXA multipurpose payload rack system that transports, stores, and supports experiments and subrack facilities aboard the International Space Station (ISS) along with the following JAXA subrack facilities.

     

    The Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) investigates fluid physics phenomena in microgravity.


    The Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) is equipped with several microscopes to measure simultaneous changes in the morphology and growth conditions (temperature and concentration) of crystals.


    The Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) controls peltier elements that provide temperature profiles suitable for target proteins.

     

    The IPU was launched to the ISS on STS-123/1J/A. It may be controlled by the ISS crew or remotely by the rack operator on duty at the User Operations Area in the Space Station Integration and Promotion Center. Linked by computer to the payloads aboard the ISS, the rack operator routinely checks payload integrity and proper working conditions for ISS research payloads. On the ground, the IPU-G operator, who is in the user operations area with the rack officer, operates the IPU-G, which is used to decode downlinked high-rate data from the IPU and distribute it to the investigators. The Ryutai was transported to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Image Processing Unit (IPU) and other subrack facilities in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Experiment Logistics Module (ELM) aboard STS-123/1J/A. When the JEM, Kibo, was attached to the ISS, Ryutai was transferred by the crew to a rack location inside the Kibo. After installation and checkout of the rack, operations began according to schedule. Checkout of the IPU was performed following activation of the Ryutai on the ISS.

     

    The IPU receives image data from experiment equipment in Kibo, encodes the data, and transfers the encoded data to the Kibo system lines. The IPU also records experiment image data on a hard disc when real-time data downlink is unavailable. The main functions of the IPU are to interface with the Kibo systems and experiment equipment, to receive and decode five channels of independent video signals simultaneously, and to record video signals on hard disc with five digital Video Record Units (VRUs) continuously (up to 12.5 hours at 17 Mbps each). The image data is downlinked to the ground via video channels and distributed to the science investigators.

     

    Operations

    Facility Operations
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    Results/More Information
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    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 Image Processing Unit (IPU), image courtesy of JAXA.
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