Ryutai Experiment Rack (Ryutai) - 08.20.14
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Ryutai Experiment Rack (Ryutai) which means “fluid,” is a multipurpose payload rack system that includes a Fluid Physics Experiment Facility, Solution Crystallization Observation Facility, Protein Crystallization Research Facility, and image processing.
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OpNom: RYUTAI RACK
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, , Japan
Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - October 2015
Previous ISS Missions
Ryutai provides simple standard interfaces to accommodate modular-type payloads in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), Kibo, on board the International Space Station (ISS). This facility will provide the necessary interfaces to operate four sub-rack facilities.
Ryutai is housed in an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR), a refrigerator-size container that acts as the exterior shell. The rack can be divided into several segments, as large as half the entire rack or as small as a breadbox. This concept provides the capability for a simple and shortened integration of sub-rack facilities and experiments.
Ryutai will support the following JAXA sub-rack facilities:
Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) will investigate fluid physics phenomena in microgravity.
Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) is equipped with several microscopes to simultaneously measure changes in morphology and growth conditions (temperature and concentration) of crystals.
Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) controls peltier elements (acts as a heat pump) which provide temperature profiles suitable for target proteins.
Image Processing Unit (IPU) receives image data from various sub-rack facilities, encodes the data then transfers the encoded data to system lines.
Ryutai Experiment Rack (Ryutai) utilizes standardized hardware interfaces and streamlined approach, which enables quick, simple integration of multiple sub-rack facilities aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Ryutai is housed in an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR), a refrigerator-size container that acts as the exterior shell. Each rack can be divided into several segments; as large as half the entire rack or as small as a breadbox. Sub-rack facilities within Ryutai can operate independently of each other, allowing for differences in temperature, power levels and schedules. Ryutai provides stowage, power, data, command and control, video, water cooling, air cooling, gas exhaust, and argon, nitrogen supply to the sub-rack facilities.
Ryutai is scheduled for launch to the ISS in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Experiment Logistics Module (ELM) on STS-123/1J/A. Prior to operations, Ryutai will be transferred to the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (PM), Kibo, after the JEM-PM is launched on STS-124/1J and attached to the ISS. Sub-rack facilities contained within Ryutai may be controlled by the ISS crew or remotely by the Ryutai Rack Officer on-duty at the User Operations Area in the Space Station Integration and Promotion Center. Linked by computer to all payload racks aboard the ISS, the Rack Officer routinely checks rack integrity, temperature control and the proper working conditions of ISS research payloads. Ryutai will be transported to the ISS in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Experiment Logistics Module (ELM) aboard the Space Shuttle, STS-123/1J/A. Once the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (PM) is attached to the ISS, Ryutai will be transferred by the crew to a rack location inside the Kibo. Once the rack is installed and checked out, the rack will be ready for sub-rack facility operations and will be operated as the science is scheduled.
Transported inside the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Experiment Logistics Module (ELM) to orbit with sub-rack facilities.
Checkout of Ryutai is performed following transfer and installation into the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (PM), Kibo, on the ISS.
Ground Based Results Publications
Ryutai Rack, image courtesy of JAXA.
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NASA Image: ISS018E044235 - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 18/19 flight engineer, works on an experiment at the Ryutai fluid science experiment rack in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.
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NASA Image: ISS020E017050 - Documentation of setup of the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) for the planned MS (Marangoni Surface) experiment in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). Photo taken by the Expedition 20 crew.
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