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Scientists and payload developers can get more information on International Space Station research facilities by contacting the ISS Payloads Office or at 281-244-6187.

Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN)
12.05.12

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Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Facility Overview

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

Brief Facility Summary

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

Facility Manager(s)

  • Dan Connor, University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering (CBSE), Birmingham, AL, United States
  • Co-Facility Manager(s)

    Information Pending

    Facility Developer(s)

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

    Sponsoring Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Expeditions Assigned

    18,19/20,21/22,23/24,25/26,27/28,29/30

    Previous ISS Missions

    Information Pending

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    Facility Description

    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.

    Description

    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.

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    Operations

    Facility Operations

    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Availability

  • Onboard ISS
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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
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009—MERLIN
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009—MERLIN
  • Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering
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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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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.