Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) - 11.22.16
Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility, located in the Ryutai (fluid) Rack, which will investigate morphology and growth of crystals. The SCOF is equipped with several microscopes to simultaneously measure changes in morphology and growth conditions (temperature and concentration) of crystals. The SCOF has an amplitude modulation (AM) microscope and is equipped with two wavelength interference microscopes to simultaneously measure changes in morphology and growth conditions. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Facility Details
Tsuyoshi Ito, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Kenji Noguchi, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, Japan
Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - March 2010; September 2014 - March 2015
SCOF is housed in Ryutai, a JAXA multipurpose payload rack used to transport, store and support experiments and subrack facilities aboard the International Space Station (ISS), along with the following JAXA subrack facilities:
- Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) supports investigations of fluid physics phenomena in microgravity.
- Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) controls peltier elements (act as a heat pump) which provide temperature profiles suitable for target proteins.
- Image Processing Unit (IPU) receives image data from various subrack facilities and encodes the data, then transfers the encoded data to system lines.
SCOF supports telescience operation by monitoring growing crystals. Experiment parameters can be changed by sending commands from Earth. Researchers can freely design experiment unique cartridges. Interfaces for temperature control and measurement, pressure control and measurement, control of the cell stage, evacuation, and nitrogen gas supply are available. A Mach-Zehnder (MZ) interference microscope enables precise measurements of growth conditions. The MZ interference microscope employs two wavelength light sources and can simultaneously measure distributions of temperature and concentration in a solution. The amplitude modulation, polarizing, and bright-field microscopes can observe crystal shapes, surfaces, etc. Cell cartridges are available with standard dimensions of 220 mm in diameter and 65 mm in height, with temperature controls from -10 to 220 degrees C, pressure control from 1 to 147 MPa and atmosphere control (vacuum or nitrogen gas supply) are available.
SCOF may be controlled by the ISS crew or remotely by the Ryutai Rack Operator on-duty at the User Operations Area in the Space Station Integration and Promotion Center. The Rack Operator routinely checks payload integrity, temperature control and the proper working conditions of ISS research payloads.
Decadal Survey Recommendations
Information Pending^ back to top
Information PendingResults Publications
Ground Based Results Publications
Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF), image courtesy of JAXA.
+ View Larger Image