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Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR)

CIR Status

Communication clip from the intro about CIR (Mike Fossum on

Communication clip from the CIR Bottle Replace intro (Astronaut Dan
Burbank on 12/14/2011)

CIR Rack with bench rotated
Astronaut Michael Barratt works on the Combustion Integrated Rack installing new fuel reservoirs and a fiber kit. (9/26/2009)

September 30, 2009- The FCF’s Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) had critical resupplies launched and transported to the ISS on the maiden flight of JAXA’s HTV-1 Demonstration Flight. The resupply hardware consisting of new fuel reservoirs, bottles and a fiber kit were within days removed from the HTV and installed by Astronaut Michael Barratt into the CIR to continue science operations. The HTV also transported additional hardware for the Fluids Integrated Rack that was launched on STS-128 in August and installed by the shuttle astronauts. (Contact: Robert Corban 433-6642)

August 21, 2009 - MDCA has been installed into the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) on the ISS and has completed its calibration testing.  Science burns were initiated in April 2009 for the FLEX set of experiments.  As of August 2009, a set of approximately 20 burns have been performed.  Science operations were suspended while reinstall of boot parameters were required for the MDCA Avionics Box.  Science operations (burns) will resume following STS-128.


CIR Rack Installation on the ISS

The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) features a 100-liter combustion chamber surrounded by optical and other diagnostic packages including a gas chromatograph. Experiments are conducted in the chamber by remote control from the Telescience Support Center (TSC) or the Principal Investigator's (PI's) home institution. The CIR is the only rack on ISS dedicated to combustion experimentation.

The CIR provides up to 90% of the required hardware to perform a majority of future microgravity combustion experiments on board the ISS.  The remaining 10+% of hardware will be provided by the PI hardware development teams.  PI-specific hardware, such as MDCA will be launched separately from the CIR and integrated with the CIR on orbit.  A significant amount of PI hardware is expected to be reused for follow-on experiments.

* View a Slideshow of the CIR KSC Integration Activities *

CIR Rack
CIR Rack
The CIR consists of the following major subsystems and components:  International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR);  Passive Rack Isolation Subsystem (PaRIS);  Optics Bench on slides that tilts out of the ISPR;  Combustion Chamber with replaceable windows;  Fuel and Oxidizer Management Assembly (FOMA), including a gas supply package, exhaust vent system and gas chromatograph;  Modular, replaceable Science Diagnostics; Environmental Control Subsystems, including water thermal control, air thermal control, fire detection/suppression and gas interfaces;  Electrical Power Subsystem;  Avionics Subsystems, including the CIR main computer (Input/Output Package), image processing and storage units, FOMA control unit and Station Support Computer;  Flight and Ground Software;  Interfaces for replaceable, Experiment-Specific Equipment.

CIR Rack Populated
CIR Rack populated
The CIR design allows different experiment packages within the combustion chamber to be removed, replaced or upgraded.  Modular diagnostics are mounted on the optics bench and are easily repositioned.  Five standard diagnostic packages, constructed from modular elements, are planned as initial diagnostic capabilities for the CIR.  These are a High Bit Depth/Multispectral Imaging Package (HiBMs), a High Frame Rate/High Resolution (HFR/HR) Package, two Low Light Level Camera Packages, and an Illumination Package.

CIR Rack with bench rotated
CIR Rack with bench rotated
The CIR and associated ground systems will offer the Principal Investigators the opportunity to participate in the conduct of their experiment on-board the ISS through remote operation and observation.  Once a test point has been completed, the PI can assess the results and provide information for changes to the test matrix.  Ground systems will also enable scientists to interact with researchers at other locations.

CIR Assembly

CIR Assembly

CIR Environment

CIR Enviorment

CIR Integration

CIR Integration



Contacts at NASA Glenn Research Center
Project Manager:
Terence O’Malley, NASA GRC


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CIR Related Documents
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CIR Overview Chart
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CIR Short Overview Presentation
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FIR Overview Chart
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FCF Short Overview Presentation
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Tim Reckart
NASA Official: Thomas St. Onge
Last Updated: September 30, 2013
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