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Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)

Communication clip from PACE Sample Change Intro

FIR Rack from rear
FIR Rack from rear
The Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) features a large user-configurable volume for experiments. The volume resembles a laboratory optics bench. An experiment can be built up on the bench from components, or it can be attached as a self-contained package, or a combination. The FIR provides data acquisition and control, sensor interfaces, laser and white light sources, advanced imaging capabilities, power, cooling, and other resources. Astronauts can quickly mount equipment with final positioning by remote control from the FCF Telescience Support or from the Principal Investigator (PI) home institution. FIR is designed to be adaptable to nearly any kind of fluids experiment.

FIR Rack with front doors open
FIR Rack with front doors open
The FIR contains the hardware and software necessary for conducting fluid physics science experiments.  It is designed to accommodate a broad range of fluids experiments while meeting the ISS requirements and limitations related to safety, power and energy, cooling, mass, crew time, stowage, re-supply flights, and downlink.  The FIR will utilize six major subsystems to accommodate experiments.

FIR Team
FIR Team
The International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) provides the supporting and mounting elements for the FIR subsystems and mechanical connections to the Destiny Module.  The Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) enhances the microgravity environment for experiments in the FIR by attenuating on-orbit vibrations transmitted from the Destiny Module to the ISPR.  The centerpiece of the FIR structural sub-system is the optics bench. The optics bench provides a mounting surface for FIR light sources and avionics packages on the back of the bench and for payload hardware on the front of the bench. Depending on the use of the FIR diagnostics, the optics bench will be able to accommodate up to 250 kg of payload hardware.  The environmental subsystem will utilize air and water to remove heat generated by the FIR and payload hardware.  Heat rejection by payload hardware to the air on the front of the bench is nominally limited to 500 W.  The Electrical Power Control Unit (EPCU) is the heart of the electrical subsystem. All power from ISS will flow through the EPCU.  The EPCU will provide power management and control functions, as well as fault protection.  Payload hardware will have access to 120 VDC (up to 1400 W) and 28 VDC (up to 672 W) of power from the EPCU.  The FIR will provide payloads with access to the ISS gaseous nitrogen and vacuum systems through the gas interface subsystem, (Gas Interface Panel).  These systems are available to support experiment operations such as the purging of experimental test cells and pressurizing or creating flows within experimental test cells.  The FIR Command and Data Management Subsystem (CDMS) provides command and data handling for both facility and payload hardware.  The main components of the FIR CDMS are the Input Output Processor, the Image Processing and Storage Unit, the Fluids Science Avionics Package, and the Mass Data Storage Unit. In addition, the CMDS can support real-time image analysis as well as post-processing data capabilities.  The FIR cameras will offer color and black and white imaging.

Fir Environment
FIR Environment

FIR Integration
FIR Integration

FIR Optics
FIR Optics



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Project Manager:
Ron Sicker, NASA GRC

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FIR Related Documents
small acrobat icon   FIR Overview Chart
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FIR Short Overview Presentation
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The Fluids Integrated Rack and Light Microscopy Module Integrated Capabilities
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The NASA Microgravity Fluid Physics Program-Knowledge for Use on Earth and Future Space Missions
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Fluids and Combustion Facility-Fluids Integrated Rack
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Fluids and Combustion Facility: Fluids
Integrated Rack Modal Model Correlation
small acrobat icon   CIR Overview Chart
small acrobat icon   FCF Overview Chart
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FCF Short Overview Presentation
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Publications & Presentations

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Tim Reckart
NASA Official: Thomas St. Onge
Last Updated: December 22, 2011
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