The International Space Station (ISS) uses General Luminaire Assemblies (GLAs) that house fluorescent lamps for illuminating the astronauts' working and living environments. Solid-state light emitting diodes (LEDs) are attractive candidates for replacing the GLAs on the ISS. The advantages of LEDs over conventional fluorescent light sources include lower up-mass, power consumption and heat generation, as well as fewer toxic materials, greater resistance to damage and long lamp life. A prototype Solid-State Lighting Assembly (SSLA) was developed and successfully installed on the ISS. The broad aim of the ongoing work is to test light emitted by prototype SSLAs for supporting astronaut vision and assessing neuroendocrine, circadian, neurobehavioral and sleep effects. Three completed ground-based studies are presented here including experiments on visual performance, color discrimination, and acute plasma melatonin suppression in cohorts of healthy, human subjects under different SSLA light exposure conditions within a high-fidelity replica of the ISS Crew Quarters (CQ). All visual tests were done under indirect daylight at 201 lx, fluorescent room light at 531 lx and 4870 K SSLA light in the CQ at 1266 lx. Visual performance was assessed with numerical verification tests (NVT). NVT data show that there are no significant differences in score (F=0.73, p=0.48) or time (F=0.14, p=0.87) for subjects performing five contrast tests (10%–100%). Color discrimination was assessed with Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue tests (FM-100). The FM-100 data showed no significant differences (F=0.01, p=0.99) in color discrimination for indirect daylight, fluorescent room light and 4870 K SSLA light in the CQ. Plasma melatonin suppression data show that there are significant differences (F=29.61, p<0.0001) across the percent change scores of plasma melatonin for five corneal irradiances, ranging from 0 to 405 μW/cm2 of 4870 K SSLA light in the CQ (0–1270 lx). Risk factors for the health and safety of astronauts include disturbed circadian rhythms and altered sleep–wake patterns. These studies will help determine if SSLA lighting can be used both to support astronaut vision and serve as an in-flight countermeasure for circadian desynchrony, sleep disruption and cognitive performance deficits on the ISS.
To date, the International Space Station (ISS) has been one of the largest objects flown in lower earth orbit (LEO). The ISS utilizes high voltage solar arrays (160V) that are negatively grounded leading to pressurized elements that can float negatively with respect to the plasma. Because laboratory measurements indicate a dielectric breakdown potential difference of 80V, arcing could occur on the ISS structure. To overcome the possibility of arcing and clamp the potential of the structure, two Plasma Contactor Units (PCUs) were designed, built, and flown. Also a limited amount of measurements of the floating potential for the present ISS configuration were made by a Floating Potential Probe (FPP), indicating a minimum potential of –24 Volts at the measurement location. A predictive tool, the ISS Plasma Interaction Model (PIM) has been developed accounting for the solar array electron collection, solar array mast wire and effective conductive area on the structure. The model has been used for predictions of the present ISS configuration. The conductive area has been inferred based on available floating potential measurements. Analysis of FPP and PCU data indicated distribution of the conductive area along the Russian segment of the ISS structure. A significant input to PIM is the plasma environment. The International Reference Ionosphere (IRI 2001) was initially used to obtain plasma temperature and density values. However, IRI provides mean parameters, leading to difficulties in interpretation of on-orbit data, especially at eclipse exit where maximum charging can occur. This limits our predicative capability. Satellite and Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) data of plasma parameters have also been collected. Approximately 130,000 electron temperature (Te) and density (Ne) pairs for typical ISS eclipse exit conditions have been extracted from the reduced Langmuir probe data flown aboard the NASA DE-2 satellite. Additionally, another 18,000 Te and Ne pairs of ISR data from several radar locations around the globe were used to assure consistency of the satellite data. PIM predictions for ISS charging made with this data correlated very well with FPP data, indicating that the general physics of spacecraft charging with high voltage solar arrays have been captured. The predictions also provided the probabilities of occurrences for ISS charging. These probabilities give a numerical measure of the number of times when the ISS will approach or exceed the vehicle plasma hazard conditions for each configuration. In this paper we shall present the interaction mechanisms between the ISS and the surrounding plasma and give an overview of the PIM components. PIM predictions are compared with available data followed by a discussion of the variability of plasma parameters and the conductive area on the ISS. The ISS PIM will be further tested and verified as data from the Floating Potential Measurement Unit become available, and construction of the ISS continues.
Experimental investigation of the modes of operation of uncontrolled attitude motion of the Progress spacecraft
Results of in-flight tests of three modes of uncontrolled attitude motion of the Progress spacecraft are described. These proposed modes of experiments related to microgravity are as follows: (1) triaxial gravitational orientation, (2) gravitational orientation of the rotating satellite, and (3) spin-up in the plane of the orbit around the axis of the maximum moment of inertia. The tests were carried out from May 24 to June 1, 2004 onboard the spacecraft Progress M1-11. The actual motion of this spacecraft with respect to its center of mass, in the above-mentioned modes, was determined by telemetric information about an electric current tapped off from solar batteries. The values of the current obtained during a time interval of several hours were processed jointly using the least squares method by integration of the equations of the spacecraft’s attitude motion. The processing resulted in estimation of the initial conditions of motion and of the parameters of mathematical models used. For the obtained motions the quasi-static component of microaccelerations was computed at a point onboard, where installation of experimental equipment is possible.