A proof-of-concept study was done to determine whether an electronic nose developed for air quality monitoring at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) could be used to distinguish between the odors of organ and tumor tissues, with an eye to using such a device as one of several modes in multi-modal imaging and tumor differentiation during surgery. Hypothesis We hypothesized that the JPL electronic nose (ENose) would be able to distinguish between the odors of various organ and tumor tissues. Materials and methods The odor signatures, or array response, of two organs, chicken heart and chicken liver, and cultured glioblastoma and melanoma tumor cell lines were recorded using the JPL Electronic Nose. The overall array responses were compared to determine whether they were sufficiently different to allow the organs and cell lines to be identified by their array responses. Results The ENose was able to distinguish between the two types of organ tissue and between the two types of tumor cell lines. The variation in array response for the organ tissues was 19% and between the two types of cultured cell lines was 22%. Conclusion This study shows that it is possible to use an electronic nose to distinguish between two types of tumor cells and between two types of organ tissue. As we conducted the experiment with a sensor array built for air quality monitoring rather than for medical purposes, it may be possible to select an array that is optimized to distinguish between different types of cells and organ tissues. Further focused studies are needed to investigate the odor signatures of different cells as well as cellular proliferation, growth, differentiation and infiltration.
The objective of the Synthetic Imaging Formation Flying Testbed (SIFFT) is to develop and demonstrate algorithms for autonomous centimeter-level precision formation flying. Preliminary tests have been conducted on SIFFT at the Flat Floor facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The goal of the testing at MSFC was to demonstrate formation reconfiguration of three "apertures" by rotation and expansion. Results were very successful and demonstrate the ability to position and reconfigure separate apertures. The final configuration was with three satellites floating in an equilateral triangle. The two Follower satellites expand the formation with respect to the Master satellite, which executes a 10° rotation. Testing was performed successfully under various initial conditions: initial Follower rotation, initial Follower drift, and initial significant position error of each Follower. Results show roughly 10cm steady state error and ±5cm precision. Formation capturing technique, where satellites search for each other without prior knowledge of the position of the other satellites, were also developed and demonstrated both on the 2D flat table and in the 3D International Space Station environment. Future work includes using a minimum set of beacons for estimation and implementing a search algorithm so satellites can acquire each other from any initial orientation.
Since 2006 the SPHERES facility aboard the International Space Station has enabled research of high-risk autonomy algorithms which would not otherwise be conducted in a regular space mission. A thread of research with several demonstrations aboard the ISS is Collision Avoidance. Through two SPHERES test sessions over the course of a year, researchers have developed an efficient autonomous collision avoidance controller, deployed it on a representative microprocessor, and demonstrated its effectiveness as a reliable low-level safetey routine.
Rapid culture-independent microbial analysis aboard the international space station (ISS) stage two: quantifying three microbial biomarkers
Abstract A portable, rapid, microbial detection unit, the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS), was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) as a technology demonstration unit in December 2006. Results from the first series of experiments designed to detect Gram-negative bacteria on ISS surfaces by quantifying a single microbial biomarker lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were reported in a previous article. Herein, we report additional technology demonstration experiments expanding the on-orbit capabilities of the LOCAD-PTS to detecting three different microbial biomarkers on ISS surfaces. Six different astronauts on more than 20 occasions participated in these experiments, which were designed to test the new beta-glucan (fungal cell wall molecule) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA; Gram-positive bacterial cell wall component) cartridges individually and in tandem with the existing Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL; Gram-negative bacterial LPS detection) cartridges. Additionally, we conducted the sampling side by side with the standard culture-based detection method currently used on the ISS. Therefore, we present data on the distribution of three microbial biomarkers collected from various surfaces in every module present on the ISS at the time of sampling. In accordance with our previous experiments, we determined that spacecraft surfaces known to be frequently in contact with crew members demonstrated higher values of all three microbial molecules. Key Words: Planetary protection-Spaceflight-Microbiology-Biosensor. Astrobiology 12, 830-840.
The set of materials interactions with the space flight environment that have produced the largest impacts on the verification and acceptance of flight hardware and on flight operations of the International Space Station (ISS) Program during the May 2000 to May 2002 time frame are described in this paper. In-flight data, flight crew observations, and the results of ground-based test and analysis directly supporting programmatic and operational decision-making are reported.
The ionizing radiation environment on the International Space Station: performance vs. expectations for avionics and materials
The role of structural shielding mass in the design, verification, and in-flight performance of International Space Station (ISS), in both the natural and induced orbital ionizing radiation (IR) environments, is reported.
CIB: An Improved Communication Architecture for Real-Time Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Instruments, and Sensors on the ISS
The Communications Interface Board (CIB) is an improved communications architecture that was demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS). ISS communication interfaces allowing for real-time telemetry and health monitoring require a significant amount of development. The CIB simplifies the communications interface to the ISS for real-time health monitoring, telemetry, and control of resident sensors or experiments. With a simpler interface available to the telemetry bus, more sensors or experiments may be flown. The CIB accomplishes this by acting as a bridge between the ISS MIL-STD-1553 low-rate telemetry (LRT) bus and the sensors allowing for two-way command and telemetry data transfer. The CIB was designed to be highly reliable and radiation hard for an extended flight in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has been proven with over 40 months of flight operation on the outside of ISS supporting two sets of flight experiments. Since the CIB is currently operating in flight on the ISS, recent results of operations will be provided. Additionally, as a vehicle health monitoring enabling technology, an overview and results from two experiments enabled by the CIB will be provided. Future applications for vehicle health monitoring utilizing the CIB architecture will also be discussed.
ABSTRACT: For any modular spacecraft design that allows for reconfiguration once in orbit, there is a need for an interface that acts as a common connection between the modules. The interface must provide autonomous docking, undocking and communication, in addition to transferring mechanical, electrical and thermal loads through each of the modules. This study focuses on the requirements and design of an interface developed as part of the SWARM spacecraft test bed at MIT. The key features include its simple, compact and universal design. It also houses the metrology subsystem and allows for autonomous docking and reconfiguration of the modular components.
Extension of the operational life of the International Space Station is now decided. However most of the ISS’s partners are asked from their governments to lower the operation cost while maintaining the value of the missions on the ISS. There are many tasks to be done on the space station. However, in order to improve the value of the space station per the operation cost, Space robots which will support or work instead of astronauts will be required. In the near future, construction of the solar power satellite whose size will be as large as a few km by a few km will begin. This must be tasks of robots. Currently there are several types of robots on the International Space Station. Those are suitable to handle the massive payload such as the space station’s module. However those robot arms are not suitable to handle equipments and tools which are designed to be operated by astronaut. Therefore JAXA is developing the astronaut support robot named astrobot (Astronaut + Robot) and its precursor named REX-J which is an acronym of the Robot Experiments on the ISS/JEM. Mission of the REX-J is to demonstrate some key technologies which are essential to develop the astronaut support robots. The key technologies are: (1) Manipulation capability such as handling equipments and tools to repair the malfunctioned equipments, and the robotics capability to prepare woks to be conducted on the ISS. (2) Locomotion capability. To work with or instead of an astronaut, the robot needs to be able to moves around / inside the space facility, e.g. a space station and need to conduct tasks like an astronaut. The Astrobot and REX-J’s locomotion capability is realized by an extendable robot arm and tethers. Tethers will be anchored to a handrail or other suitable anchoring points using an extendable robot arm. This unique mechanism of the proposed robot makes it possible to realize the robot in a small volume while the robot can move around the wide area. In order to demonstrate usefulness of this unique robot, an onboard experiment on the exposed facility of the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module, “KIBO” will be conducted in the year 2012. Development of the experiment system is progressing now. At the conference, development status and experiment plan of the REX-J will be presented.
Development of an astronaut support robot and its precursor REX-J, to be tested on the International Space Station
A unique space robot is being developed by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). Name of the robot is REX-J (Robot Experiment on ISS/JEM) and its mission is to evaluate technologies needed to realize the Astronaut Support Robot (Astrobot) and the next generation space robots (NGSR). Uniqueness of the robot is its locomotion method which is based on tethers. The robot is floated by tethers whose ends are attached to the robot and the other ends are attached to hand rails on the space station. The robot can change its location by changing lengths of each tether. The robot can also change its area to move by changing location of the tether’s end positions. Location of tether’s end position can be changed using the extendable robot arm. This unique robot arm is based on the Storable Tubular Extendable Member (STEM) which is widely used for years as deployable satellite antenna and whose mechanism makes the arm compact. At the time of the i-SAIRAS 2012 symposium, REX-J will be already launched and the initial check out will be conducted. However at the time when this paper is being prepared, REX-J is not yet launched. Therefore, this paper introduces development results and the on-orbit experiment plan.