Capabilities

Capabilities

MSL provides capabilities for:

  • processing of Sample Cartridge Assemblies (leak-tight containers for material samples, sensors and stimuli)
  • The SCA houses a sealed sample ampoule, or crucible, containing the sample to be processed. It also contains instrumentation for temperature measurement and cartridge integrity monitoring.
  • SCAs can be processed in two different furnaces: A Low Gradiant Furnace (LGF) and a Solidification and Quench Furnace (SQF). Maximum temperature in both furnaces is 1400 °C.
  • Exchange of Furnace Inserts on orbit.
  • Precise experiment control, in particular concerning temperature profiles and growth speed.
    • Solid State Power Control Module for power conversion, conditioning, and distribution.
    • Master Controller provides command and control capability.
    • Thermal and Environmental Control System provides cooling and fire detection  and suppression.
    • Vacuum Access System provides access to the ISS Vacuum System
    • Rack Power Switch (RPS): A single switch to remove all power from the rack
  • Various experiment diagnostics and stimuli
    • Video Box provides signal switching conversion and downlink capability.
    • Crew Interface Port for connecting a portable computer.
    • Active Rack Isolation System attenuates vibratory disturbances between the rack and the ISS structure.
  • Cage: Structure provided for mounting hardware in the left side of the rack.