Incubator Designs for Space Flight Application Optimization and Automation 1999-01-2177
Spaceflight life sciences research typically requires accurately controlled thermal environments to help isolate the effects of gravity on the development of living organisms or biochemical reactions. Given the power, mass and volume constraints of spaceflight experimental hardware, highly efficient temperature control is necessary to provide scientists with adequate tools for their research. The main focus is on 3 incubators, designed by the authors, for commercial space biotechnology research. While the simplest incubator allows for highly accurate temperature control above ambient only, the more sophisticated units use temperature-controlled liquid circulation systems for above and below ambient temperature control. The latest design variation provides eight individually controlled sample containers, where temperatures can be maintained constant or profiled for automated experiment initiation and termination, or preservation of samples on orbit.