1996-07-01

Modeling Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) Thermal Performance in the Space Shuttle Middeck 961362

A study was performed at NASA's Ames Research Center to determine if it were possible to accurately predict temperatures inside the Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) when flown in the Space Shuttle Middeck. The investigation considered flight data from 16 AEMs distributed over 9 missions for a total of 20 individual data points. Preliminary results indicate that accurate prediction of AEM internal temperature as a function of Shuttle Middeck ambient temperature is infeasible due to the large number of variables present in the Shuttle Middeck environment. It was determined that Ground Control AEMs for future missions would be operated outside the Orbital Environment Simulator (OES), with temperature set to a predetermined mean based on past flight data. This procedure was validated during the recent STS-72 (NIH.R3) mission. The continued success of this procedure will eliminate the need for a real-time downlink capability to support Ground Controls, free valuable bandwidth, and provide for more accurate and reliable AEM Ground Control temperatures.

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