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Technical Paper

Columbus Launch Preparation - Final System ATCS Tests Summary and Lessons Learned

Final preparation and configuration of the Columbus module at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) required the performance of system level tests with the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS). These tests represented the very last system level activities having been concluded on the Columbus module before handover to NASA for space shuttle integration. Those very last tests, performed with the ATCS comprised the final ATCS Leakage Test, the final calibration and adjustment of the Water Flow Selection Valves (WFSV) and Water On/Off Valves (WOOV) as well as a sophisticated ATCS Residual Air Removal test. The above listed tests have been successfully performed and test data evaluated for verification closeout as well as input delivery for operational Flight Rules and Procedures. Some of the above mentioned tests have been performed the first time hence, a succeeding lessons learned collection followed in order to improve the perspectives of future tests.
Technical Paper

Columbus Active Thermal Control System - Final Integration, Test and Mission Preparation

Columbus has been delivered to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in summer 2006 for final integration, test and mission preparation. In the frame of these “last” phase activities also the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) had to be finalized and prepared for the launch resp. mission. Due to unexpected late failures resp. malfunctions detected on component/unit level of the ATCS, refurbishment, integration / exchange of the relevant components and re-testing of their system level functions had to be done. Moreover, the still outstanding system level fluid leakage test of the ATCS had to be revised and completed. In addition to the required late refurbishment, integration and test activities, in certain cases also operational workarounds had to be evaluated. They should help to cope with similar contingency situations during operation of the ATCS on-orbit.
Technical Paper

Columbus Environmental Control System Tests - Verification of ATCS and ECLSS Performance

Verification of the Integrated Overall Thermal Mathematical Model (IOTMM) is one of the last tasks in the thermal and environmental control area of the Columbus module. For this purpose a specific test covering as well thermal-hydraulic performance tests as Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) cabin temperature control functions has been defined and performed on the european Columbus Protoflight Model (PFM) in Bremen in 2003. This Environmental Control System test was successful for all Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) related thermal-hydraulic functions and could provide sufficient data for a proper IOTMM correlation. However, it failed to verify the ECLS related functions as cabin temperature control and ventilation. Data, which have been generated during this first test, could not be used for a successful IOTMM correlation related to ECLS subsystem performance and modelling.
Technical Paper

The Refrigerator/Freezer Rack (RFR)

EADS SPACE Transportation has developed and qualified under ESA contract the Refrigerator/Freezer Rack (RFR) for use by NASA on-board the ISS. This paper will present a general overview of the RFR system design, the qualification test results and an outlook to potential future usage of the RFR.
Technical Paper

MELFI Cooling Performance Characterization and Verification

The Minus Eighty (Degrees Celsius) Laboratory Freezer for the International Space Station (MELFI) is one of the freezers developed by ESA on behalf of NASA. Peculiar requirements for that facility are the long-term storage at low temperature, the rapid freezing of specimen to the required temperature, the large cold volume (300 l) and the low power consumption. To verify those requirements before the manufacturing of the flight hardware, a dedicated test campaign was performed on a ground model. This paper will start with a system overview, showing the main features of MELFI. The test set-up as well as their results will be presented and discussed, with particular emphasis on the methods used to predict the on-orbit (0-gravity) behaviour, by avoiding the sample internal convection and dewar internal convection during the test execution.