NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-B6.02-9153 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 033852)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Flight Payload Logistics, Integration, Processing, and Crew Activities
PROPOSAL TITLE:Generic ISIS Transport Module

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corp
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison ,WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827 - 5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffery T.  Iverson
Orbital Technologies Corporation, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison ,WI  53717 -1961
(608) 827 - 5000
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

The purpose of the Generic ISIS Transport Module is to provide a means to bring living specimens to and from orbit. In addition to living specimens, the module can be used to carry subpayloads that require precise environmental control or continuous data recording. In order to maximize the amount of science for a given mission, many biological experiments require initiation while still on the ground. In these types of experiments, it is imperative that the specimens are housed in a very precisely controlled and accurately quantified environment. The GITM has the ability to control temperature, humidity, light level, fluid level, air circulation and air exchange rate with cabin. Sensors and cameras continuously monitor the contents of the chamber and have the ability to record images. The module meets both the Single Middeck Locker interface as well as the ISIS 6 Panel Unit Interface. By meeting both interfaces, specimens within the module can be launched/returned with power on the Space Shuttle Middeck and transferred to the ISS where it interfaces with the Life Sciences Glovebox. Specimens can then be transferred to the long duration test facility for the remainder of the experiment without direct exposure to the crew.

The GITM will enable better utilization of existing payloads and significantly decrease the amount of overall mass launched to orbit. By using GITM, which is smaller and lighter, for the transportation of the specimens, the long duration specimen facility can remain on-orbit. In addition to saving the weight of the larger payloads, the spares and science equipment weight is also saved. For those payloads limited to unpowered interfaces during launch and landing, GITM provides the extra science capability to initiate experiments using living specimens prior to launch. This functionality additionally extends the science capability by returning live specimens after experimentation.

GITM provides increased utilization of science and biological experiments by improving efficiency, environmental control and test length. Commercially, there are a limited number of products available with the ability to control the range of parameters offered by GITM. Immediate application as a testing chamber would exist in the biological research market, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology for seed preparation, tissue culture growth, and plant or drug development. The self-contained unit could also be adapted into a portable biological specimen transfer system as a viable alternative to current environmentally-controlled shipping containers or truck transportation.