AMES Lab

Overview:

To develop a real-world applciation for the CubeLab bus, the SSL is working with the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) to develop a CubeLab standard bus which is capable of providing an interface between the NanoRacks Platform and ARC’s freeflying satellite payload, MisST.

MisST and the CubeLab Standard:

The SSL has developed a system capable of taking the place of a ground station to “command” the AMES MisST payload and store experimental data to an SD card.  In order to accomplish this, the system commanding the payload has to be able to write to the SD card using a FAT file system.  The SSL chose to use an 8051 with the FATFS files system to accomplish this task.  The CubeSat standard bus shares an SD card between the NanoRack interface and the 8051 file system.  This allows astronauts to retrieve data on the SD card using a USB port on the front of the NanoRacks platform without interrupting the data retrieval processes from the payload as mentioned previously.

Configuration of AMES Lab in orbit

Configuration of AMES Lab in orbit

MisST Payload: 

MisST is a 2-color fluorescent imaging system for space biology applications.  It will image labeled nematiodes (C elegans) and image them as they move past the microscope stage.  Nematiodes were chosed because they have been fully sequenced and well-studied in space.  The nematiodes will be held in a fluidic card with multiple culture wells and imaging zones.  The fluidic card will be fixed below the imager which will be a  fixed focus 640×480 CMOS chip.  The initial purpose of the payload is to model organisms and resolve major features/organs.

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