The Japanese Experiment Module – Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) is a platform on the International Space Station (ISS) that is continuously exposed to the space environment. Up to 8 instruments can be installed on the facility at any time, typically focusing on Earth observation, as well as communication, scientific, and engineering experiments.
JEM-EF provides utilities to each payload location, including power, control, and active cooling using a single phase pumped loop. All instruments plugged into JEM-EF system require accumulators to accommodate fluid volume changes during launch, and while plugged into the cooling system. ACT developed, fabricated, and tested accumulators to accommodate the JEM-EF requirements. The all stainless-steel accumulators provide volumetric compensation for fluid property changes across the broad temperature range experienced during launch and operation, from -40°C to 55°C. This product was designed, manufactured and qualified by ACT to operate for up to 3 years in this challenging environment. ACT introduced the accumulators in response to multiple requests for a rapid design and development supplier for custom, flight qualified, fluid compensation systems.
Four of ACT’s four fluid compensation accumulators installed in NASA’s Cloud Aerosol Transport Systems (CATS) instrument were successfully delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s CRS 5 dragon capsule. After installation on the Japanese Experiment Module – Exposed Facility (JEM-EF), the CATS system then successfully operated for over two years. Additional accumulators in another instrument are scheduled for installation on JEM-EF later this year.