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The monitoring system for vibratory disturbance detection in microgravity environment aboard the international space stationScientists in the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications within the Microgravity Research Division oversee studies in important physical, chemical, and biological processes in microgravity environment. Research is conducted in microgravity environment because of the beneficial results that come about for experiments. When research is done in normal gravity, scientists are limited to results that are affected by the gravity of Earth. Microgravity provides an environment where solid, liquid, and gas can be observed in a natural state of free fall and where many different variables are eliminated. One challenge that NASA faces is that space flight opportunities need to be used effectively and efficiently in order to ensure that some of the most scientifically promising research is conducted. Different vibratory sources are continually active aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Some of the vibratory sources include crew exercise, experiment setup, machinery startup (life support fans, pumps, freezer/compressor, centrifuge), thruster firings, and some unknown events. The Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMs), which acts as the hardware and carefully positioned aboard the ISS, along with the Microgravity Environment Monitoring System MEMS), which acts as the software and is located here at NASA Glenn, are used to detect these vibratory sources aboard the ISS and recognize them as disturbances. The various vibratory disturbances can sometimes be harmful to the scientists different research projects. Some vibratory disturbances are recognized by the MEMS's database and some are not. Mainly, the unknown events that occur aboard the International Space Station are the ones of major concern. To better aid in the research experiments, the unknown events are identified and verified as unknown events. Features, such as frequency, acceleration level, time and date of recognition of the new patterns are stored in an Excel database. My task is to carefully synthesize frequency and acceleration patterns of unknown events within the Excel database into a new file to determine whether or not certain information that is received i s considered a real vibratory source. Once considered as a vibratory source, further analysis is carried out. The resulting information is used to retrain the MEMS to recognize them as known patterns. These different vibratory disturbances are being constantly monitored to observe if, in any way, the disturbances have an effect on the microgravity environment that research experiments are exposed to. If the disturbance has little or no effect on the experiments, then research is continued. However, if the disturbance is harmful to the experiment, scientists act accordingly by either minimizing the source or terminating the research and neither NASA's time nor money is wasted.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Laster, Rachel M.
(Kentucky State Univ. Frankfort, KY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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