This weekend will mark a milestone at Kentucky Space, as it works to deliver the NanoRacks platform on Saturday, November 7, for offgas and EMI testing in preparation for a Shuttle launch to the International Space Station. The rack has been machined and all the electronics have been design, built, tested and coated. It's now being assembled.
Outgassing is a process that results in what many people will recognize as that "new car smell." In this case it will ensure that any volatile compounds exit the hardware prior to arrival on the ISS. EMI, or electromagnetic interference testing, is done to ensure that any electronic device will not radiate electromagnetic radio waves that could affect other electronics onboard the station. EMI can come from any electronic device and generally originates from a switching signal coupling to wires and circuit board traces. Good design will limit the amount of EMI that occurs.In addition to the NanoRack, Kentucky Space is also busy assembling CubeLabs to accompany the platform on Saturday. The first CubeLab will test the power system and confirm data flow end-to-end, from CubeLab to researcher. In addition, it will test the radiation susceptibility of the cards used in KySat-1, Kentucky Space's first orbital Cubesat, which is being readied for flight.
Finally, to ensure that researchers can create their own CubeLabs and carry out their own experimental program on the International Space Station, we're putting together an Interface Control Document.