The Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) is a set of two International Space Station (ISS) research facilities designed to support physical and biological experiments in support of technology development and validation in space. The FCF consists of two modular, reconfigurable racks called the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) and the Fluids Integration Rack (FIR). The CIR and FIR were developed at NASAʼs Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio, under a prime contract with ZIN Technologies. The CIR was launched to the ISS on the Space Shuttle STS-126 in 2008 and the FIR was launched on STS-128 in 2009. Both racks are operated remotely from the ISS Payload Operations Center at GRC. The sustaining engineering and operations team is under a prime contract with ZIN Technologies.
The Fluids Integration Rack (FIR) is used primarily to perform fluid physics experiments in microgravity on the ISS but can accommodate a wide range of experiments in other disciplines. The FIR is designed to be easily reconfigured on-orbit similar to an optics bench in a scientist's laboratory. The FIR will permit a wide range of fluid investigations from microscopic imaging to large two phase flow experiments. The FIR offers the largest open volume for configuration of unique experiments on-board the ISS.
The Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) is used to perform combustion experiments in microgravity. The CIR is designed to be easily reconfigured on-orbit to accommodate a wide variety of combustion experiments.
The ISS Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) was designed and built at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio to accommodate the unique challenges of working with fluids and combustion processes in microgravity. The CIR and FIR were designed from 1999 to 2003 with production and testing completed in 2007. CIR has been running since 2009 and has completed over 1000 combustion tests from the FLEX-1, FLEX-2, and FLEX-ICD-GA experiments. FLEX-2 operations are on-going and are planned to run through most of 2015. After FLEX-2, the FLEX-2J experiments with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) will run for several months, to be followed by the Cool Flames Investigation. All of these experiments are liquid fuel droplet combustion experiments. After the Cool Flames Investigation tests are completed, the Multi-User Droplet Combustion Apparatus will be removed from the CIR and replaced with the ACME combustion insert for non-premixed gaseous combustion experiments.
Contacts at NASA Glenn Research Center