Two accelerometers provided acceleration data during the STS-75 mission in support of the third United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3) experiments. The Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE) and the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) provided a mea- sure of the microgravity environment of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The OARE provided investigators with quasi-steady acceleration measurements after about a six hour time lag dictated by downlink constraints. SAMS data were downlinked in near-real-time and recorded on-board for post-mission analysis. These two accelerometer systems are briefly described.
Using a combination of data analysis techniques, the microgravity environment related to several different Orbiter, crew, and experiment operations is presented and interpreted. The microgravity environment represented by SAMS and OARE data is comparable to the environments measured by these instruments on earlier microgravity science missions. Thruster activity on this mission seen in the SAMS data appear to be more frequent than on other microgravity missions with the combined firings of the F5L and F5R jets producing significant acceleration transients. Of the events studied, the crew activities performed in the middeck and flight deck, SPREE table rotations, a waste collection system compaction, and a fuel cell purge had negligible effects on the microgravity environment of the USMP-3 carriers. The Ku band antenna repositioning activity resulted in a brief interruption of the ubiquitous 17 Hz signal in the SAMS data. In addition, the auxiliary power unit operations during the Flight Control System checkout appeared to have a significant impact on the microgravity environment.
Rodgers, M.J.B., Hrovat, K., Moskowitz, M.E., Reckart, T., Principal Investigator Microgravity Services - USMP-3, Third United States Microgravity Payload: One Year Report, NASA CP-1998-207891, NASA, Washington DC, pp. 135-169, February 10, 1998.