The Nanoracks External Platform (NREP) is mounted on the International Space Station (ISS) on the Japanese External Module (JEM). The NREP holds powered and unpowered payloads with and without communications. All payloads are returned back to the ground via various vehicles visiting the ISS. This External Payload Platform (NREP) will provide low cost, repeatable access to the outside space environment as well as allowing payload return. The External Payload Platform (NREP) will host payloads in the open space environment while attached to the JAXA Japanese External Facility (JEM-EF). “The NanoRacks External Platform will be an invaluable tool to better understand research conducted in the extreme environment of space,” said CASIS Director of Operations Ken Shields. “In fact, multiple CASIS-sponsored payloads are already manifested to use this new hardware, and we are very encouraged by the response we have seen by researchers interested in the External Platform to further utilize the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.” There are a number of applications that the External Payload Platform provides, including: sensor target testing, biological testing, access to station power and data, flight qualification, materials testing, and more. The NREP will allow for high data rates, payload return, risk mitigation, and predictable and frequent service.
NREP can accommodate 1-4U sized payloads. There are 2 types of payloads:
- 28VDC Powered with Data Communication to the ISS internal systems
- Unpowered and no communication with the ISS internal systems.
With either option, your payload is always returned to you on mission completion. If you have a powered payload, you need to handle basic USB/Serial commands from the NREP DHS (Data Handling System) computer, regulate power to your experiment needs and be able to transfer data from your experiment to the NREP DHS computer. Airbus DS Houston has a full Engineering Model of the NREP DHS computer ready for you to test with.