The scientific objectives of MATROSHKA experiments are the measurements of the various kinds of radiation in the space environment, and their impact on the human body.

MATROSHKA was brought to the International Space Station (ISS) on board the Russian Progress M1-11 supply vehicle on 29 January 2004 and then it was placed outside the Russian Zvezda module during Increment crew 8 (Alexander Kaleri and Michael Foale) during a spacewalk. The accommodation outside ISS provides a unique test-bed for space radiation studies.

Kayser Italia was responsible for the development of the entire facility electronics (including control software) and for all electrical interfaces to the Russian module Zvezda. The Matroshka control electronics (called MATE) included power conversion, data acquisition (from radiation active sensors), data storage and data interface. The latter is fully compliant to ISO 11898-1 and it is permanently connected to ISS in order to dump data and receive commands.

The entire electronics has been designed to be radiation tolerant and some novel techniques have been developed to guarantee stable operation of the facility also during phases of high energy solar flares (one of the scientific areas of interest) such to to ensure continuous data acquisition. Typical MATROSHKA experiment period (permanence outside ISS) is one year.