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SEAM 2.0 in orbit

Vostochny (Russia), July 5th, 2019 – The Soyuz-2.1b rocket launched by the cosmodrome of Vostochny successfully brought in orbit “SEAM”, a cubesat class satellite aiming to demonstrate new technologies capabilities. The mission used a Fregat upper stage to deploy a total of 33 satellites on three different orbits.

The SEAM 2.0 mission, led by Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, succeeded after the failing mission in 2017.

SEAM will conduct measurements of magnetic and electric fields in the ionosphere, a layer in Earth’s upper atmosphere where auroras are generated. The SEAM spacecraft is also a pathfinder for the design of future small-scale European science missions.

Kayser Italia contributed to the SEAM project with the engineering and the manufacturing of a central deployable boom supporting magnetic and electrical field sensors other than a star tracker unit. Thanks to this technology the cubesat S/C can make use of booms supporting sensors up to 1 meter from the main body.

Kayser Italia and the whole international team remain waiting for the first radio contact.

(Picture: SEAM deployed boom)




The Portable Power Supply mkII on board ISS

PPS mkII developed by Kayser Italia

Kayser Italia announces that the Portable Power Supply mkII is now ready for utilization on the ISS. The launch occurred on 4th of May 2019 on board of SpaceX CRS-17 and with the Falcon 9 rocket.

PPS mkII has been developed by Kayser Italia as subcontractor of AIRBUS DS within a European Space Agency funded project.

The Portable PWR Supply is an autonomous converter unit to distribute 28VDC and USB 5V to one or more payloads (up to four) and taking the upstream power from 120VDC provided by ISS Columbus Module Standard Unit Panel (SUP). The PPS mkII is the extended version of the Portable Power Supply (PPS; previously named KuPS) which have already flown on the ISS since 2011. Maintaining the full compatibility with PPS, the PPS MkII extends the capabilities by a LAN connection to send to Ground data reporting the status of the power supply, using a Web GUI, and two USB connection for chargeable devices or small payloads, increasing the portable power supply versatility. The main goal of PPS and PPS mkII is to simplify the power interface for small payloads to be operated on-board the ISS maintaining the required safety level.

PPS MkII is composed by a metal box containing all the required electronic parts and provided of interface connectors, on/off manual switches and autonomous cooling system (forced air convection). In addition, PPS MkII provides its own input cables necessary to connect it to SUP outlet connectors (120VDC) and to Hirschmann Octopus LAN switch for the LAN connection.

PPS mkII core is a DC\DC converter for main power conversion from 120V to 28V. The input of the converter is managed by an input board which implements all filtering and safety functions on the power line coming from the ISS SUP. One of these functions is the interruption of power, through thermal switches, in case the temperature of the device become too high and can create problem for astronauts touching PPS during nominal operations on-board.

The Output line of the DC\DC converter is managed by an output board which convert the power for the 5V lines and implements all the protections and safety functions on power outlet (i.e.: interruption of power in case of overcurrent).

The PPS mkII microcontroller software has the scope to implement a data exchange interface between PPS mkII and ground via an Ethernet link through a web-based interface. The scope of the link is to receive the status of the power supply visualizing some parameters (currents, voltages, temperatures).

 PPS mkII interface for status visualization


BioScience-3 on board SpaceX CRS-17

May, 4th 2019. Kennedy Space Center (FLA, USA) – The  SpaceX CRS-17 mission with the Falcon 9 Block 5  carry new scientific experiments to the International Space Station with the Dragon capsule. The mission  included BioScience-3, an experiment on the spaceflight effects on vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cell processes. The investigation aims to understand the molecular mechanisms behind vascular cell damage, like those associated with cardiovascular disease on earth, by exposing vascular cells to the microgravity environment onboard the ISS National Lab. The research team will assess changes in the transcriptomics of vascular cells in space, comparing flight samples with ground-based controls. The experiment is developed inside the The STaARS-1 incubator  active on International Space Station (US-Lab) and has been used for the execution of various biological experiments. In this mission, the automatic cell culture in microgravity has been performed using the Kayser Italia bioreactors type KEU-RO. All experiments executed within STaARS-1 up to now have been controlled by Kayser Italia KAB Controller (follow the link for more information).


Nano Antioxidants (NANO) experiment on the next SpaceX CRS-17 mission


UPDATE April, 30th 2019 – Kennedy Space Center (FLA, USA) – The next SpaceX CRS-17 mission with the Falcon 9 Block 5 launcher will carry new scientific experiments to the International Space Station with the Dragon capsule. These will include the Nano Antioxidants (NANO) experiment developed by Kayser Italia for a scientific team of Italian Institute of Technology under the SciSpacE programme of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The NANO experiment is planned to be performed in KUBIK in the Columbus module of the ISS. The NANO experiment tests nanoceria as antioxidant agents under conditions of microgravity, with the goal of counteracting the detrimental effects of microgravity-induced oxidative stress. The objective of the team is to investigate innovative approaches for cellular stimulation, to counteract the negative effects of long-term microgravity on the musculoskeletal system.

 The Falcon 9 is expected to lift off on May, 3rd 2019 while the Dragon capsule is expected to reach the ISS on May,5th 2019.


  (Image credits Kayser Italia)