The German experimental equipment, FLUMIAS, contains a confocal fluorescence microscope. // Source: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)


Electronics developmentand software forFLUMIAS

In a joint project with the German Aerospace Center e. V. (DLR) in Bonn, the task is to develop a microscope for experiments in gravitational biology.

FLUMIAS stands for the application of confocal fluorescence microscopy for the observation of structures and processes in living cells, ranging from microgravity to earth gravity, i.e. μg to 1g. Previous models have already been used for parabolic flight campaigns (A300 Zero G) and sounding rockets (TEXUS).

Main contractor is Airbus DS in Friedrichshafen. RST is responsible for the electronics design of various main components, such as the power supply, life support system, host computer and the centrifuge electronics, as well as all subsequent software development and its implementation.

The challenges are to develop a reliable electronic system that ensures both autarkic and interactive processing of six different living cell cultures in a highly accurately tuned opto-electromechanical system and, last but not least, to develop the life support and preservation of these until the experiment has been carried out.

Since 2014, the prototype preliminary study and the “Space Phase A” have been successfully completed. In the upcoming phase B, which will run for a period of ten months, the technical solution for the system concept chosen in phase A is to be determined and the system requirements will be assessed and defined, from which the first designs will be created.

The FLUMIAS-ISS system is to be launched mid/late 2021 to the ISS.

More information can be found here:

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