Data Loggers Store and Record Critical Data for NASA Experiments

ImagePrecision temperature data loggers
Veriteq Instruments
Richmond, BC, Canada

The Materials on the International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) is a cooperative effort with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing, and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. MISSE is a series of experiments designed to test the effect of the space environment on different materials over extended periods of time with the goal of developing new and more affordable materials for launch systems and spacecraft. Approximately 1,500 specimens — including switches, sensors, mirrors, polymers, coatings, composites, seeds, spores, and bacteria — were tested for durability and survivability in the space environment.

To measure and record temperature for the MISSE, NASA needed an accurate system with long battery life and memory life that could resist vibration and G-forces, and survive vacuum conditions. It also needed to withstand dramatic temperature swings as the space station shifted from direct sun exposure to the shadow of the Earth. NASA chose Veriteq’s precision temperature data loggers, which are self-contained, wireless temperature and humidity recorders that incorporate a sensor, memory, power supply, clock, and microprocessor enclosed in a pager-sized device.

The data loggers were integrated into other NASA measurement instrumentation and used to measure temperature in externally mounted Passive Experiment Containers (PECs), which were attached to selected locations on the space station and exposed to designated orientations. Although the intended timeframe of the first MISSE tests was one year, retrieval of the experiments was delayed. The PECs remained in place on the space station for three years before recovery.

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