Flow Instruments, Condenser Instruments, Condenser Services and Engineering Serivces from Intek

Aerospace Instruments And Payloads

Bionetics has a long history of participation in manned spaceflight programs that meet all of the stringent design, manufacture, performance and quality assurance requirements. This experience and expertise translates into the company’s ability to take a total systems approach to the products and services it offers.

Award winning work on space flight flow meters
Joseph and Marilyn Harpster accept award from astronaut Bob Cabana and Boeing’s ISS Vice President and General Manager Brewster Shaw.

Bionetics was the first company to receive Boeing’s prestigious Space Station “Exceptional Company Performance Award,” at the celebration of the first year on orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). The company was honored with this recognition for our performance during the manufacture and delivery of liquid ammonia flow meters and temperature sensors for the Active Thermal Control System for the Station. When the award was presented at a special ceremony in Houston, Brewster Shaw, Boeing’s Vice President and General Manager, said: “exemplary performances on critical tasks are examples of the teamwork required to make the International Space Station a success. The recipients of this award have distinguished themselves by showing the highest level of product quality, excelling in technical and cost performance, and adhering to challenging schedules.”

Aerospace Projects

Aerospace ProjectsFlow and Temperature Measuring Instrumentation – Bionetics manufactures a line of precision flow measurement instrumentation for industrial applications. Bionetics has adapted this same technology to a variety of aerospace metering applications, including:

  • Flow meters for the Trace Contaminant Control System of the Air Revitalization System of the Space Station. The flow meter is a critical component of the system for purifying and recirculating air into the cabin.
  • Flow meters for the Active Thermal Control System of the Space Station. The flow meter measures the flow rate of liquid ammonia that is used to control the temperature in Space Station. For this program, Bionetics also designed and built specialized test apparatus, to make the required calibration measurement using liquid ammonia under pressurized conditions and at variable high flow rates. At the time of the project, there was no such calibration capability in the USA; this capability had to be addressed in order to meet the test and proof of performance requirements for the project.
  • Temperature Sensors for the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) of the Space Station. Bionetics designed and built special “clamp-on” precision temperature sensors for the ATCS. These sensors provided Boeing a low cost, back-up temperature measurement option. The design maintained the integrity of the already designed fluid flow loop, since no fluid boundary had to be penetrated.
  • Flow meters for the Space Shuttle MultiPurpose Logistics Module. These meters measure the high purity Station water flow, and monitor the transfer of the water from Shuttle to Station.
  • Flow meters for the freon loop and the water loop of the thermal control system for the Space Shuttle, and the water loop of Spacehab. Some of these meters have been in service for more than twenty years, without having been returned to the factory for performance verification or calibration.

Precision Manufacturing of Electronic Systems – Our knowledge of electronic systems and our manufacturing team with NASA certified solderers allows Bionetics to perform custom manufacturing and assembly of electronic systems. One customer utilized this capability when they asked us to manufacture the Electrical Interface Assembly of the TCCS system, an assembly designed by Lockheed. In the performance of this project, we not only executed the assembly tasks, but also examined the control system design and developed improvements to the assembly, which Lockheed accepted.

System Integration and Testing – We were selected to integrate the components of the Trace Contaminant Control System, and to perform certain system tests for acceptance. The components of these assemblies were shipped to us for system integration and testing. Our expertise in thermal management was a critical asset in this task.  We also built the cable assemblies, supported the development of the system test procedures, and participated in the complete acceptance testing of the system.

Experiment Payload Design and Manufacture

Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) furnace and control system
Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) furnace and control system

For NASA’s Center for the Advancement of Materials and Material Processing in Space, we designed and manufactured two different Zeolite Crystal Growth facilities and control systems; one design which flew and operated on USML-1 and USML-2, and the other which operates on the Space Station. These systems not only feature redundant control systems which critically control the temperature of 19 crystal growing furnace tubes to within ±0.1°F in a 1.5 ft x 2 ft cylindrical chamber, but also provide both manual and automated control. The control system which operates the payload on Station has remote control capability, where Bionetics engineers can, when needed, control and operate the experiment from its communication post at our manufacturing facility.

Project List

The following is a list of the key aerospace projects completed by the Bionetics team:

  • ISS Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) integration
  • ISS TCCS Electrical Interface Assembly
  • ISS TCCS flow meters
  • ISS Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) liquid ammonia flow meters and temperature sensors
  • Space Shuttle MultiPurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) water flow meters
  • Centaur Electrical Interface Verification Equipment (CEIVE) for the Cassini Space Probe to Saturn
  • Zeolite Crystal Growth apparatus for Space Shuttle payload experiment
  • Zeolite Crystal Growth apparatus for International Space Station payload experiment
  • High Temperature Crystal Growth Furnace for Space Station payload experiment
  • Thermal control flow meters for Spacehab
  • Ammonia flow meters for CAPL and TEMP 2C heat transport experiments
  • Freon and water flow meters for the thermal control loop of Space Shuttle
  • USAF C-17 bleed air flow meters
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