End-to-End Testing of Kibo Pressurized Module (PM)
An End-to-End test of the Pressurized Module (PM), part of the Japan Experiment Module “Kibo,” was conducted on 4 and 5 October 2006. The test was conducted by linking JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
What was the Kibo PM End-to-End Test?
The End-to-End Test was used to test whether commands can be transmitted from TKSC to Kibo and telemetry can be transmitted from Kibo to TKSC when Kibo is on orbit. The transmission was verified by simulating the operations that will be done after the Kibo module is launched. One end of the “End-to-End” configuration was the Operational Control System (OCS) at TKSC; the other was Kibo itself.
Commands and telemetry are usually transmitted between TKSC and Kibo through the U.S. segment of the ISS, via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). This time, however, the test was conducted by linking TKSC via JSC to the Kibo PM, which is currently located at KSC. This test closely simulated the actual configuration for the planned Kibo operations.
A test that sent activation commands to the Kibo PM Flight Model had already been conducted as part of the integrated system test. That test was conducted prior to the shipping of the Flight Model to the US. However, the just completed End-to-End test was the first time that a communication test was conducted via JSC.
This test was conducted by following the operation flow for the ISS 1J mission, which will launch and add the Kibo PM to the ISS. Tasks including the activation of Kibo’s PM were simulated.
Activation of Kibo’s Pressurized Module
The Kibo activation is a process that powers up each component of the Kibo PM. The activation process provides a condition for the astronauts to safely enter the Kibo module. This process requires close coordination between the astronauts working on orbit and the flight controllers on the ground. The process starts with the initial activation procedures where the astronauts send, via the ISS, the commands to supply power to the Kibo PM. Astronauts Doi and Hoshide, along with two NASA astronauts at KSC, simulated the roles of the astronauts working on orbit.
After the initial activation, JAXA’s flight controllers sent commands to activate the cooling system, which is always done prior to powering up individual equipment, and commands to activate the JEM Control Processor. The controllers completed all of the procedures up to the point where the astronauts would enter the Kibo Pressurized Module.
Activating the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM)
The Kibo PM will be linked to the Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) using the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM). The Kibo PM is equipped with a motor-driven Active Common Berthing Mechanism (ACBM). During the test, the astronauts, who simulated the crew on orbit, sent an activation command to the ACBM from the Portable Computer System (PCS). The personnel at TKSC confirmed that the ACBM was activated, as commanded. The post-activation checkout was then conducted.
The End-to-End test was successfully completed with no anomalies, including 1) successfully transmitting the commands from JAXA OCS to the Kibo PM and successfully transmitting telemetry from the Kibo PM to TKSC and 2) the activation of Kibo PM and the activation and checkout of the ACBM. The actual operations procedures to activate the Kibo PM were deemed feasible.
Issues identified during the test will be incorporated into the operations procedures. JAXA will continue preparing the entire Kibo system as part of the on-going efforts for its successful launch.
Last Updated: November 17, 2006