FRIDGE is the New Crew Galley Refrigerator
The Freezer / Refrigerator / Incubator Device for Galley and Experimentation (FRIDGE) is a single middeck locker-sized unit that can provide a temperature controlled environment for both crew galley items and research support onboard the ISS. FRIDGE uses thermoelectric elements to both actively heat and cool its thermal control chamber over a continuous temperature range from -20.0 °C to +48.0 °C. The thermally controlled environment has an internal dimension of 17.25 in x 11.10 in x 7.75 in and a volume of over 24 liters that can be accessed by the crew via a front facing access door that spans the full envelope.
While using the ISS provided MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) cooling water loop for both the thermal control system as well as the avionics cooling, FRIDGE is able to operate silently without the need of any air exchange and does not use any rotating parts for continuous maintenance-free operation. FRIDGE is compatible with both Galley and EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) rack interfaces and uses the racks 28 V line for power supply. While the crew is able to select the predefined refrigerator (+4.0 °C) and freezer (-15.0 °C) mode via the touchscreen user interface, FRIDGE was designed to require minimal crew interaction and - using the racks ethernet data connection - can be fully monitored, operated and maintained remotely from the ground.
While the FRIDGE fleet consisting of 8 flight units was developed by BioServe Space Technologies, FRIDGE is part of the Cold Stowage fleet of temperature conditioning hardware.
- Over 24 liters of temperature controlled experiment volume with integral LED lighting
- Temperature can be maintained from -20°C to +48°C
- Near-real-time access to operational data and commanding
- 24/7 automatic status monitoring with supervision by human operators
The FRIDGE design is based upon BioServe’s Space Automated Bioproduct Lab (SABL) - three smart life science incubators operating continuously onboard the ISS since early 2016 supporting over 12 high-impact science experiments per year.