SALI is providing a wider thermal range for additional experiment support

The Space Automated Lab Incubator (SALI) is a single middeck locker-sized unit that can provide a temperature controlled environment for research support onboard the ISS. SALI 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, SALI is able to operate silently without the need of any air exchange and does not use any rotating parts for continuous maintenance-free operation. SALI is compatible with 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, SALI 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.

SALI complements BioServe's SABL facility by providing a wider temperature range but less interfaces for smart experiments than SABL.

Key Features

  • 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 SALI 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.