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Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED)
Hardware Type
Exercise Equipment

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The Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) was designed as a long-term solution to the preservation of muscle strength during extended habitation of microgravity environments. The primary resistance mechanism in the ARED is a pair of vacuum cylinders containing pistons. Resistance is provided by the movement of pistons within the vacuum of the cylinders. The piston rods are attached to an arm base assembly, which acts as a lever arm when the main arm assembly is moved. In addition, ARED is fitted with a second resistance mechanism. This mechanism is a flywheel assembly that rotates as the arm base assembly is moved. This function provides an inertial load which, when moved, mimics the inertial load of a free-weight. Resistive load can be changed by turning a load adjustment handle that will move the attachment point of the piston rods, thereby changing the length of the lever arm. The lever is able to provide loads ranging from 0 to 600+ pounds. ARED can be configured to provide exercises using the lift bar or the exercise cable. Using the cable, the loads are limited to a maximum of 150 pounds. A major feature of ARED is the instrumentation system. This system includes tri-axial force sensors located in the exercise platform that are able to record force in three dimensions. In addition, load sensors in the main lift arm and the arm base assembly measure unidirectional forces. The arm base assembly also has rotational sensors that record the range of motion of the arm.

Versions of this Hardware
+ Version Used During the International Space Station (ISS) Experiments
+ Version Used During Ground-based Experiments

Components of this Hardware
Passive Cooler
The BRIC-PC is a passive cooler designed to maintain the temperature of a BRIC-100 canister at 4 degrees C for approximately 5 days. The stainless steel outer tank houses an internal tank containing a phase change material that can hold the target temperature for the desired time period. The phase change material chamber is adjacent to a vacuum container. A valve ensures the integrity of the vacuum container. The sample area inside the BRIC-PC is designed to hold one BRIC-100 canister (4.5 inches in diameter x 15 inches long).

The phase change material is n-dodecane and n-tetradecane). Approximately 3070 ml of the phase change material is used. The phase change materials and concentrations can be adjusted to meet a variety of temperature requirements.

Petri Dish Fixation Unit (PDFU)
The Petri Dish Fixation Unit (PDFU) is a complement set of hardware consisting of a specialized holder for a standard 60-mm petri dish, which delivers fixative to the sample in the petri dish and interfaces with the Biological Research In Canisters-Light Emitting Diode (BRIC-LED) hardware. Six (6) PDFUs are contained within each BRIC-LED. The physical dimensions are 6.8 inches (length) x 3.5 inches (width) x 3.75 inches (height). Total weight is 4 lb. Electrical requirements are 6 watts.

The major components of each PDFU include the following items: chamber for the 60 mm petri dish; chamber for fixative storage; piston for forcing the fixative into the specimen chamber; light rod to channel the illumination provided by the red LEDs; Dual-stage PDFUs are also available, allowing delivery of two fluids to the specimen chamber.

Each PDFU provides two levels of containment to the fixative, which is loaded into the fixative chamber.

Each PDFU consists of a body of polycarbonate which is milled to house the above mentioned chambers. The specimen chamber houses the bottom half of a standard off-the-shelf 60 mm petri dish. The top half of the 60 mm dish is not needed to house the specimen since the top of the assembly (e.g. the PDFU cover and manifold) acts as a cover. A set of three O-rings provides a seal between the PDFU cover and the polycarbonate body. The fixative chamber and the specimen chamber are separated by a check valve to prevent unwanted/early fixation of the specimens.

An additional feature of the PDFU is a light rod which directs the light from each red LED on the BRIC-LED canister's circuit board into the PDFU specimen chamber. This glass light rod is constructed of Pyrex and is sealed into the dish using epoxy.

The inside of the PDFUs have sufficient storage for a passive temperature recorder (substituted for a specimen), or data logger. A PDFU which contains a data logger does not contain any fixative.