ISS Inventory Tracking System
The success of the International Space Station in meeting NASA?s goals for completing the maximum amount of scientific research aboard the orbiting outpost is directly related to the proportion of astronaut time spent on scientific endeavors versus the time spent maintaining all of the ISS facility resources. In order to reduce the amount of crew time involved with inventory and logistics activities, the research and development of a highly automated, robust, scalable inventory and object tracking system based on recent advances in commercially available Surface Acoustic Wave passive ID tags is proposed. Through the combination of monitoring the movement of equipment and expendables through hatches, monitoring the contents of storage racks on a periodic basis, and by providing searching capabilities for particular objects, the system would significantly reduce crew workload, improve crew efficiency, and provide ground personnel with expanded knowledge of the on-board configuration of vehicle resources. The use of passive SAW tags will ultimately provide for lower cost tags with extended reading range, lower emissions, and expanded temperature range since the tag is not rectifying transmitted energy in order to power active circuits. In addition to the network of readers, PC software will be developed for simple crew interfacing.
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