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MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) is a thermal carrier that was originally designed to provide a thermally controlled environment for scientific experiments between -20oC and 48.5oC in the International Space Station (ISS) EXPRESS Rack, or the now retired Space Shuttle. It is currently certified for powered transport to and from the ISS within the SpaceX Dragon and Northrup Grumman Cygnus vehicles. In addition, MERLIN can also be transported unpowered and soft-stowed inside JAXA's HTV or ESA's ATV.

  • Advanced Single Middeck Locker Incubator / Freezer (Heat exchanger designed for both rear-air or water loop heat rejection)

  • Previous interfaces include Shuttle Middeck and SPACEHAB

  • Capable with interfacing with Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) vehicles

  • 30+ pound payload with 16.5" (X) by 10.188" (Y) by 6.69" (Z) experiment volume (CG at the center of the experiment volume)

  • Payload volume for both conduction or convection cooling modes

  • Provides thermal control from -20oC to 48.5oCMERLIN_png_patch

  • Fully programmable temperature control including ramps and recovery modes can be configured / executed via the display, EXPRESS RIC, and remotely from the ground (both commanding and file uplink)

  • System temperature sensor readings (8)

  • Experiment temp. sensor readings (up to 12)

  • PID control temperature (derived)

  • A/D sensor readings (up to 10)

  • Digital I/O readings (8)

  • Last command status information

  • Error reporting/acknowledgement information

  • Data storage utilization status

  • Thermal control data



Imperial (in)

Metric (cm)

Strict Internal Dimmension 5.9 x 8.6 x 14.9 15.0 x 21.9 x 37.8
Total Internal Dimmension 6.6 x 9.1 x 15.1 16.9 x 22.9 x 38.3



Imperial (in3)

Metric (L)

Strict Internal Volume 759.63 12.45
Total Internal Volume 903.89 14.81





Water Cooled 48.5° to -20° 119.3° to -4°
Air Cooled 4° to 48.5° 39.2° to -119.3°