As results from early studies and the successful demonstrators MiMi-100 and MiMi-160, automated miniature (container based) microscopes, making use of commercial components, were entirely feasible for use in space.
The natural next step was investigation an extension of the usual bright field and phase contrast observation modes with (epi-) fluorescence microscopy. Since accommodation of additional optical elements within the extremely limited experiment volumes of the regular Biolab and EMCS containers was clearly impossible, the Advanced Experiment Container (AEC) that was conceived in Biolab context was appointed to host the desired fluorescence miniature microscope ‘Fluor-MiMi’.
OIP, as a subcontractor to Dutch Space [NL], developed a prototype of a very compact fluorescence microscope system for the automatic observation of live biological samples over extended periods of time. OIP was responsible for the optical microscope subsystem.
Status: Prototype completed (2000-2003)
Application: Technology demonstrator for ISS