Payload Specialists

We specialize in payload design, integration and checkout for the ArgUS, Bartolomeo and NREP platforms. We have also designed internal payload flight software for ISS internal platforms. Using our flight proven hardware and software EPiK platform, you can concentrate on your science and let our integration solution connect to the power and communications systems of the ISS platforms


Introducing the new and exciting external platform for the ISS located on the Columbus Module.  If you need external exposure, or an unobstructed view of the Earth from the ISS, or you conduct materials or astrophysics studies, we have you covered.


No more struggles with getting your experiment data down...we have a high-speed optical solution ready for use and we also support legacy methods for data downloads. Check out our new product and service offerings that will help you get on the ISS reliably and with guaranteed interfaces.

Our Houston Products and Services include:

  • Our External Platform Integration Kit (EPiK) suite of stacked boards featuring tested and proven
    • CPU Board with Mass Storage Module
    • Power Control Module
    • Experiment Adapter Module - concentrate on your payload with well known electrical and data interfaces
    • Platform Adapter Module - flexible to allow mounting on Bartolomeo Multi Payload Platform or on the Nanoracks External Platform.  We built and programmed both of these platforms.  Use our expertise to make payload development easier and more reliable.
  • Airbus DS Houston is now offering experiment slots on the Bartolomeo ArgUS platform.  ArgUS is our US-based external platform which was built by and is managed by Airbus DS Houston personnel.
  • Do you want an ArgUS platform for your organization?  We also offer a turnkey Platform for Bartolomeo that can host up to 10 payloads on your platform at high data rates and managed power.
  • Do you need proven, experienced personnel to help bring your experiment to reality?  We offer consulting services for mechanical, electrical, safety and software.


Nanoracks External Platform (NREP)

      The Nanoracks External Platform (NREP) is mounted on the International Space Station (ISS) on the Japanese External Module (JEM).  The NREP holds powered and unpowered payloads with and without communications. All payloads are returned back to the ground via various vehicles visiting the ISS. This External Payload Platform (NREP) will provide low cost, repeatable access to the outside space environment as well as allowing payload return. The External Payload Platform (NREP) will host payloads in the open space environment while attached to the JAXA Japanese External Facility (JEM-EF). “The NanoRacks External Platform will be an invaluable tool to better understand research conducted in the extreme environment of space,” said CASIS Director of Operations Ken Shields. “In fact, multiple CASIS-sponsored payloads are already manifested to use this new hardware, and we are very encouraged by the response we have seen by researchers interested in the External Platform to further utilize the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.”  There are a number of applications that the External Payload Platform provides, including: sensor target testing, biological testing, access to station power and data, flight qualification, materials testing, and more. The NREP will allow for high data rates, payload return, risk mitigation, and predictable and frequent service.

NREP can accommodate 1-4U sized payloads.  There are 2 types of payloads:

  1. 28VDC Powered with Data Communication to the ISS internal systems 
  2. Unpowered and no communication with the ISS internal systems.  

With either option, your payload is always returned to you on mission completion.  If you have a powered payload, you need to handle basic USB/Serial commands from the NREP DHS (Data Handling System) computer, regulate power to your experiment needs and be able to transfer data from your experiment to the NREP DHS computer.  Airbus DS Houston has a full Engineering Model of the NREP DHS computer ready for you to test with.