Common Instrument Interface



The Common Instrument Interface (CII) Study activity supports NASA’s Earth Science Directorate  (ESD) by identifying a common set of Earth Science instrument-to-spacecraft interface guidelines that will improve the likelihood that these instruments become secondary payloads on missions of opportunity. The CII team works with industry, academia and other government agencies to analyze the interface trade space, which helps ESD understand the key drivers in the matching process. CII also hosts periodic workshops to bring together stakeholders to review team guidelines and nurture relationships within the community.

The CII Project also develops and maintains the External Payloads Proposers Guide to the International Space Station, which is the primary document used for first time proposers wishing to fly on the 3 external ISS sites. In addition, the project provides a list of ISS Lessons Learned (draft), which may be used by any external ISS project throughout their lifecycle. These documents may be found in the Information Center tab above.

Please visit the CII Hosted Payload Opportunity Online Database to explore opportunities.


Send us your feedback!

Attendees or other interested parties are welcome to comment on material on the website or at the workshop. Simply email your comments to Randy Regan.

Team Management
ESSP Program Office Chief Engineer Randy Regan  (757) 864-1869
CII Project Lead and Lead, ISS Tasks Lowell Primm  (301) 286-7214
NASA Technical Disciplines Representatives
Mechanical Randy Hein  (818) 354-0103
Thermal Gajanana Birur (818) 354-4762
Eric Sunada (818) 354-1543
Launch & Visiting Vehicles Mark Thornblom
Systems Integration Margie Homer  (818) 354-5114
Data and Electrical Power Systems Nikzad Toomarian (818) 354-7945
 Department of Defense Representatives
DoD rep Capt. Dan Torres (310) 653-9016
Aerospace (at large) Kelly Collett (310) 336-2316
Additional Team Members
Hosted Payloads Database James Hoffman (818) 393-7174
Web designer/editor Jenina Fitzgerald (757) 864-9287
Scheduler Ken Parkinson (757) 864-8008


July 2017

  • Lowell Primm will attend the ISS R&D Conference, to be held in Washington, D.C. conducted from July 17-20. He will provide a poster/presentation at the event. He will provide a synopsis of the conference later this month.
  • A signature-ready version of the Hosted Payloads Interface Guide for Proposers has been developed, and sent to the ESSP Chief Engineer. It is now ready for final signature (hopefully), as of this writing. Stay tuned!!

June 2017

  • The project attended a part of the Small Payload Ride Share Symposium. The project provided a brief overview of the CII Project and Hosted Payloads Interface Guide for Proposers that is in draft form. This presentation gave a background, overview of the development methodology, and a brief content summary of the document
  • The finishing touches have been made to the initial report on ISS Lessons Learned. Once this report is thoroughly reviewed, it will be available on this site!! And, the report will be updated on 6-month cycles afterwards.

April 2017

  • The much-anticipated update to the External Payloads Proposers Guide to the International Space Station is NOW AVAILABLE!!! The document remains in draft form, has been thoroughly reviewed by the ISS program, and final signature is expected in the July timeframe. Please use the following URL to view the very latest information necessary to proposers for flying an external ISS payload.

March 2017

  • The CII project conducted their annual Workshop #3. The event was held in conjunction with the Satellite 2107 Conference, in Washington, D.C. Please click on the Workshop No. 3 URL, listed on this site for the Workshop presentations.

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