Stowage Tactics for User Flights (STUF) allows Space Station users to develop efficient packing schemes for their cargo. Users determine which trays to use and where those trays are located in a stowage rack. Cargo item locations in a tray can be determined by computer, or the user may place items as desired. Weight and center of gravity for each item are monitored. Any out-of-bounds condition for a packed tray or rack is highlighted for corrective action. STUF can also combine many user-packing schemes into one cargo manifest. This allows a NASA Center to integrate all user stowage for a Space Station mission.
After a file representing user cargo data is read by STUF, cargo is assigned to a stowage tray where it is checked for interference with items already assigned to the tray. Any items that do not fit the current tray will be assigned to subsequent trays, if possible. Once all trays are loaded, the user determines the location of each tray in a Space Station rack. The analytical results returned by STUF become inputs to a broader Space Station cargo manifest.
The user interface for STUF is primarily menu driven. Two types of operation modes for tray packing are provided: automatic and interactive. Interactive mode is the quickest method to use when packing hundreds of items and it results in the best packing efficiency. Automatic mode allows the computer to determine where each cargo item is to be placed. A single tray size selected by the user is then used repeatedly for all trays.
Once a set of trays has been packed, the user may wish to place those trays into Space Station racks. Stowage racks contain a locker assembly specifically designed to hold certain tray sizes. Although STUF allows a user to determine where a tray is located within the rack, STUF will not place the tray there if the location cannot accommodate it. If a tray packing solution is later edited, STUF will automatically update mass properties for the rack that contains that tray.
STUF can accommodate 9,999,999 cargo items, 999 trays, and 99 racks per packing operation. Packing foam must be accounted for as part of each cargo item. STUF does not add foam to any item's mass properties.
STUF carries the NASA case number MFS-31101. It was originally released as part of the COSMIC collection.