Microgravity is a fascinating environment with many and varied applications over the realms of engineering and science. Unfortunately it is not easy to create microgravity on the surface of a planet like Earth. All attempts nowadays are expensive and time consuming. This project tries to show that low gravity can be reached at much lower costs than current approaches (such as parabolic flights or drop towers). However, this project is a feasibility study of the technique that can be used to create a low gravity environment. If this project can demonstrate that the selected approach is working, it can easily be up scaled for larger payloads or longer periods of low gravity.
The approach used in this project is to drop a payload off a high altitude balloon. During the drop the payload is still connected to the balloon’s gondola through a tether which is unreeled from an ordinary fishing spinning reel. The drop is decelerated using the internal brake of the fishing reel. As soon as the payload comes to a halt, it is reeled back up to the gondola and is ready for the next drop.more...
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SpaceMaster Robotics Team Members
SpaceMaster Robotics Team
A student team consisting of members formerly studying in the Joint European Master in Space Science & Technology (SpaceMaster) programme. It is currently spread all over Europe.
...is currently a Young Graduate Trainee at ESA's Advanced Concepts Team. He graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology and the Luleå Unversity of Technology in Space Robotics in 2009. He has been at the ISSL at the University of Tokyo, as well as at the VisLab at the Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon for research stays. He received a BSc from the Technical University of Vienna in 2007.
David Leal Martínez
...is a graduate student currently at the Helsinki University of Technology where he is writing his MSc thesis on "Reconfigurable Robots". He got his Bachelor degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico.
Mark 'Fitts' Fittock was a graduate student at Lulea tekniska universitat where he was heavily involved in student projects. He has a BSc in Astrophysics and Mathematics and a BEng with Honours in Mechanical Engineering from Monash University. He now works for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bremen.
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