ASU Microgravity - About

About The Experiment

The Arizona State University Dust Devils Microgravity Team proposes to utilize the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program to observe the coagulation of dust particles in microgravity environments. Specifically, the experiment will focus on determining the mechanisms responsible for triboelectric charging of particles by varying size and composition of the dust particles studied. The microgravity environment will enable the observation of these weaker dipole interactions between particles. Better understanding of this coagulation mechanism will provide insight into the formation of planets from proto-planetary disks as well as the charging effects of particles on planetary surfaces.

Experiment Structural Design

The 11 chambers with partial vacuum are cylindrical made out of machined Aluminum-6061 alloy with a pressure-rated, heat-resistant Borosilicate glass to serve as the end-caps and viewing windows. O-rings will be used to seal and maintain the chambers at the low pressure values. The ten chambers will be mounted and secured within an aluminum frame in two rows of five with the additional chamber, containing the meteorite sample attached at one end. The containment frame is constructed from 1/8” thick and 1” wide angled aluminum and will be mounted in a larger outer frame to secure the chambers as well as vacuum tubes, lights and cameras, and external activators, such as the vibration tools to move the dust particles. The entire structure will be entirely contained and bolted down to a polycarbonate flight box. The edges of the flight box are padded in order to prevent possible injury during flight. It will be secured to the aircraft floor with 6 cargo straps. The computer controls will be housed in a case outside of the polycarbonate protection case for ease of access but still strapped to it for safety. The approximate size for this experiment is 15” x 36” x 15”.

Go Top
comments powered by Disqus