ZARM Drop Tower in Bremen

Applications requested for Drop Your Thesis! 2015

08/09/2014 2102 views 1 likes
ESA / Education / Drop Your Thesis!

ESA’s Education Office is offering university students a new opportunity to perform a microgravity related experiment, using the ZARM drop tower in Germany.

The seventh Drop Your Thesis! (DYT) campaign will take place October - November 2015. Student teams that want to take part must be from an ESA Member or Cooperating State, and the proposed experiment must be linked to their academic syllabus.

One team of up to four undergraduate, graduate or PhD students will be selected to take part in the campaign. DYT offers students the rare opportunity to conduct a series of microgravity experiments in the 146 m high ZARM Drop Tower Facility in Bremen, Germany, one of the most advanced research centres of its kind in Europe.

The experiment payload is integrated into a capsule which is allowed to fall freely, attaining microgravity levels as low as 106 g for up to 9.3 seconds. The level of microgravity is better than that achieved in parabolic flights, or even on orbital platforms (e. g. the International Space Station). In addition, the drop tower is extremely versatile, so that an experiment set-up may be adjusted between consecutive launches.

The proposals received will be evaluated by an expert review board, which will select the winning team. The team selected to participate in DYT 2015 will be supported by ESA's Education Office and ZARM engineers and will get the opportunity to be mentored by a member of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). The ESA Education Office will provide financial support to cover part of the campaign costs (travel and accommodation, and hardware for the experiment development).

An overview of the DYT programme can be found on the ESA Education website.
Instructions on how to apply are available here.

The submission deadline for DYT 2015 is extended to 1 February 2015.

For further information please send an e-mail to: dropyourthesis @

Experiment during the fitting of the cameras
Experiment during the fitting of the cameras

The value of Drop Your Thesis!

During the DYT programme, students not only have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, but also receive valuable feedback from ESA, ZARM and ELGRA experts. The programme enables participants to develop important practical skills through hands-on activities, as well as learning about project management, problem solving, development and testing of hardware / software.

As a direct consequence of the research they conducted during DYT campaigns, members of previous student teams have been able to present their results at international conferences and/or publish papers in leading scientific journals. DYT also provides opportunities to meet experts and work with them. The experience gained is an important addition to students’ curriculum vitae and increases their chance of being selected for future professional opportunities.

Drop Your Thesis! 2014

The DYT 2014 campaign will take place 3 – 14 November 2014. The selected team is composed of five MSc engineering students from the University of Padova (Italy).

Their experiment has two main objectives. The first is a technology demonstration of an innovative tethered soft docking system using electromagnetic docking with the use of a flexible wire. It will also study the dynamic response of the capture system and its effects on the impacted spacecraft in microgravity. You can read more about the team here.

* ESA Member States
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada (Associate Member).
European Cooperating States
Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Latvia
Cooperating States
Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia