ESA is offering European students the opportunity to conduct hypergravity experiments, with a call for proposals for the 2010 ‘Spin Your Thesis!’ programme.
This programme will enable university students to carry out experiments in hypergravity by using the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) in ESTEC, the Netherlands.
The LDC allows samples to be exposed to acceleration forces of 1–20 times Earth’s gravity. Each of the four arms can support two gondolas, with a maximum payload of 80 kg per gondola. In practice, six gondolas are available, plus one in the centre for control experiments. The LDC is flexible in terms of experiment scenarios, duration and possible equipment. It allows experiments lasting anything from one minute to six months.
‘Spin Your Thesis!’ calls for each team of students to design a scientific or technology experiment that requires hypergravity for a few hours or days, as part of their syllabus. Teams from ESA Member States and Cooperating States are encouraged to register on the ESA Education Office's project portal and upload their proposals by 21 January 2010.
A review board will select four teams to develop and perform their experiment during ESA’s first Student Large Diameter Centrifuge campaign, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in the spring or summer of 2010. This campaign will last two weeks, with two teams using the equipment each week.
During the ‘Spin Your Thesis!’ project, the teams will be supported by ESA's Education Office, ESA hypergravity experts and members of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). ESA will offer financial support to cover part of the cost of the experiments, travel and accommodation, and possible participation in a conference.
This year, ESA's Education Office also intends to launch a complementary call for opportunities on other gravity research platforms, such as drop towers.
For more information contact the Spin Your Thesis! Team:
spinyourthesis @ esa.int