Technical constraints

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

While defining their projects, applicants should carefully read the ‘LDC User Manual’ (list of documents). Additionally they should keep in mind the following constraints that apply to the experiments:

  • Experiments requiring high temperatures, open flames or similar conditions cannot be performed within the LDC gondolas. Exceptions may be discussed, but the experiment set-up must be well contained and autonomous and should present no hazard to either personnel or the LDC and its gondolas.
  • LDC gondolas do not provide active cooling.
  • Power availability in each gondola is limited to 1.3 kW.
  • The experiments should not take up an area of more than 50 cm x 50 cm x 75 cm.
  • The maximum payload per gondola is 80 kg.

Preparing the experiment in the LDC

The gondolas can be supplied with water and gas from bottles stored in the centre of the LDC broadening the range of possible tests and increasing experiment duration while avoiding intermediate stops.

The LDC is operated by ESA engineers via an operator work station in a control room. The experiments can also be controlled and monitored by the users via the science work stations at their own centres through the LabView programme. The users have access to the LDC sensor data and the gondolas’ scientific equipment.