European students are invited to submit their proposals on hypergravity experiments for the 2013 ‘Spin Your Thesis!’ campaign. Proposals can be submitted until 5 February 2013.
The ‘Spin Your Thesis!’ programme gives university students the opportunity to carry out experiments in hypergravity, using the Large Diameter Centrifuge in ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands.
The centrifuge subjects samples to accelerations of 1 to 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 centrifuge is flexible in terms of experiment scenarios, duration, and possible equipment. Experiments can last anywhere from one minute to six months.
Spin Your Thesis! requires each team of students to design a scientific or technological experiment that needs hypergravity for a few hours or days as part of their syllabus.
Teams from ESA Member States* and Cooperating States are encouraged to register via the ESA Education Office's project portal and upload their proposals before 5 February 2013.
A review board will select up to four teams that will develop and perform their experiment during the 2013 ESA Spin Your Thesis! campaign. The campaign will be held in ESTEC during September and October 2013. It will last two weeks, and up to two teams will be using the centrifuge equipment each week.
During the Spin Your Thesis! project, the teams will be supported by ESA's Education Office, hypergravity experts from ESA, 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.
Eligibility and applications
Details about eligibility and how to apply for Spin Your Thesis! 2013 are available on ESA’s Education portal.
If you require further information about the 2013 campaign, contact the Spin Your Thesis! Team at spinyourthesis @ esa.int
The first Spin Your Thesis! campaign took place in 2010. It involved four student teams conducting experiments on subjects including the biological processes that affect living cells and asteroid impacts.
The second Spin Your Thesis! campaign took place in 2011. The four student teams investigated bubble processes in conditions of high gravity, how hypergravity stresses plants, the behaviour of a liquid droplet on a flat solid surface in hypergravity, and the effects of hypergravity on growing cells.
As a direct result of the research they conducted during the Spin Your Thesis! 2010 and 2011 campaigns, some student teams presented their results at international conferences and/or published papers in renowned scientific journals.
The third Spin Your Thesis! programme is ongoing. From 10 to 21 September, three student teams will investigate, in hypergravity, the behaviour and solid products of a gliding arc discharge in a carbon containing atmosphere, the effect of gravity levels on the acoustic control of rising bubbles, and the behaviour of a high-voltage water bridge.
* ESA Member States in 2013
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Canada, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia.