What experiments can be undertaken?
In the area of hypergravity research there are numerous reasons to perform ground-based research. The most likely uses for the LDC are expected to be:
- to perform scientific studies on the effects of hypergravity on the system under investigation;
- to investigate, more specifically, the parameters which might be affected by hypergravity conditions;
- to test hardware performance under simulated hypergravity conditions.
While defining their projects, applicants 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, autonomous and 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 500 mm x 500 mm x 750 mm.
- The maximum payload per gondola is 80 kg.
The gondolas can be supplied with water and gases from bottles stored in the centre of the LDC, broadening the range of possible tests and increasing experiment duration while avoiding intermediate stops. Forced ventilation of the gondolas is also possible.
The LDC is operated by ESA engineers from the control room via the operator work station. 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.
For examples of experiments in hypergravity you can visit our page on professional centrifuge experiments and the pages of the previous student experiments from Spin Your Thesis!