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Arizona State University
2014
Dust Coagulation in Microgravity II
The Dust Devils Microgravity Team from Arizona State University, comprised of all new students, proposes to utilize the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program to refine previous observations of dust coagulation in a microgravity environment. During the Dust Devils flight in 2012, essential instrumentation specifications and some preliminary results were obtained. Due to successful upgrades of the dust coagulation scientific process, the re-flight experiment will completely focus on investigating the underlying mechanisms responsible for triboelectric charging of particles in microgravity by varying composition of the dust particles studied. This test is performed to constrain existing theories on electrostatic properties of dust coagulation, specifically comparing the research models of Desch & Cuzzi (2000) and Kok & Renno (2008). The microgravity environment will enable the observation of these weaker electrical interactions relative to conditions present in each of the 10 case studies. In addition, this experiment will include two planetary surface environment simulations by testing coagulation of Mars simulant and lunar regolith. Results from the experiment will hopefully improve the understanding of coagulation mechanisms, in turn providing insight into the formation of planets from proto-planetary disks as well as the charging effects of particles within storms and other systems on planetary surfaces.
 
Austin Community College
2014
SWAG- SWing-induced Artificial gravity
During the extended periods of microgravity encountered on missions such as those aboard the ISS, astronauts experience deterioration to the body due to the lack of normal 1G forces acting on their circulatory system. After substantial amounts of time, this deterioration creates major health problems from common colds to loss of muscle mass or poor cardiac performance. Our team is proposing an experiment that will help generate a force that would simulate a normal 1G force as experienced on earth. It is known that if an object or a person is spun in a centrifuge, they can experience gravitational forces equal to or greater than the normal 1G forces experienced on Earth. The experiment our team is proposing shall test to see that if the centripetal force generated in a simple rocking motion is sufficient enough to replicate the gravitational forces experienced on Earth. In this experiment we shall specifically test the effects the previously mentioned rocking motion has on body fluids that include water, blood, and plasma. While our team will not be using any actual biological fluids our team plans on achieving the same results with fluids that shall mimic blood and plasma. What our experiment 3 shall consist of shall be an apparatus that will create a rocking motion. Fixed to this apparatus shall be several arms, each of them containing one of the previously mentioned fluids. These swinging arms shall have pressure sensors that shall be connected to logger pro. With this arrangement our team shall be able to obtain instant results and shall be able to easily monitor the experiment.
 
Boise State University
2014
Gravitational Effects of Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure and Flow in an Anatomically Representative Model.
The proposed experiment, “Gravitational Effects on Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure and Flow in an Anatomical Model,” seeks to address Section C.6.7 “Microgravity Biomedical Counter?Measures for Long Duration Spaceflight” in NASA’s Critical Technology Determination (CTD) for Future Human Space Flight document. This section states that intracranial hypertension has the potential to have temporary and permanent health risks (p. 24). This experiment will provide a foundation of information on the CSF fluid movement inside the cranium. Using an anatomically representative model, the Boise State Microgravity Team seeks to better understand cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) movement and changes in intracranial pressure (ICP) in response to hyper? and microgravity in real time during parabolic flight. We propose to monitor these changes using pressure and flow sensors positioned throughout our “CSF flow apparatus,” allowing us to collect data at multiple locations. Results of our study could provide a preliminary explanation for some of the symptoms seen in extended spaceflight, as well as providing a foundation for future research in monitoring and treatment of increased ICP (Alexander, Gibson, and Hamilton). Upon completion of this experiment, the Boise State Microgravity Research Team plans to reapply in the 2014?2015 academic year to the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program for a follow?on research opportunity. The anticipated year two experiment aims to address the Human Health/Mission Cost/Feasibility knowledge gap of the Near Earth Objects section in the Strategic Knowledge Gap (SKG) document related to space radiation health risks (International Space Exploration Coordination Group p. 13). This follow up experiment will use the methods created in year one to monitor pressure and fluid flow in response to hyper? and microgravity on both radiated and non?radiated choroid plexus epithelial cells by monitoring intercellular signaling.
 
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
2014
CubeSat in Microgravity: Three-Axis Attitude Control
CubeSATs allow space missions and the gathering of data from space much easier and more inexpensive compared to large satellites. The appeal of CubeSATs is that they are smaller and cheaper than the spacecraft that have been used in the past. The average cost of a CubeSAT is usually less than $100K, while large satellites cost $10-100M to build. As the technology for CubeSATs advances and they become cheaper to build, the demand for large satellites will continue, but space will become more accessible as a medium for research. In order to further advance the technology of a CubeSAT and make them cheaper to build, different methods must be considered. The method that will be explored is using commercially available off-the-shelf parts that will control and operate the CubeSAT. The proposed CubeSAT will be in the 1U configuration, measuring 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm. It will be powered by three brushless DC motors whose attached flywheels will allow the CubeSAT to achieve a three axis control system. The motors will be powered by three 11.1 V Lithium-Ion batteries, and the six external faces of the CubeSAT will be covered by Plexiglas panels. In order to achieve three-axis control, one microcontroller will be programmed to command the motors to react to disturbances and correct the CubeSAT’s attitude as measured by an on-board inertial platform. An Xbee mounted inside the CubeSAT will provide wireless data transmission to a computer that will record the data.
 
Clear Creek High School
2014
HUNCH - Clear Creek High School
Project Idea: Crystallization/Chemical Reaction 1. Validation/Justification a. Growing of protein crystals within microgravity can help increase the understanding of the 3-Dimensional Protein Structure. b. Microgravity allows better internal order of crystals to form, allowing improved observation of their structure. 2. Feasibility of Test within 18-24 seconds of microgravity Since a crystallization process can occur rapidly, a catalyst with a fast reaction rate will be chosen in order to obtain results within the 18-24 seconds of microgravity. The reactants will be contained in two separate compartments prior to testing. Between them will be a test chamber in which the sensors will reside. Once microgravity is reached, the two reactants will be exposed to one another after being pushed out of their respective compartments with a series of servos. 3. Automation The entire process, including the motion of the individual servos, will be programmed and controlled from the micro circuit board. Since multiple parabola flights will be conducted (10-20 parabolas), multiples trials and/or combinations of reactants can be tested. For this purpose, interchangeable chemical compartments will be used such that after the first chemical reaction has occurred, a second trail of the same reaction can be conducted for comparison in measured data and/or a different reaction can be conducted. 4. Sensors and Data In order to detect how each chemical reaction resulted, basic sensors will be used to detect the fundamental signs and indicators of a chemical reaction; Temperature, gas production (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide), light production (photo sensor), etc. Depending on the type of chemical reaction, only 2-3 of these sensors will be used.
 
Clear Springs High School
2014
HUNCH - Trouble with Bubbles
HUNCH - Clear Springs High School 3rd Period Engineering Design and Development Class Extreme Science Abstract The experiment is being flown as part of the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program from a Project Lead the Way School. A modern challenge that engineers are facing, is the hindrance of air bubbles in liquids in microgravity. Unlike on Earth, air bubbles do not separate themselves from liquids due to the lack of gravity in space. This creates a problem with storing and transferring vital liquids such as fuel and hydraulic fluid. It is essential for all gases to be removed from fluid lines for systems to operate efficiently. Designing an apparatus that can separate gas bubbles from liquids in microgravity will assist aerospace engineers in solving this problem, which could impact many other applications for storing liquid such as hydraulic systems. In order to measure the effectiveness of the separating apparatus, we will compress the mixture before and after separation and measure the amount of force it takes to compress it. Using a known conversion that was conducted on Earth, we can calculate the percentage of gas in the mixture. We will observe the fluid and gas flow through the separator. We will also measure the temperature of our experiment.
 
Clear Springs High School
2014
HUNCH - Small Rocket Motor Injector Design Study
HUNCH - Clear Springs High School 4th Period Engineering Design and Development Class Extreme Science Abstract Abstract Problem Statement The experiment is being flown as part of the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program from a Project Lead the Way school. It was designed by the students of the 4th period Engineering Design and Development class at Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas. The Reaction Control System or RCS Engines are used for propulsion in microgravity environments. The engine works by combining two hypergolic fluids which combust and provide propulsion. Due to a lack of public information on design and development, our experiment will be to design various injectors and find a more efficient method to gain a greater liquid contact surface that will make RCS engines more efficient and effective.
 
Council Rock South High School
2014
Capillary Action in a Zero G/2G Environment
HUNCH-Primary Experiment: Capillary Action in a Zero G/2G Environment With the long-term goal of transporting astronauts to Mars, the necessity for further research into self-sustaining greenhouse systems grows. In order to contribute to the research pertaining to plant growth in deep space applications, the Council Rock High School South division of HUNCH has designed a self-contained and compact experiment that will analyze the effects of microgravity on the capillary action of fluids. The system includes a plastic base of Lexan that contains the experimental fluids, multiple capillary tubes of various diameters in each fluid (Figure 1), and a stopper system that will enable control over initiation and termination of the experiment. A rough sketch of our designs (Figure 2), as well as examples of capillary tubes is pictured below. All of our clear fluids will be colored with food coloring, so that changes are more visible to see during testing and observation. The list of potential fluids, which is subject to expansion and change, currently includes pure water, a near-saturated NaCl aqueous solution, coconut oil, and a sugar or starch-based solution. Ethanol has been ruled out, as it is flammable, and therefore poses a safety issue to the environment surrounding the experiment. The coconut oil will serve as a control because it has a very low tendency toward engaging in capillary action and cohesion. If in a microgravity environment the coconut oil rises up through the capillary tubes, it can be concluded that all fluids, when placed in microgravity, have a tendency to rise without the aid of capillary action. If selected to be sent onto the ISS, the capillary system is designed so that with only a few optimizations it can be fitted into a NanoRack. The results of the experiment would be recorded by a camera with an appropriate short range focal length.
 
Cristo Rey Jesuit - HUNCH/NDC CASIS
2014
HUNCH - NDC CASIS - SELF-ASSEMBLY OF LIPID MIMICS
We plan to 3D print small (millimeter range) “lipid” structures that have a magnetic “head” and an electrostatic “tail.” We will then construct an assembly chamber in which we can allow the “lipids” to self-assemble into stable macrostructures. We will manipulate the “lipids” by collecting them with an electromagnet into a side chamber. We will vary the effective concentration of lipids by adjusting the size of the container. We will free the “lipids” from direct interactions with the container using an eccentric motor vibration device. This device will also provide some energy to allow the structures to move about the chamber and encounter each other. The variables we will change will be: the number or effective concentration of “lipids” in the interaction chamber; the field strength of the electromagnet; the vibration frequency of the eccentric motor.
 
Eaglecrest High School
2014
Analysis of solid and liquid surfactants in microgravity
HUNCH - Eaglecrest
 
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