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Testing in microgravity – GOLS testing part 2

Hej hej everyone! Danai here again, this time to talk about the results of the very interesting GOLS (Gravity offloading system) test that we performed. The more detailed theory can be found in the blog, Hanging by a thread (part1). But let’s do a small recap!

In the image below, we can see the MBA (Magnetometer boom assembly), which is a 2m long structure composed of three parts: Base, Mid and Tip. They are connected by two sets of tape springs, intended to carry the two magnetometers of the experiment. It is stowed during ascension of the rocket and deploys a short while after the ejection of the FFU (Free Falling Unit).

The deployment of the system is a paramount part of the experiment, and thus important to test and verify that it works properly. The deployment will occur at approximately 80km altitude, and thus in microgravity. Microgravity can be simulated by building a gravity offloading system. And so, we did it!

In the image above we can see the setting of the GOLS test. On the left is the initial state, stowed MBA, while on the right is the final state, deployed MBA. In both states the MBA hangs by the yellow beam that is attached to the ceiling. In order for the test to work, we had to solve a long list of 32 equations to determine all the lengths and distances, so the system is balanced in both states. On to the results!

On the image above we can see the system stowed while hanging from the test setting. And in the next image we see the deployed MBA after a successful test.

We performed several successful tests where the MBA deployed to full length (163 cm currently), with a deployment time of 0.60s and a velocity of 2.72 m/s.

You can see the full video right here!

After the successful testing phase, the next step for the MBA is the manufacturing of the flight unit and then it will be ready for launch!

Cheers all! We will keep you posted for any new development! Check out our Facebook page, and our Instagram accounts for daily updates. Stay healthy!

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