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The purpose of this report is to describe the design, construction, and testing of an apparatus capable of testing and recording the deployment of thin film shells in a microgravity environment. The group has designed a prototype and ideal model to test a deceleration system that, in full scale, would provide sufficient deceleration without harming the testing apparatus. This project does not involve dropping the constructed apparatus and equipment. A counter weight chain and pulley system was chosen as the deceleration prototype for testing. Issues with budget and time constraints have limited aspects originally planned for completion in this phase of the project. Budgetary issues have restricted mounting of the electrical components within the fabricated apparatus and purchasing housing for the enclosure. Data from the prototype tests from the counterweight deceleration were collected and compared to an ideal model. Analysis of results determined that a counterweight system is sufficient for decelerating the load, but modifications need to be made to the model to accurately predict its behavior. Despite issues integrating the full system with the Efika, the automation timing sequence and video recording drivers have been successfully written and tested. In the face of obstacles and delays, the project is taking shape and the group feels confident with its direction and design.
Brandt, Dylan; Garatoni, Peter; Gerloff, Sara; and Vaidya, Sawan, "Design Review Report: Zero G Design Group" (2010). Engineering Senior Design Reports. 28.