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Zero Gravity Mass Measurement Device (ZGMMD) Parabolic Flight Test

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Zero Gravity Mass Measurement Device (ZGMMD) Parabolic Flight Test
Proposal: ZGMMD Parabolic Flight Testis: John Wetzel Institution: Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) Technology and Importance: Mass is a primary measurement for science experiments, and there are currently no devices available for use in microgravity that can accurately measure the mass of objects with relatively low mass Potential End Users: Biological (plant and physical science researchers in microgravity), such as current rodent research being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) Technology Readiness Level (TRL): Current TRL-4, with planned TRL-6 after completion of test Flight Test Requested: Test the Zero Gravity Mass Measurement Device (ZGMMD) aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s ZEROG Lab, which provides a reduced gravity environment that replicates the microgravity environment of spaceflight by performing multiple parabolic flight maneuvers. Each 15 to 20 second “Zero-g” period provides enough time to operate the ZGMMD and test its functionality and performance in a microgravity environment, similar to its planned application in an orbiting laboratory such as ISS Human factors operational considerations will also be tested during this flight evaluation Description of Test Apparatus: ZGMMD provides the ability to quantify the mass of objects ranging from 1 to 100 grams in the microgravity environment. Housed in a small rectangular enclosure, ZGMMD provides for emplacement of a sample in an enclosed volume. Translational motion is induced on the sample to impart a known acceleration profile, from which the resulting force is measured and the mass of the sample is computed Flight Objectives: Evaluate the performance of mass measurements in the microgravity environment and compare results to terrestrial testing. Assess human factors related to operation of the system in microgravity (setup system, place samples, perform mass measurements, etc.) Expected Flight Data: Mass measurement data will be collected for each test conducted to evaluate system performance in microgravity, and detailed notes will document operation of the system for subsequent evaluation of human factors in microgravity Results of this parabolic flight testing will aid in refinement of the system design to optimize performance for application in the microgravity environment Technology Development Partner Organizations: NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) Flight Ready Date: 15 October 2015. More »

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