Reduced Gravity Testing and Research Capabilities at Queensland University of Technology’s New 2.0 Second Drop Tower
Reduced gravity experimentation is important to many research groups working in various fields investigating both fundamental and applied aspects of diverse physical phenomena. Very few terrestrial or extra-terrestrial experimental facilities are currently available that allow researchers access to reduced gravity environments. The Queensland University of Technology’s has recently fabricated a purpose built, stand alone 2.0 second drop tower specifically to accommodate reduced gravity experimentation. The specifications and operational procedures of this new research facility are presented. Information concerning current and future areas of research is also presented and discussed. These research areas include: 1) cellular biology, 2) fluid dynamics and multiphase flow, 3) nanomaterial production including silica sol-gels and carbon nanotubes, and 4) heterogeneous combustion with a focus on bulk metallic materials burning in oxygen enriched atmospheres performed in collaboration with NASA and industry partners. Discussion on the use of the new research facility in the production of advanced materials for earth-based applications will be presented. Opportunities will also be discussed regarding both collaborative research and the provision of reduced gravity test services.
John Bell, Cheng Yan, Lin Ye and Liangchi Zhang
T. Steinberg "Reduced Gravity Testing and Research Capabilities at Queensland University of Technology’s New 2.0 Second Drop Tower ", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 32, pp. 21-24, 2008