Department of Physics and Engineering
NASA Reduced Gravity Project
About the Project
A partnership between NASA Ames Research Center, Southern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Umpqua Research Company has been developed to enhance the available expertise for this experimental project. Team members include a complementing mixture of engineering and physics students. The project also includes outreach activities for students from local high schools.
The goal of this flight experiment is to collect experimental data and make visual observations on co-current gas-liquid 2-phase flow through a 2-dimensional fixed geometry Hele Shaw configuration representing a fluidized column. Solid particles will be represented by glass rods coated by both hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface coatings. Data will be collected under hypergravity (2-g pullout of the C-9B), hypogravity (gravity level found on the Moon and Mars), and microgravity conditions. This data will be compared to observations conducted in the terrestrial gravity laboratory prior to flight. As the flight experiment matures and is practiced pre-flight under terrestrial conditions, a parallel effort to construct a computer model to simulate all gravity regimes is developed.
- To measure gas occlusion percentage.
- To measure flow rate.
- To observe phase accumulation.
- To automate the experiment.
The diagram that follows shows a typical zero-g maneuver. However, the maneuver can be modified to provide any level of g-force less than one g.
Photo courtesy of NASA
Some typical g-levels used on different tests and the corresponding time for each maneuver are as follows:
Negative-g: (-0.1 g): Approximately 15 seconds
Zero-g: Approximately 25 seconds
Lunar-g: (one-sixth g): Approximately 40 seconds
Martian-g: (one-third g): Approximately 30 seconds
The SOU NASA Reduced Gravity Team
(Jeffrey Haug, Jason Matthews, Michael Andrus, Kiley Faubion and Dr. Peter Wu)