The Caging System for Drag Free Satellites was tested on each of four parabolic flights during a NASA Flight Opportunities Campaign in April 2013 at Ellingont Field, Houston, TX.
In order to mature the technology and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), the caging system has to be tested in a relevant environment. In particular, the ability to maintain caging force under random vibration and successfully operate in zero-gravity were put forward as tests in a relevant environment.
The deployment of a Drag-free Test Mass in microgravity was tested by our graduate students Eric Hultgren and Andreas Zoellner. The bench-top model of the caging system was slightly modified for this flight in order to operate autonomously inside the CubeSat structure. Two cameras were attached to the structure in order to record the TM dynamics during "un-caging" and "re-caging".
Last modified Wed, 10 Jul, 2013 at 16:04