ME-EM banner

Michigan Tech Aerospace Engineers Selected for NASA Reduced Gravity Flight Student Program
MTU - NASA Zero Gravity Flight

Michigan Tech's Aerospace Enterprise student team was selected to test their nanosatellite in zero gravity on KC-135 airplane at an altitude of 36,000 ft. over Texas. Shown at left, MEEM Chair Bill Predebon with the Michigan Tech student team.

The Aerospace Enterprise Team is competing with nine other universities to build the best probe for the NASA space shuttle launch scheduled for 2006- 2007

Group of MTU - NASA Zero Gravity Flight The MTU KC-135 Team is an undergraduate research team participating in the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program (RGSFOP) at Johnson Space Center. The KC-135 Team operates as a design team as part of the MTU Aerospace Enterprise. Recently, The Reduced Gravity Office selected the MTU KC-135 Team to fly in an experiment on dynamic behavior of an inflatable boom (with end masses). The boom and end masses are part of the MTU Aerospace Enterprise's University Nansosat 3 Program.

The goal of the proposed experiment is to understand the fundamental dynamic behavior of an inflated space structure and how this behavior will impact attitude control of the MTU HuskySat. The four primary objectives are as follows:

Investigate effects of gravity-dependent boundary conditions on the modal response of the boom in each state. Determine stiffness of the boom in each state for small deflections. Determine perturbation amplitude at which the boom's dynamic response deviates from solid mechanics' theory. Document dynamic behavior of the boom for large oscillations.

Predebon and Jet crew

Experiment Objectives
• Understand the fundamental dynamic behavior of an inflated space
structure and effects of gravity induced boundary conditions.
• Responses will be induced using a multiple reference roving impact hammer test

• Data will be used to predict stiffness of the boom and settling time of
spacecraft when disturbed
• Generate control laws for MTU HuskySat

Student in cockpit Flight 1
Flight 1 flyers: Adam Moore and Matt Blanck, Photos at left and lower left.

•Flights for 2005:
•Re-flight of boom experiment to modify techniques and verify data
•“Free-float” experiment examining tip-offs due to antenna deployment

Aerospace Enterprise Team website

Weightless Weightless2
Flight 2
Flight 2 flyers: Jeff Carpenter, Jason Makela,
Tom Haas, in photos, above, left and below.


weightless 3 Huskysat test

Back to Main Page

Back to News Page


Nov 6, 2004

Michigan Tech Home Search Opens up a fill-in contact form