Microgravity Testing Platform-Aerodynamics Team
thesisposted on 01.04.2017, 00:00 by Barbara Giffin, Cameron Ellis, Chris Marcum, Daniel Kerbs
As a whole, the project seeks to develop a low-cost method for creating a high-quality microgravity environment. Comparison of different aerodynamic body designs, feasibility of passive boundary layer methods, and quantification of restorative moments were major objectives of the Aerodynamics Team. This team was able to reach several key conclusions. First, implementation of a Ringleb cusp on the aft portion of the aerobody to reduce drag and control boundary layer separation characteristics was determined to be feasible, though further testing from actual flights is needed prior to picking an aerobody design. Second, application of turbulator tape in order to further control flow separation was also determined to be feasible, but, again, flight tests are needed to fully verify these results. Finally, future teams can calculate restorative moments once a final center of mass is determined.