About the programme
The “REXUS / BEXUS – Rocket / Balloon Experiments for University Students” is a research programme organized mainly by three Space Agencies: European (ESA), German (DLR) and Swedish (SNSA). It allows students from technical universities across Europe to put their own scientific and technical experiment onboard a research rocket or a stratospheric balloon. The main idea is to educate specialists for the European aerospace market. Each team and its experiment must go through a restrictive process of validation and verification, similar to the professional ESA experiments. Our team has successfully passed through the design phase and is currently at the stage of constructing and testing the prototype, to then apply possible corrections in the construction of the finished experiment.
About the experiment
„TRACZ” (ang. Testing Robotic Applications for Catching in Zero-g) is the experiment whose objective is to explore the possibility of using a pneumatic “jamming gripper” in the space where a negative pressure difference cannot be obtained, and the lack of gravity can result in unpredictable behavior of the granules that fill the effector membrane. The experiment will be conducted onboard the rocket with the Improved Orion drive and will be a part of the REXUS-26 mission in March 2019.
The rocket will be launched, and after the propulsion module disconnecting, the payload will fall free. The desired conditions for conducting the experiment (microgravity and vacuum) will last about 80s. During this time, a series of grips and simultaneous measurements of the accompanying forces will be performed on the test object. The results will be compared with the experiment carried out on Earth. Afterward, a critical evaluation of the possibility of using the described device for the solutions of the space industry will be presented.