NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
For spacecraft, scientific experiments and human passengers, the intense vibration of launch and docking is one of the most common and potentially dangerous hazards of spaceflight. NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) studies a new way to cancel out and control vibration using an electromagnet. Results determine whether this method works in microgravity, benefiting efforts to cancel out damaging or disruptive vibrations on future missions.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Sam Terfa, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Minnehaha Academy , Minneapolis, MN, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Sam Terfa, M.S., Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, MN, United States

Developer(s)
Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Valley Christian High School , San Jose , CA, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned
47/48

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) determines if an electromagnet acting upon a permanent magnet can introduce counter-vibrations into a vibrating system to cancel vibration. This investigation is to determine if such a method works and is useful.
  • NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation also determines if the method stated above works effectively in microgravity. This investigation is to determine if such a method could be used in space to cancel vibrations.
  • The benefit of this research may be the creation of a new method for vibration cancellation for use in various applications.
  • Another benefit of this research may be the protection of sensitive equipment from vibration in microgravity.

Description

NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) examines how electromagnetism can be used to control and cancel vibrations in a system with the objective to determine if such a method can be used effectively in microgravity. In a full-gravity environment, traditional methods of vibration cancellation that use weights and balances can be used. In microgravity, however, such methods cannot be used as they are gravity-dependent. Electromagnetism was chosen for the experiment because it operates independent of gravity and can act upon a system without physical contact. Data from the space and ground experiments are compared to determine the effectiveness of the method in both environments.
 
The vibration chamber is 3D-printed in a continuous piece with the Microlab end cap. The chamber is 45 mm long, 19 mm tall, and 27 mm wide, with the central section being slightly wider at 34 mm wide. Attached to the inside ends of the chamber are two copper electromagnet coils (Misco Speakers, radius 7.5 mm, length 11 mm). A 3D-printed rod with two neodymium magnets (K&J Magnetics, product ID: DH2H1) and an accelerometer (SparkFun, product ID: LIS331) slotted into it is suspended from two nitinol springs (Kellogg’s Research Labs, mandrel size 4.75 mm, wire diameter 0.25 mm, length 9 coils) attached to the inside ends of the chamber within the electromagnet coils. The coils and accelerometer are connected to and controlled by an AVR microcontroller with an Arduino interface, which in turn interfaces with the Microlab STAMP controller. The STAMP module controls photo frequency and data transfer.
 
Temperature and pressure do not affect the experiment. Continuous power is needed for the first 6 hours prior to the first iteration of the experiment’s tests. Continuous power is also needed for ten minutes every 1.5-2 hours. Any other time, momentary power interruption does not significantly disrupt the experiment. The experiment is designed to function for the entire duration of the flight onboard the International Space Station, but it can be shut down after 10 days if needed.

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Applications

Space Applications
Launch and docking with the International Space Station can cause vibrations inside spacecraft, which can damage sensitive equipment or scientific payloads. On Earth, a system of weights and balances can be used to cancel out vibrations, but this method does not work in the microgravity environment of space. This investigation tests whether an electromagnet can effectively cancel vibrations in microgravity, benefiting a wide range of space-based research.

Earth Applications
Students in 10th - 12th grade at Minnehaha Academy designed the experiment in the school’s Applied Research and Engineering class, developing real-world experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Designing and building an experiment to fly in space fosters a unique connection to the space program, inspiring the next generation of aerospace workers.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

NanoRacks Module-21 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. During actual operation, photographic data is sent to the investigators to track the progress of the experiment. The module transmits 1 VGA quality photo every hour along with 1 KB of measurements. In the event that the capacitor is not charged when a photo is taken, the module waits for the capacitor to charge for up to two hours. If the capacitor is not charged by then, the module transmits 1 VGA photo. In the event that the module and AVR fail to communicate, the module keeps trying to establish contact for up to seven minutes, after which it hard-restarts the connection and transmits 1 VGA photo.
 
Crew interaction with Module-21 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Minnehaha ISS/ARA

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Imagery

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NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) vibration chamber final image. The vibration chamber is mounted to the endcap. It includes two electromagnets, a bar with two neodymium magnets mounted in the bar, and two nitinol springs attached to the end. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.

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Final design sketch of the vibration chamber and experiment module for NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation) drawn by Colby Boehm. The first sketch on the left page shows the empty vibration chamber with dimensions. The second sketch on the left side of the page shows the side profile of the bar. The third image on the left side of the page shows the vibration chamber with all of the parts. The first image on the right side of the page shows the empty vibration unit. The final picture on the right side shows the endcap with the vibration chamber attached to the cap. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.

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Graph of acceleration over time from test run for NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-Vibration Cancellation in Microgravity (NanoRacks-MA-Vibration Cancellation). The acceleration data will be put through a PID Loop to create the output for the correction electromagnet. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.

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