Last week, the StrathSat-R team had the Critical Design Review (CDR) at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. The team presented the design and the status of the experiment and received feedback from experts from ESA, DLR and SNSB. Passing this CDR was an important step of getting closer to the rocket launch in March 2013. The StrathSat-R experiment will be on the REXUS 13 rocket together with the other European Experiments: Polecats and Space Sailors, and Muscats.
Furthermore, the pumps on the experiment got changed to stronger ones due to the requirement that all the actuation needs to be performed within 140 seconds of micro gravity time. The smaller pumps from earlier in the project were selected because the assumption was made that they would be suitable due to the low mass of the trapped air. Experiments showed that the trapped air mass is indeed low but the volume is large. Therefore, pumps with a higher mass flow rate should also be able to change the volume changing capabilities.
The research on SAM is currently focused on creating a Matlab code to simulate the actuation of the SAM membrane. At the moment, the research is carried out parallel to attending the Space Studies Program (SSP) of the International Space University (ISU) in Melbourne, Florida in conjunction with the Florida Institute of Technology and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.