Drop Tower Links

Much of the microgravity fluid mechanics research at PSU has been supported by NASA and monitored through NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. NASA GRC possesses two historic and productive drop tower facilities: the 5.18s Zero-G Facility and the 2.2s Drop Tower.

In the past NASA GRC also sponsors a nation wide program for high school and junior high school students to conduct experiments using drop towers called DIME and WING programs. A New pilot program with NASA GRC using the DDT is called CELERE. The NASA site includes information with instruction how to apply. Our group at PSU promotes supports such programs and we hope to provide a local replica of such a program that is less selective, but equal in fun and STEM exposure for K-12 students.

The microgravity research progress at PSU has also benifited from collaborations with researchers at other facilities with drop towers studying fluid interfacial phenomena: ZARM in Bremen, Germany (Dr. Eng. Michael Dreyer), Purdue University (Prof. Steven Collicott), and University of Florida in Gainsville (Prof. Jacob Chung).

Other towers that have seen activity in academia primarily in the study of combustion phenomena may be found at the University of Texas at Austin and Colorado State University.

NASA Low-Gravity Aircraft Links

NASA also conducts low-gravity experiments using airplanes flying in nearly free-fall trajectories. One of the most popular programs is competitive for undergraduate student teams. It is called the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program and is announced annually. This is the 'Vomit Comit' program which is a blast as well as an education. PSU has had 10 undergraduate teams fly out of NASA JSC in Houston. The teams were supported in part by NASA Oregon Space Grant and each has a story.

A similar low-g aircraft program is established in Europe (Caravelle, Airbus A300), and a commercial company out of Las Vegas is providing flights for joy riders as well as researchers.

NASA Spaceflight Experiment Links

PSU has been fortunate to conduct long duration low-gravity experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). These include the Capillary Flow Experiments (CFE/NASA-PSU), the Capillary Channel Flow Experiment (CCF/ZARM-DLR-NASA-PSU), and the second Capillary Flow Experiments (CFE-2/NASA-PSU). The second and third experiments are currently aboard ISS.

Other Links