How does the GraviTower Bremen Pro work?
The GraviTower provides scientists with a new space laboratory in which research in weightlessness is possible up to a thousand times a day.
The GraviTower uses a rail system to carry out the experiments. The new feature: a slider, which carries the experiment capsule, is accelerated by a rope drive to exactly the same speed it would theoretically reach during a catapult flight in the vacuum of the Drop Tower. The GraviTower therefore does not require a vacuum because it compensates the air resistance by means of a rope drive. The slider shields the experiment capsule from the surrounding air. To reach the weightlessness phase, the experiment is uncoupled from the slider. This way, the experiment capsule is in free fall for 2.5 seconds. During this time, there is no air movement inside the slider that would slow down the free fall of the experiment capsule, so we achieve a similarly high quality of weightlessness as in the Drop Tower. Towards the end of the free fall, the experiment capsule is finally reconnected to the slider, and both are decelerated by the rope drive.
Up to 960 experiments can be performed with the GraviTower every day. After each individual experiment cycle, the scientists can access the experiment, vary the experiment setup or start to evaluate the data. Thus, with the combination of the quality of microgravity and the quasi-unrestricted access to the experiment after every 2.5 seconds, ZARM offers unique conditions for microgravity research.
ZARM realized a second microgravity lab that now works without a vacuum - the GraviTower Bremen Pro. Thus, it will be able to perform up to 960 experiments per day.