Leaf springs in rocket for space research

2018-10-24 In March 2019, a sounding rocket is launched for research on the density and temperature of electrons in the lower ionosphere. The rocket´s locking system includes leaf springs from Lesjöfors.

The European research program REXUS/BEXUS gives students the opportunity to launch space experiments in a sounding rocket. Two rockets, a Swedish and a German, are annually launched and are dedicated for student projects throughout the EU and Canada. The students receive guidance from experts in the field, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Swedish space Corporation (SSC), and ZARM (Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity).

Electrons density and temperature measurements
PRIME (Plasma Measurement with Micro Experiment) is an experiment by students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), to be launched on REXUS25 sounding rocket in 2019. The project aims to develop a miniature recoverable Free Falling Unit (FFU) for plasma parameter measurements in the lower ionosphere. Two identical FFU´s are to be ejected from the Rocket Mounted Unit. The FFU is 30 mm in diameter and 250 mm long. The rocket reaches an altitude of about 85 kilometers.

“Similar measurements have been made before, but this will be the first time with a smaller FFU. We have launched a test prototype of the FFU in the Netherlands in cooperation with a local engineering company and we strongly believe in a successful experiment”, says Isabelle Gürsac, one of the KTH students in PRIME.

Leaf Spring with important function
The sounding rocket has an ejection system with a locking device. The locking system contains leaf springs from Lesjöfors with an essential function to control the ejection of the mini probes.

“We are very grateful to our sponsor partners who enable us to carry out research projects like PRIME. We are very pleased with the positive response and the generous contribution of high-quality leaf springs from Lesjöfors”, says Isabelle Gürsac.

After a hopefully successful experiment, the FFU´s can be found through the internalized localization system. The launch will take place at Esrange in Kiruna in March 2019.

If you want to know more about PRIME, follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram.

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