P14651: Drop Tower for Microgravity Studies

Systems Design

Table of Contents


A variety of existing microgravity simulation devices were benchmarked for their feasibility and individual components.


For a breakdown of benchmarked components, click the following link. Benchmarking

Bill of Materials

Each component in our drop tower design will undergo an iterative improvement process before a final selection is made. All possible component solutions are stored within the overall Bill of Materials (B.O.M.)

Overall Bill of Materials

Concept Development - Component Selection & Engineering Analysis

Tube Diameter Selection

Sensor Selection

Engineering Analysis / Person Responsible

1) Pressure Requirements Analysis / Dustin

2) Evacuation Time for Pipe Geometry & Leak Rate Analysis / Dustin

3) Critical External Pipe Pressure Analysis / Adam

4) Release Mechanism Analysis / Yoem

5) Catching Mechanism Analysis / Santiago

6) Drop Time vs Tower Height Summary & Analysis / Jake

7) Frame Calculations / Jake

- Eccentric Buckling m-file

- Structure Tipping Excel File

- System of Equations Solver for Tipping

- Tube Bending

Drop Tower Location on RIT Campus

A list of preliminary location ideas with pros & cons, as well as pictures & building floor plans is available through the following link. Tower Locations

Functional Decomposition

The functional decomposition decomposes our top level function of "Demonstrating Microgravity Concepts" into solutions independent categories.
Functional Decomposition

Functional Decomposition

To download our Functional Decomposition, click the following link. Functional Decomposition

Morph Chart

The bottom level, solution independent categories of the function decomposition are now extracted and placed into a chart format. At this point we introduce various solution ideas for each component. The image below depicts a few examples of this process.
Morph Chart

Morph Chart

To view the complete Morph Chart, click the following link. Morph Chart

Systems Architecture

In order to develop an original solution path we utilized Pugh's Matrix to compare an array of drop tower designs, based on various practical combinations from our 1st iteration Morph Chart. This process was helpful in understanding how different components would interact with one another. To view the Pugh Matrix iterations click the following link. Pugh's Matrix

The System Architectural Components can be seen in detail by downloading the following link: System Architecture.

System Block Diagram

System Block Diagram

Concept Design

Based on the results form our Pugh's Matrix and subsequent iterations of concept designs, we are able to select a preliminary concept design. To view all developed concept designs, click the following link. Concept Designs
Current Concept Design

Current Concept Design

Risk Assessment

Identifying potential risks is an important part of the design process. It can save a lot of time and frustration during the testing phase of MSD II if we can prevent any major problems in advance. We will focus primarily on technical risks in this section.
Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

To download our Risk Assessment, click the following link. Risk Assessment

Test Plan

Based on our chosen concept design and risk assessment we can develop early ideas of testing. Our test plan consists of 2 phase: Subsystem Tests and Fully Integrated System Tests. The subsystem test will ensure that each component operates as expected and the team is familiar with the operating procedures. The fully integrated tests will ensure that the drop tower runs according to plan. These tests will be used to develop the designed experiments and the operating procedures.
Test Plan Summary

Test Plan Summary

Detailed Tests Plans includes the following: description, required materials, procedure, results, specifications, comparisons & comments

Detailed Subsystem Test Plan

Detailed Fully Integrated System Test Plan

Systems Design Reviews

System Design Review PowerPoint

Sub-system Design Review PowerPoint

- Presentation Feedback

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