Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Research experiment platform

  1. Jan 27, 2009 #1
    I'm not quite sure where the best place to ask this is so I thought I would start here. Anyway, I'm a member of an undergrad engineering research team. We are trying to figure out if there are any companies that might make some type of a prefabricated test stand or platform for experiments. We are looking for something that is light and portable because our project is through the NASA's microgravity university and will be performed in simulated microgravity aboard an airplane. The limitations are 24"x24"x60" and 300 lbs. We aren't completely sure what we're looking for but again, I thought this wouldn't be bad spot to start asking around. If you aren't aware of any actual platform, are there any materials that work very well for making a light, portable experimental platform? Cost isn't a huge concern right now but of course, we're still on a budget. Again, not quite sure what I'm looking for so any info you have would be much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There are plenty of companies that make custom test stands for anything you want. From what you are describing, it doesn't sound too terribly difficult to make your own out of extruded aluminum shapes and some sheet material. If you can be more specific of what you would need this stand to do I can give you more information.
  4. Jan 28, 2009 #3
    As far as what we will actually be needing a stand to do, it really isn't much. The experiment is on soil flow through a hopper. What we want to do, since we'll have a total of about 20 seconds of micro gravity to run the experiment and maybe only 40-50 sec to reset it, is to create an hourglass shape that can just be flipped over to reset it. So I suppose all that the stand needs to do is hold the entire apparatus together and have some way to set up a pivot to reset the experiment, nothing to outlandish. Additionally, it would be nice if we had spots to mount a few cameras on it. As mentioned before, we have size and weight restrictions and the platform needs to be easily transportable.

    I was also thinking that it wouldn't be to hard just to make our own stand but we still want to look around and see whats available. If you could mention the names of a few good companies that I could do some research on, that's be great!

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook