As reported in a previous Facebook post, the SCRAP experiment intends to put into practice some parts and designs that have been done by the ISAAC team… but, why exactly? Which benefits can we get? And maybe, which ‘cons’?
Ok, “starting from the start”, the SCRAP experiment is considered tricky. For a successful mission, we demand a high synchrony of all systems which are part of it. Just a quick example: while some experiments aim to measure a phenomenon inside the rocket, with very well installed sensors and apparatus, SCRAP wants to launch a rocket, then eject two free falling units from it at a certain altitude, then make these units release a bunch of particles in a very particular way, then point a huge radar to these clouds to measure the backscatter, while making sure the units will be recovered somewhere in Lappland.
And it’s not over: we still will have to analyze all the data generated and evaluate the flight, ejection of the units and the particles releasing. Uh!
But, paraphrasing a quote every scientist loves, we choose to do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard!”
So, with this tricky challenge, why not keep both eyes on a quite competent team which also have to eject two big free falling units in their mission? Why not design our systems in a way so that it is possible to adapt some solutions created by ISAAC? And why not reuse some pieces?
With their authorization, understanding of what has been done and a guarantee that things can work fine, we could save money and precious time!
(Before continuing, please let me introduce you to the ISAAC experiment: isaacexperiment.wordpress.com/ , facebook.com/isaac.rexus )
ISAACs’ and SCRAPs’ free falling units will be very similar. They have the same dimensions and similar masses. In the next photo, you can check the dummies created for the ejection tests.
Thus, the module may be the same. It already has all the required openings, hatches and screw assembling patterns.
Finally, the ejection system may work well in our case. Here, a video of an ejection test performed last week.
As one can see, this video shows a very slow and soft ejection, what fits better for ISAACs’ purposes.
However, we have different requirements: SCRAP needs the free falling units as far as possible from the rocket and other stuff.
Is this just a matter of increasing the springs’ strength? Do we need to redesign other pieces?
All these questions will be solved soon…