Acceleration profiles and processing methods for parabolic flight
Parabolic flights provide cost-effective, time-limited access to "weightless" or reduced gravity conditions, facilitating research and validation activities that complement infrequent and costly access to space. Although parabolic flights have been conducted for decades, reference acceleration profiles and processing methods are not widely available. Here we present a solution for collecting, analyzing, and classifying the altered gravity environments experienced during parabolic flights, which we validated during a Boeing 727-200F flight with 20 parabolas. All data and analysis code are freely available. Our solution can be integrated with diverse experimental designs, does not depend upon accelerometer orientation, and allows unsupervised classification of all phases of flight, providing a consistent and open-source approach to quantifying gravito-inertial accelerations (GIA), or g levels. As academic, governmental, and commercial use of space advances, data availability and validated processing methods will enable better planning, execution, and analysis of parabolic flight experiments, and thus facilitate future space activities.
- Pub Date:
- August 2018
- Physics - Popular Physics;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- Correspondence to C.E. Carr (email@example.com). 15 pages, 4 figures, 3 supplemental figures. Code: https://github.com/CarrCE/zerog, Dataset: https://osf.io/nk2w4/