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Kingston University London’s drop tower is designed to deliver short duration periods of microgravity for small to medium (20kg up to 0.3m3 envelope) space experiments.

The drop tower uses a linear motor and magnetic track acting as a highly controllable electromagnetic catapult to guide a platform through a parabolic time distance profile with up to 2.2 seconds of potentially high quality micro-gravity. Extended exposure to the microgravity environment can be obtained with multiple experiments, using the automated operation of the tower. A cumulative exposure of up to 2.5 hours of microgravity can potentially be offered per working day, subject to a minimum rest period between runs.

Experiments can be isolated from atmospheric and vibration disturbances using an air drag shield. Experiment masses up to 20 kilograms are possible, higher masses may be permitted with further development. Dimensional constraints are set to 0.5m x 0.75m x 0.75m. Experiments will need to be able to withstand 5g acceleration to take advantage of the maximum microgravity duration, this can be adjusted for more sensitive payload needs.

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