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A Toulouse student project flies to the ISS

Les pieds sur terre, la tête dans les étoiles. Literaly, Feet on the ground, head in the stars.  This is the motto of the TETRISS project, winner of the Generation ISS competition launched in 2019 by CNES and the French Ministry of Education and Research.

Two years later: successful mission for the students of the Physical Measurements and Mechanical Engineering departments of the IUT Paul Sabatier and the teachers who accompanied them, including me. TETR’ISS has passed all validation steps orchestrated by CNES, ESA and then NASA. The flight model is now in the United States and is waiting to take off to join Thomas Pesquet on mission Alpha, on August 10, if everything is nominal, as they say on the launch pads.

The objective of this experiment is to take advantage of the microgravity in the spatial station to provide a 3D version of the Chladni patterns. On Earth, the 2D version consists of depositing sand on a vibrating plate. The grains are then localized in the nodes of the stationary modes of vibration giving rise to very graphic geometric figures: the Chladni patterns. In the orbiting version the particles will be in suspension. By subjecting them to ultrasound, we expect to observe new 3-dimensional patterns. The box that contains the experiment, aka the Platform, is entirely autonomous: it embeds the home made electronic board, two cameras for stereoscopic vision, lighting, SD cards…

Beyond the scientific experiment, which would be a first if it worked as planned, it is about feeding emerging passions and disseminating science to a wide audience. Through the eyes of the teacher that I am, the TETR’ISS project is above all a great collective experience, the opportunity to bring together more than 200 students, a dozen teachers and important partners around a common goal that is rather ambitious and very motivating.

It is also to realize that first and second-year graduate students are able to conceive, design, manufacture, test, qualify, and requalify from scratch an autonomous experiment with the specifications of a manned space flight. Finally, it’s a bit of pride to have accompanied them so far and to know that in the middle of summer, all those who had participated in the project will be looking at the stars at the same time. Rendez-vous on August 10...


More information: https://sites.google.com/view/tetriss/pr%C3%A9sentation


Contact: Gonzague Agez, Assitant Professor, gonzague.agez [at] cemes.fr

Professor at the Physical Measurements and Mechanical Engineering department of the Paul Sabatier IUT

Researcher at CEMES - NeO Group