To simulate the conditions of the space environment at ground the SRL was developed a tabletop Micro testbed.
The Tabletop Testbed provide near-frictionless motion environment with 360-degree rotation about one axis (yaw rotation) about 35-degree around two other axis (Roll and Pitch).
Tabletop Micro Air-Bearing has 2 main parts:
1. Platform with balancing mechanism
2. The hemispherical Air bearing with its support
The platform must be tall enough to place test equipments in the middle of it and provides a stable base.
In order to create a balancing platform a 30 cm diameter circle was utilized. One again it made of a non-ferrous material. In order to remove weight, material was removed from the circular plate. The balancing masses made of Brass. The platform is portable at approximately 1700 g so it could be easily moved by one person.
The bearing and load are supported by input compressed air. The compressed air creates a thin film of air. The hemispherical bearing supports at most 15 kg in a maximum operating pressure of 3 bar.
The bearing has a low moment of inertia, and provides a range of motion: ±360˚. The air bearing and balancing platform made of a non-ferrous material so it does not interfere with the magnetic field.
|Rotation Range||XY axis:±35° Z axis:360°|
|Bearing noise||Un-measurably small|
|Sensitivity to temperature changes||Operates over wide range of temperatures|
Platform Diameter Version A 20cm; Version B 30cm; Version C 40cm
|Platform + Balancing device||1|
|Air bearing with its support||1|