UT College of Engineering News

Archive for December, 2015

Dr. Brian Trease boards the G-Force One

11232015-7362a-2Dr. Brian Trease of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering Department traveled to Melbourne, FL to conduct micro-gravity experiments on the G-Force One aircraft in November.

You can view his video from the G-Force One here.

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Working with partners at MIT and Caltech, the crew flew a soil-mechanics experiment to gain kowledge of how soil and sand interactions occur in partial and near-zero gravity in the area of study known as xTerramechanics. Aboard the G-Force One, Dr. Trease and crew experienced five rounds of lunar and Martian gravity, followed by twenty rounds of complete weightlessness in zero-gravity, with each round lasting about twenty-five seconds. This research will help build better simulation tools that NASA can use in the design and planning of missions to comets, asteroids, and small moons.

Dr. Trease is a new professor at UT; these experiments are Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.44.42 AMpart of the research he started while working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

The field of xTerramechanics explores the interaction of hardware and the natural surfaces of extraterrestrial bodies.  These interactions include landing, anchoring, mobility, digging, drilling, sampling, and more. Dr. Trease’s particular experiment studied the development of shear bands under varying levels of gravity. The research was made possible by support from the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS), and the flight was provided by Zero Gravity Corporation.

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