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Camera-based sample-position detection and control for microgravity electrostatic levitation

Bräuer, Dirk and Neumann, Christian (2020) Camera-based sample-position detection and control for microgravity electrostatic levitation. Review of Scientific Instruments, 91 (4), 043904. American Institute of Physics (AIP). doi: 10.1063/1.5121883. ISSN 0034-6748.

[img] PDF - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)

Official URL: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5121883


This paper presents a method for high-speed sample detection and position control in an electrostatic levitator. The algorithm uses images acquired from two charge coupled device cameras and allows for robust and reliable detection of the sample position under various process conditions. The results show improvements over position sensitive detector systems especially under harsh environments and during autonomous operation under microgravity conditions. The position of samples with a radius from 0.6 mm to 1.1 mm is detected in three dimensions with an accuracy of ±40 μm inside a 7 mm × 7 mm × 7 mm levitation area. The two orthogonally arranged cameras, recording images at a resolution of 260 px × 260 px, are used to calculate the position every 5 ms. The control model and the corresponding position controller for the three axes are presented as well. The system was successfully tested in the laboratory and under microgravity conditions at the drop tower, during parabolic flights, and on the MAPHEUS sounding rocket.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135065/
Document Type:Article
Title:Camera-based sample-position detection and control for microgravity electrostatic levitation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Date:24 April 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Review of Scientific Instruments
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:043904
Publisher:American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Keywords:Electrostatic Levitation Microgravity MAPHEUS
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Mapheus (payload) (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Materials Physics in Space > Scientific Experiments MP
Deposited By: Bräuer, Dirk
Deposited On:02 Jun 2020 07:12
Last Modified:02 Jun 2020 07:12

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