When the Ariane 5 ECA qualification flight lifts off in October, one of the ‘passengers’ will be 33.5 litres of water. Onboard will be the experimental Sloshsat-FLEVO satellite, designed to help European scientists find out more about the movement of water in microgravity and its effects on satellites.
Sloshsat-FLEVO is aptly named: slosh for the movement of water, sat for satellite and FLEVO, the project’s acronym: Facility for Liquid Experimentation and Verification in Orbit. Flevo is also the name of the latest province in the Netherlands to be reclaimed from the sea, and one of the sites of the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), the main contractor for this project. The cube-shaped Sloshsat-FLEVO is a mini satellite with a mass of just 129 kg. It will be launched on top of the cylinder-shaped Maqsat-B2 structure and placed in the lower passenger position under the Ariane 5 fairing.
This joint project between ESA’s Technology Research and Development Programme and the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace, is funded mainly through ESA’s General Study and Technology Programme. Sloshsat is designed to investigate fluid dynamics in microgravity conditions by monitoring the behaviour of 33.5 litres of deionised water, placed in a tank onboard the small satellite.
Alain Conde Reiss | alfa
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