Students within the space program at Luleå University of Technology have developed a way to solder in space, in low gravity, without deteriorating the quality of the soldering.Their solution can save large sums in diffrent international space programs, and if all goes as planned, it will be included in a sharp test rocket from rocket base Esrange in Kiruna
- We are very proud to have been accepted to REXUS witch is a rocket-borne experiment for university students, says Anders Svedevall, students' projectleader.
Students at Luleå University of Technology, in "The SOLAR team" as they call themselves, may have solved a problem that the U.S. space agency NASA previously identified. In two experiments, including the International Space Station (ISS), has been discovered that the solder joints made in low-gravity containing gas bubbles which reduce the quality significantly. Therefore no soldering is made in space at present situation.
- If a capacitor fails for example you have to send up a completely new instrument instead of soldering it with a new capacitor, which of course will cost large sums of money for space programs, said Anders Svedevall.
One solution purposed by the students is to carry out soldering in vacuum, but they also has a second solution.
- The second idea is to have a gas flow around the samples to get an internal flow of the solder and thus get the bubbles to the surface, says Anders Svedevall.
LTU students' solution has been selected to be part of Rexus / Bexusprogram, which is a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA), the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Deutsches Zentrum fuer Air-und Raumfahrt (DLR ). That in turn means that the students in "The SOLAR team" at Luleå University of Technology have the opportunity to test their solutions in a sharp test. The team includes Robert Lindberg, Hamoon Shahbazi, Björn Sjödahl, Björn Paulström, Elisabet Wejmo, Maja Nylén, Johan Strandgren, Anders Svedevall, Martin Eriksson, Anneli Prenta, Johanna Åstrand, Adrian Lindqvist, Sara Widbom
- Our solutions will be launched by a rocket from Esrange and tested under real conditions, says Anders Svedberg Vallarta.
The tests will be performed in separate chambers during the flight. A third chamber will be used to make the experiment in a pressurized environment, just as NASA's experiments, in order to get something to compare with. Another reference sample is carried out at ground level. The launch takes place in March 2013.