Design-Aid Simulation of a "Spiral Top" Floating Device

@We carried out several design-aid simulations of a "Spiral Top" floating device for ISS/KIBO culture and human science pilot mission by request of JAXA and Prof. Takuro Osaka, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, Univ. of Tsukuba.

What is the "Spiral Top" project?
@Astronaut Mouri introduced an interesting phenomena of a pair of pliers, that rotates constantly in circle motion for a while and suddenly, turns upside down. By placing LEDs on four arms of an object and by producing spiral motions due to the reversal phenomena (Fig. 1), the light trace of the LEDs becomes a light art. We simulated this phenomena using our numerical code, and helped to decide the appropriate shape and mass distribution.

Fig.1 Simulation of the "Spiral Top"
Isobe Lab., Univ. of Tsukuba

@Astronaut Koichi Wakata who stays in ISS successfully performed an experiment on "Spiral Top" floating device on April 30 and May 2, 2009 (Fig.2 and Fig.3). The "Spiral Top" has four arms with LED lights blinking intermittently, and performs various reversal motions by changing the mass on each arm. It draws concentric circle and multi-spiral light trace in space. It became the world's first light art in space.

Fig. 2 Light art experiments on ISS

Takuro Osaka/ Koichi Wakata, JAXA

Fig. 3 World's first light art in space
Takuro Osaka/ Koichi Wakata, JAXA

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