Blog: Davide Stefani

When I was little, my cousin introduced me to Star Wars. I loved how Jedi's could move things without touching them and had lightsabers. In this project, we try to move things without touching them using lasers, that's good enough for me!

On a more serious note, I saw this project as a great chance to be involved first hand in all the steps required to take a scientific experiment from just an idea to a real experiment. Having the support and contribution of ESA and the team has made this an ideal situation to test some of the skills that are required in a scientist but are usually a prerogative of professors and principal investigators.

The project is progressing really well towards the launch in November. We have finalized the design and managed to acquire all the components needed to assemble the experiment. Now, we need to assemble the experiment! Finally, we will be able to turn what was just design and sketches into an actual physical science machine!

This is never as easy as it sounds though, since every component has to be checked and double-checked to make sure that everything is in its proper place. We also have to program the electronic components that we will use to control the experiment during the drop, when it is inside the drop tower and we won't be able to access it directly.

In this phase, I will collaborate with the other team members in GrapheneX to assemble and test the experiment. It is a heavy task and we all have to be well rehearsed in all the procedures and technical problems we could encounter during the experiment. In previous stages of the experiment, I took charge of the work distribution and the design of the vacuum chamber.

After assembly comes the testing part, which means we will have to run preliminary experiments and test runs of all the little things that need to be perfect in order for the experiment to succeed. We want to have an established routine ready for the experiment preparation before we go to the Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany in November.

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Publishing date: 27 November 2017 21:42