Some people think about particulates which arrive on Earth from space can easily catch.
Some of them as microscopic are flying in stratosphere, there’s a lot of this samples. After some time, they are able to fall down to Earth ( they are becoming micrometeorites), where there are waiting for careful eyes of researchers worldwide. Some, to capture them, hunt them on the shimmering, white snow of the Alps, the other simply insert enclosed plastic magnet into the gutter and then examine under a microscope, as well as objects there stopped .It is quite simple to catch samples which came from space. The idea of acquiring their own space stones in Section Division SKA assumed something another – capture particles before they reach the surface of the earth.
The main aim of our experiment is to design, build and launch an experiment capable of collecting micrometeorites, dust particles and possible microorganisms in the Earth’s stratosphere. Our experiment is an advanced form of a particle-recuperating machine, belonging to our Association’s PARTICULA (‘particle’ in Latin) balloon experimental programme. It originated in 2013 from a simple garden experiment from France in which micrometeorites were recuperated from water flow coming from the house’s roof. Our idea was to apply the described method (magnetic field method) to a stratospheric balloon mission .
The first PARTICULA experiments were based on stratospheric sails (‘parachutes’) of different sizes, which, equipped with magnetic elements, were flown under latex balloons to 30 km of altitude to collect iron (chondritic) spherules and additional particles . In 30th June 2013 we tested experiment PARTICULA1, which was small circle magnet. It was fixed under the gondola Jarowit-Jaryło its effectiveness was very low (served more as an extra, hanging weight, the effect of inducing a double pendulum), we managed to capture something that would be considered a tiny micrometeorite.
The 14th September 2013, was made PARTICULA2, which was pentagonal shape, small sail, which catched the air and directed them toward the magnet. The mission it’s not fully successful. The sail after accident changed the positions, and it’s not work properly but we catched some samples which contained micrometeorites.
In 2014 we tested PARTICULA3, which was pre-test from deorbital sail PW-SAT2, it was square area of 4 m2. In 18th April 2015 we tested target sail from polish satellite.
Every year, students from Europe are applyinf for REXUS/BEXUS Campaign. In 2014 decided to take part in this venture. The REXUS/BEXUS programme allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. Student Space Association’s created a experiment from REXUS/BEXUS Campaign in 2009, it was project SCOPE 2.0, which was the basic from Ballon Divison.
The BuLMA experiment is concerned with the collection of micrometeorites, dust particles and microscopic lifeforms in Earth’s Stratoshpere, an extreme environment with extremely steep gradients of temperatures and very low pressure, with three methods of collecting particle/lifeform samples.Low air speed (oscillating around 7 m/s) of such missions and the complex construction of such sails (they were quite problematic – they often fell on a side, and only a part of them was actively working) permitted to catch only few particles (including dust and iron spherules) – for example, missions launched from an airplane travelling at 900 km/h were able to collect up to few thousands of particles on a 60-cm2. surface . The analysis of the collected samples were extracted from the sail’s magnets’ polyethylene membranes and verified under a microscope (‘space’ spherules were easy to distinguish among other Earth-coming particles because of their round shape – Earth-coming particles are porous and edgy).
Our proposed solution (or alternative) to sail-magnetic experiments, travelling in low velocities and having contact with a quite low total volume of air (resulting in lot total number of caught particles), is a stratospheric aerodynamic device BuLMA (Balloon micro Lifeform-and-Meteorite Assembler; also PARTICULA 5) – multiple cyclone unit equipped with fans, able to collect not only micrometeorites and dust particles, but also so-called mesoxenes, or microorganisms that originated from the Earth but no longer resemble Earth-like lifeforms (all done using electric field, magnetic field and high-roughness membranes, with additional data coming from a Geiger-Müller-based particle counter). A mission duration of a few hours in the stratosphere (above 12 km of altitude) and much greater total volume of used air (air in contact with particle-collecting instruments) should greatly increase the number of caught particles (in comparison to the aircraft method described in , that should be about ten times less in maximum – about 200).
In December 2014 we took part in Selection Workshop in ESA ESTEC in Leiden. We didn’t go through to the next stage, but we got valuable tips on how to improve our work. We developed a pneumatic system, now the possibility of flooding cyclones where landing in the water has been eliminated to the minimum reduced the velocity of the exhaust air from the plant experiments, we modified the method capture molecules and we began the phase of testing of prototypes thanks to parts produced to us generously by Zortrax dealing with high-quality 3D printing.
Next year (2015) again we started in REXUS/BEXUS Campaign with BuLMA. With success we came the first stage (Selection Workshop) after that members started to prepare from Students Training Week. In 14th-20th February 2016 members came to Kiruna in Sweden to present progress in the work with Experiment, and they took part in workshops and lectures. It’s make that work on the correct preparation of the experiment will run more efficiently and with greater success.