ZQubes were designed specifically to provide ETP teachers with a powerful yet simple base kit of hardware to perform a wide variety of experiments across all disciplines. The platform is inexpensive, can be used in class and on the aircraft, and can carry out sensor measurements and take video of microgravity phenomena in a sample chamber.
Professor Bob Twiggs, co-inventor of the CubeSat platform, develops the ZQube (ZQ) through Twiggs Space Labs. TSL partners with the ETP to provide teachers hardware and training they need to make use of this platform in and out of the classroom.
The ZQ is a palm-sized laboratory that can be used for sensor data acquisition, basics kinematics and dynamics, and the behavior of fluids and granular materials in microgravity. The applications are limited only by student creativity.
The ZQ system is ready to go, with no soldering or coding required for the basic unit. Data is stored on a microSD and can be loaded to the TSL dashboard for global data sharing. ZQ training is included at the ETP workshop, with assistance from ETP mentors as needed. Data storage and workshop activities will require a laptop or tablet computer.
The base ZQ is a "1S" form-factor (45 x 45 x 45 mm) with the following components
For experiments that require video/photo data, the 2S ZQ (45 x 45 x 95-mm) consists of the 1S hardware, a small camera, and a transparent sample chamber for containing ~mL quantities of liquids, gels, powders, or other materials.
For flights with dozens of ZQ projects on board, the individual ZQs can be safely packaged and simultaneously activated within the Z-frame, which is a packaging form-factor similar to the 2U CubeSat container. Each Z-frame can hold 16 1S ZQs or up to 8 2S ZQs.