Hannover Institute of Technology Large-scale equipment Einstein-Elevator Projects
Ultrasonic levitation as a handling tool for ISM processes

Ultrasonic levitation as a handling tool for ISM processes

Led by:  M. Sc. Jan Raffel
E-Mail:  jan.raffel@ita.uni-hannover.de
Year:  2023
Funding:  German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Duration:  01.09.2023 - 31.08.2025

In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) are key for the success of internationally targeted exploration missions on the Moon and Mars and have become increasingly important in recent years. Therefore, the "Institute of Transport and Automation Technology" (ITA) at Leibniz University Hannover and the "Institute for Particle Technology" (iPAT) at the TU Braunschweig pursue the develop an innovative manufacturing process that is specially tailored to the conditions of space. The envisioned process enables to manufacture components in mid-air without the need for support material, allowing resources to be used efficiently and thus supporting sustainable long-term missions. A key aspect of the project is the further development of the "Ultrasonic Levitation" process, which allows the handling of particles and components in microgravity. By implementing coupled simulations, complex motion sequences are precisely predicted, which enables targeted process control for the assembly of intricate 3D structures. The entire setup will be tested in the 3rd generation drop tower (Einstein-Elevator) of the HITec at Leibniz University Hannover. In addition to the acoustic levitation system, the mechanical structure of the system will include a tracking module for recording particle and component positions, as well as a process monitoring unit. This is supplemented by an auxiliary actuator system that enables sample handling between the flights in the Einstein-Elevator. This holistic approach promises new possibilities for manufacturing in space and paves the way for sustainable exploration missions beyond Earth.


further information
Project title: Ultrasonic levitation as a handling tool for ISM processes
Acronym Lev4ISM

other participating institutes/partners

Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT)
TU Braunschweig

Projekt Manager Dr.-Ing. Christoph Lotz