LIDE’s Glide Your Experiment! Challenge call

 You have a student project based on altered gravity ?
Apply to fly your experiment for free!
LIDE is the first commercial provider of altered gravity test platform using parabolic flights on sailplane gliders. For the first time, LIDE is launching the “Glide Your Experiment Challenge”: a unique opportunity to fly your experiment in altered gravity conditions for free on one of our gliders’ parabolic flights.
The competition is sponsored by SELGRA, the student chapter of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). It aims to be the point of reference for European students interested in gravity-related research. SELGRA works to organize and support outreach activities as well as to support its members to present and promote their research.
Why gliders for altered gravity flights?
Access to earthbound weightlessness is critical to many branches of applied sciences, such as material science, fluid dynamics, combustion physics, or plant biology. Besides, several space systems require microgravity testing before their launch. Existing solutions (drop towers, parabolic flights, sounding rockets) offer variable durations and qualities of microgravity environment, but their cost and lead times make them unpractical for small actors such as universities or start-up companies. This leads to a growing interest for alternative microgravity platforms.
Results of a flight test campaign that LIDE space recently performed show that gliders offer up to 5.5 s of weightlessness, with excursions below 0.1 g, and a satisfactory level of repeatability. Besides, the recordings do not suffer from the increased level of vibrations generated by piston engines, typical of light-aircraft-based alternatives. As a result, we conclude that a microgravity platform based on sailplanes would be suitable to support accelerated design and development or to produce preliminary experimental results. In addition, gliders allow experiments in hypergravity for even longer duration thanks to sustained high bank angle maneuvers.
In the same spirit as ESA’s Fly your thesis!, the goal of LIDE’s Glide Your Experiment Challenge call for experiments is to offer selected students teams the opportunity to conduct their own microgravity or hypergravity experiments on board a glider during parabolic flights.
Description of gliders 0-g flight capabilities:
Practical guidelines:
  • This call for experiments is limited to students currently enrolled in a European university or institution (high-school, bachelor, master or PhD)
  • SELGRA will commit to support the travel and accommodation of up to two teams participating in the competition: up to one team of university students (1 to 4 team members) and up to one team of high school students (1 to 4 team members) accompanied by an adult supervisor
  • The SELGRA grant can cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs up to a maximum amount of 500€ per team member
  • Application deadline: 1st of March 2021
Information, technical guidelines, and application form:
LIDE’s Glide Your Experiment! Challenge call