When I’m not out adventuring, I am engineering projects for Square One. I help design and test positioning systems for cryo vac or “space” conditions.
Our project is building a ‘robot’ that can move a sample from point “a” to point “b” not only at room temperature, but also in extreme cryo conditions, -333 degrees without oxygen. The complicated part is that materials change with temperature. Material properties such as brittleness and size change; each material of the robot changes size at different rates. Figuring out the tolerances so the system can run smoothly at both room and ‘space’ temperatures is the hard part. Only a thousandths of an inch is the difference between a working system and one that fails with the bushings clamping onto rails.
We went to Tennessee to test our positioning system in one of the Space Institute’s chambers. It was great to see our work actually performing in the intended environment!