0
$\begingroup$

I work for a company that produces (among other things) a microbalance that can measure mass/weight from around 100ng to 100mg ie it is accurate over 6 orders of magnitude. However, this relies on gravity acting as a counterforce to a computer controlled magnetic field.

Has anyone created a technique that can measure mass over such a wide range in freefall (zero G)? What do they use on the ISS? The only method I can imagine would be something involving vibration and/or springs, whether micro or macro.

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by John Rennie, Kyle Kanos, bobie, Prahar, JamalS Jan 15 '15 at 17:06

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question appears to be about engineering, which is the application of scientific knowledge to construct a solution to solve a specific problem. As such, it is off topic for this site, which deals with the science, whether theoretical or experimental, of how the natural world works. For more information, see this meta post." – John Rennie, Kyle Kanos, bobie, Prahar, JamalS
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1
$\begingroup$

You can simply put the item in a centrifuge to simulate gravity.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The major problem is accuracy. I suspect it would be exceedingly difficult to design such a device that is compact. Putting an existing microbalance in a centrifuge and compensating for Coriolis etc might be do-able but it goes from being a small box to something the size of a fridge. That in turn needs to be held in position in zero G $\endgroup$ – user56903 Jan 15 '15 at 16:21