Results of fieldtrip: Parabolic Flight 2013 test by Vietnamese students at JAXA

In the framework of cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), in 2013, the Space Technology Institute under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) coordinated with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and University of Engineering Technology under Vietnam National University to launch the  Parabolic Flight -Asian Student’s Microgravity Flight Experiment Contest – 2013.

The programme was one of educational activity to popularize knowledge about space technology under the APRSAF-20. The contest drew wide interest and the participation of students. 15 ideas were proposed by students, including 14 ideas from University of Engineering Technology (UET) and one from the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH). Proposals were approved by the Council, including experts from JAXA, the Space Technology Institute and lecturers from UET. The proposal by four students from UET was selected and the team travelled to Japan to participate in the Parabolic Flight with other winning groups from Malaysia, Japan and Thailand.

In Japan, students took part in the Parabolic Flight organized by JAXA. When the flight dived from a height of 20km to 10km, students experienced near-weightlessness. This action was repeated about 20 times. The students carried out tests to investigate different effects by comparison with test results obtained in normal gravity on the earth. Tests conducted by the Vietnamese students on the Parabolic flight concluded successfully.

On April 24, a meeting was held at the VAST hall to report on the test results and the success of the students from UET. The event drew the participation of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Doan Minh Chung, Director of the Space Technology Institute; Nguyen Gia Lap, Deputy Head of the Department of International Cooperation; Dr. Ha Quy Quynh, Deputy Head of the Department of Application and Development of Technology; MA. Nguyen Vu Giang and staff from the Space Technology Institute; Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Vice Headmaster of UET and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Anh Cuong, Deputy Head of the Faculty of Information Technology under UET and the winning student group.


Addressing the meeting, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Thuy and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Anh Cuong expressed their pleasure with the high quality results of the flight at JAXA by Vietnamese students.

Students, including Vu Xuan Lai, Thai Cong Khanh, Vu Tien Tung and Nguyen Manh Cuong from K55CA Class, made a presentation of ideas and their participation in the flight in Japan. Equipment consisted of a motor bracket frame set, controlling circuit, propellers of smart phones, and self-designed software to collect and analyse data. The group aimed to investigate and compare orientation and control capacity of smart phones in a weightless environment through programmed and installed games and software.

The smart phone models used by the students to conduct tests included Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy SII and Ipod Gen4. The smart phones were fastened on three fan-blades on the horizontal plane. The propellers were connected to a motor and operated based on a controlling circuit table. The students designed the propellers to spin at three different speeds of 20-40-60 cycles per minute through the controlling circuit. Three smart phones were installed with “Parabolic Flight 2013 App” software developed by the students on three different bases to measure parameters of acceleration and angle speed via Accelerometer and Gyroscope in the smart phones. The received parameters were analysed by data analysis software.


This was a rare opportunity for Vietnamese students to participate in a professional research environment and to exchange knowledge with winning groups from Malaysia, Japan and Thailand. The test results and the success of the trip showed the ability, proactivity, innovation and determination of the Vietnamese students to overcome difficulty in scientific research.

The initial success proved the scope of effective cooperation between the Space Technology Institute under VAST and UET under Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Results reported at the meeting also opened new cooperation opportunities between the university and the institute in training and study to develop human resources in space technology in the near future.


Translated by Tuyet Nhung
Link to Vietnamese Version 

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