Microgravity Science and Technology

, 21:287

Technology and Developments for the Random Positioning Machine, RPM

Open AccessOriginal Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12217-008-9043-2

Cite this article as:
Borst, A.G. & van Loon, J.J.W.A. Microgravity Sci. Technol. (2009) 21: 287. doi:10.1007/s12217-008-9043-2


A Random Positioning Machine (RPM) is a laboratory instrument to provide continuous random change in orientation relative to the gravity vector of an accommodated (biological) experiment. The use of the RPM can generate effects comparable to the effects of true microgravity when the changes in direction are faster than the object’s response time to gravity. Thus, relatively responsive living objects, like plants but also other systems, are excellent candidates to be studied on RPMs. In this paper the working principle, technology and control modes will be explained and an overview of the previously used and available experiment systems will be presented. Current and future developments like a microscope facility or fluid handling systems on the RPM and the option to provide partial gravity control modes simulating for instance Mars or Moon gravity will be discussed.


Random positioning machine2D 3D clinostatSimulated microgravityMicroweightHypogravity
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© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dutch SpaceLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dutch Experiment Support Center (DESC), Dept. Oral Cell BiologyACTA Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands