Dryden Drop Tower

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Dryden Drop Tower located in Portland State University. This facility is a great research resource for investigators looking to study different phenomena in a micro-gravity environment. Several areas of research such as fluid mechanics and heat transfer benefit greatly from drop tower facilities like this one, to further develop our understanding on these important fields. The Dryden Drop Tower is without a doubt a state-of-the-art drop tower facility and it will significantly impact micro-gravity research in the state of Oregon. The tower height is about 31m with an approximate free fall distance of 22.2 m for an anticipated low-gravity time just over 2 seconds. The facility is equipped with a drag shield to reduce the effect of hydrodynamic drag on the experiments and milli-g testing gravity levels are anticipated. The average deceleration for the falling experimental capsule is about 8.5g. This drop tower also includes an automated retrieval system which significantly helps expedite the repetition of experiments. For more information check out these links and make sure to check some of the pictures I have included.

Dryden Drop Tower FAQs

Dryden Drop Tower Website


Major Financial Contributors


Drop Tower seen from above


Drag Shield


Foam Pads + Neon Lights




Pneumatics and Data Control


Live Webcam on Network


Fluid Experiment


Retrieval System Motor


Release Mechanism


Braking System


Computer Controls

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