Short Arm Human Centrifuge


Next generation Short Arm Human Centrifuge designed by AMST for the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Cologne

  • Long-duration space missions in microgravity lead to deconditioning of the cardiovascular system as well as to atrophy of the bones and muscles.
  • Therefore on future long-term missions, e.g. to Mars, astronauts require appropriate training methods to preserve their physical capabilities throughout the flight and especially upon landing and working on other planets.
  • With the :enviFuge DLR is equipped with an outstanding scientific platform to investigate the effects of long duration artificial gravity and hyper gravity.



the SAHC called :envifuge at the German Space Centre (DLR) :envihab is equipped with an outstanding scientific platform to investigate the effects of long duration artificial gravity and hyper gravity.

Based on the past experience and on a large number of centrifuge experiments, DLR and AMST have developed a unique research and training device in the field of artificial gravity called :enviFuge. It is a new and innovative research device for future studies on the effects of artificial gravity on the human body.


The system is designed to perform following complex training exercises whilst spinning:

  • Capture and analyse motion sequences conduct sensitive measurements (e.g. ultrasound examination). Generates artificial gravity along the longitudinal axis of the body up to four subjects.
  • Is the intended application of medical and human physiology basic research. Modulation of the G-vector by changing the rotational speed and direction of the inclination of the axis of rotation and the radial position of subjects.
  • For various experiments, the centrifuge arms can be equipped with different types of equipment.



:enviFuge installation


High level of modularity and adaptability in order to meet future needs

Centrifuge Hub

Centrifuge Hub

The centrifuge hub consists of three main assembly groups, main arm with rail guides and spindle drives, two secondary arms (detachable) with rail guides and spindle drives, a lattice arm equipped with a robotic- and a motion capturing system.
Centrifuge Lattice Arms

Centrifuge Lattice Arms

On the main arm, the spindle length is dimensioned that the nacelle can be moved over the centre of rotation. It has two payload bays that can house customer’s specific devices. The lattice arm carries the motion capturing system and a robotic arm. On the secondary arms, it is possible to attach customised nacelles.
Subject Nacelles

Subject Nacelles

There are three different nacelles. The standard nacelle is designed for subjects at lateral or supine position. At the foot end are two tri-axial force plates. Instead of the force plate, a vibration plate can be mounted. Alternatively, to the standard nacelle there is a lightweight sledge available for performing squats or a nacelle with a bicycle ergometer.
Motion Capturing System – MCS

Motion Capturing System – MCS

Consists of six cameras which cover almost 50 % of the body with an accuracy of up to 1 mm in a 4 x 4 m area. They are installed on a sledge that can be moved along the lattice arm, remotely controlled, to position the MCS and to capture the movement at the respective region of interest.
Robotic Arm

Robotic Arm

Imaging procedures like ultrasound examinations (e.g. vessel wall dynamics) during a radial acceleration of up to six G at the outer perimeter remotely done by using a six DOF robotic arm attached to a sledge positioned along the lattice arm. The ultrasound probe can be remotely controlled from a special console in the control room.
Ergometer and Vibration Plate

Ergometer and Vibration Plate

Cardiovascular training performed during passive spinning on a vibration plate. Physical exercises (e.g. squats or jumps) under the effects of artificial gravity can be measured by triaxial force plates and the MCS. A system for monitoring of physiological parameters including ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, RF and SpO2 installed for each nacelle.
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Technical parameters

Key technical parameters, dimensions and equipment

Radius 380 cm at outer perimeter
Radial acceleration max. 6 g @ 370 cm
Angular velocity max. 4 rad/s ≈ 38 rpm
Maximum angular acceleration 0,133 rad/s2 from 0 g to 6 g in 30 sec
Spinning direction CW and CCW
Noise level ≤ 40 dBA
Power distribution

115/230 VAC

12/24 VDC

Centrifuge arms 1 main arm capable to operate 2 opposite mounted nacelles and
2 detachable secondary arms with one nacelle each
Translation Individual translation of the nacelles with max. 10 mm/s during rotation
Range of translation Main arm: 2450 mm (until heart level @ centre of rotation)
Secondary arm: 250 mm to 880 mm depending of subject height
Subject height 150 cm to 210 cm
Payload 150 kg per nacelle (4x)
100 kg per payload bay (2x)
Monitoring of physiological parameters ECG; HR; BP; RF; SpO2 for max. 4 subjects simultaneously
Motion capturing system 6 Cameras with a resolution of movement of 10 mm
Remote control via robotic arm with 5 DOF
Exercise devices

jump plate

cycle ergometer

vibration plate






SAHC :enviFuge at :envihab – Germany 2013

SAHC :enviFuge at :envihab – Germany 2013

The contract was awarded to AMST on 16th December 2011 and handover took place on 5th July 2013 at the DLR in Cologne.