BID Prototyping

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

BID=Bacteria Introduction Device

With the University of Idaho Engineering EXPO quickly approaching, our team has began prototyping the components of our experimental build. One of the most crucial components of the build is the mechanism that will introduce the bacteria to the growth medium upon experiment initiation. The BID is located in the barrier between the dry electronics containment and wet growth medium containment. For prototype testing, the pin was pulled using pliers. In the final design the pin will be attached to an actuator that will pull the pin once our experiment is plugged into the International Space Station. The piston has O-rings on both sides of where we are loading the bacteria. This prevents our bacteria from getting wet before the actuator pulls the pin, and it prevent any liquid from the wet side of the box to reach the electronic side after the BID has been fired. Upon experiment initiation, the bacteria is released from its containment and pushed into the wet containment of medium broth. The following video shows the mechanism of the BID releasing. The green dye is simulating the bacteria. As can be seen by the video, as the the pin is pulled, the green dye (bacteria) is released below.

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The results from our citizen science experiment were accepted for publication! Find our paper describing this effort and its results here: