Fluid science laboratory on board ISS: two years of successful operations

Dario Castagnolo, Silvia Lombardi, Carlo Albanese, Antonio Ceriello, Giuseppe De Chiara, Giuseppe Di Costanzo, Marcello Lappa, Chiara Piccolo, Mariana Scognamiglio, Domenico Sorrentino, Stefano Tempesta, Hans-Joeg Beestermoeller, Mario Cardano, Paolo Lippi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

2 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


The Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) - developed by Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I) under ESA Contract) - is a multi-user facility for conducting fluid physics research in microgravity conditions onboard the ESA Columbus Module at the International Space Station.The Telespazio Science Systems & Applications Department is one of the European User Support and Operation Centers (USOCs), named as MARS USOC, and it has the role of the FSL Responsible Center.The MARS USOC co-ordinates the operations of FSL, availing the engineering support of TAS-I Turin (which relies on the ALTEC Centre for most grounddata communications services.This paper reports on the operations carried out from ISS increment 24 to 30, to support the GEOFLOW experiment, with considerations on how operations areplanned and then executed on a 24/5 days basis, on the FSL data generation and handling on board, on the interaction with the Spanish USOC, and how data areeventually downlinked to ground for further science processing and analysis.The microgravity measurements - performed by the MVIS and MMA accelerometers installed inside FSL -supported the scientific operations, MVIS being also used as FSL active vibration isolation system.The paper describes the lessons learnt over the relatively long operations support period and provides recommendations on how to enhance the overall FSL scientific throughput for future on-orbit activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012 (Naples, Italy, 1-5 October 2012)
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • fluid science laboratory
  • experiments
  • science experiments in space


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