Particle Vibration, an instrument to study particle accumulation structures on board the International Space Station

Marcello Lappa, Thomas Burel, Monica Kerr, Georgie Crewdson, Alessio Boaro, Paolo Capobianchi, Sebastien Vincent Bonnieu, Lesley Murphy, Peter Randall, Steven Hens

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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The scientific and technological aspects of the PARTICLE VIBRATION Project (also known as T-PAOLA i.e. "Thermovibrationally-driven Particle self-Assembly and Ordering mechanisms in Low grAvity") are described in detail. The project relies on the combined use of the Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument (SODI), a Class-2 device developed by ESA for scientific experiments in the field of fluids on board the International Space Station, and the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), a Class-1 general purpose facility under the responsibility of NASA. The related modular architecture has recently been expanded under the umbrella of new scientific research funded by the UK Space Agency to allow for a novel class of experiments dealing with multiphase (solid-liquid) flows. The final aim of this microgravity project is the identification of new dispersed-phase self-organization phenomena driven by the application of vibrations and the ensuing development of new contactless particle manipulations strategies. In the present paper, emphasis is given to the related space hardware and software, the experiment protocol, the ground tests and procedures and all the adaptations that had to be implemented to overcome a number of technological and physical issues, both general and system-specific.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages24
JournalMicrogravity Science and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date17 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022


  • microgravity
  • facilities
  • fluids and particles
  • vibrations


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