The fluid science laboratory on the ISS Columbus module performances and operations

Giorgio Trinchero, Mario Cardano, Emanuele Pensavalle, Edmondo Bassano, Pasquale Dell'Aversana, Marcello Lappa, Matteo Tacconi

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The Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) is an element of the ESA Microgravity Facilities for Columbus program, designed to operate on-orbit within the Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS).The FSL supports scientific microgravity experiments in th0e field of fluid physics; it distributes standard utilities and specific services and retransmits images, science and housekeeping data. Each experiment is hosted into an Experiment Container, designed under the Science Coordinator direction.The FSL is one of the most complex microgravity laboratory never built. Based on multi-user capabilities, integrating very sensitive optical diagnostics, hosting the exchangeable largest experiment containers ever designed, the FSL represents the leading edge of the European technology. The possibility to ground control it totally ensures the independence of the experiment conduction from the on-board crew.In the last years, the FSL Operations Team, composed by Payload Developers and User Support & Operation Centers experts, worked jointly to prepare the flight operations and the related products to operate the facility.This paper intends to illustrate the peculiarity of the FSL, aimed at the exploitation of its scientific performances for future generations of experiments, and the operations activities that are making the laboratory ready to work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Japan Society of Microgravity Application
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • microgravity conditions
  • Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL)
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • microgravity experiments
  • fluid physics


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