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

Lappa, Marcello and Burel, Thomas and Kerr, Monica and Crewdson, Georgie and Boaro, Alessio and Capobianchi, Paolo and Bonnieu, Sebastien Vincent and Murphy, Lesley and Randall, Peter and Hens, Steven (2022) Particle Vibration, an instrument to study particle accumulation structures on board the International Space Station. Microgravity Science and Technology, 34 (3). 33. ISSN 1875-0494 (

[thumbnail of Lappa-etal-MST-2022-Particle-Vibration-an-instrument-to-study-particle-accumulation-structures]
Text. Filename: Lappa_etal_MST_2022_Particle_Vibration_an_instrument_to_study_particle_accumulation_structures.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (6MB)| Preview


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.


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