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The fifth series of Marangoni Exp/MEIS experiment completed

Last Updated: April 11, 2013

The fifth series of Chaos, Turbulence and its Transition Process in Marangoni Convection (Marangoni Exp/MEIS)*, the first theme of the Marangoni Experiments which uses the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) on board Kibo, has completed.

* Principal Investigator (PI): Koichi Nishino, Professor, Yokohama National University

Marangoni convection experiments investigate the change in internal flow of a large liquid bridge made of silicon oil and the change of temperature distributions along with the flow change. Since the start of the fifth series on June 26, 2012, all the planned experiments have been completed following the last one conducted on February 25, 2013.
MEIS experiment
Series Experiment outline
1 Liquid bridge of silicone oil was created and the internal flow patterns were observed.
2 Variation of flow patterns (change in the flow pattern from stable flow to oscillatory flow) was observed. Surface velocity of Marangoni convection was quantitatively examined.
3 How liquid viscosity and the size of the liquid bridge affect flow patterns were observed by producing a 5-cm diameter liquid bridge.
4 Observed various flow patterns and the temperature distribution by increasing temperature gradient and make the convection stronger.
5 Observed the transition process in convection between critical point to high Marangoni number condition in a 5-cm diameter silicon bridge to see if Particle Accumulation Structures (PAS) occur under each condition.

The data acquired for each series is being analyzed. New scientific knowledge and achievement are expected in conjunction with the second theme "Spatio-temporal Flow Structure in Marangoni Convection (Marangoni UVP/MaranGoniat)"*2 and the third theme "Experimental Assessment of Dynamic Surface Deformation Effects in Transition to Oscillatory Thermo capillary Flow in Liquid Bridge of High Prandtl Number Fluid."*3

*2PI: Shinichi Yoda, Professor, ISAS, JAXA
*3PI: Yasuhiro Kamotani, Professor, Case Western Reserve University

【Message from the first PI, Hiroshi Kawamura, President, Tokyo University of Science, Suwa】
I am Kawamura, and I was the first PI of MEIS experiment. Knowing that the experiment has ended, I am filled with a deep emotion. On the early morning of August 22, 2008, we started it with determination that any failure would not be allowed since this experiment started as the Kibo's first scientific experiment. During the drive to the Tsukuba Science Center, I still remember the rising sun seen from the car window.

During this four and half years, not only a number of world's first scientific results for Marangoni convection, but many technical results, such as how to handle bubbles and liquid bridges in microgravity, are obtained. In addition, I hope we devoted to the development of operation methods on Kibo. I credit these amazing results to JAXA, JAMSS, JSF, and AES staff who belong to the operations, astronauts, related parties of NASA, and PI, CIs, and generations of students who engaged in the preparation and operations for many years.

Today I wanted to go to the UOA (User Operations Area) to see the last experiment together, but couldn't make it because of my work. So, I would like to express my sincere appreciation here.

【Message from the current PI, Koichi Nishino, Professor, Yokohama National University】
This experiment MEIS started on August 22, 2008, as the first full-scale scientific experiment for Kibo, ended on February 25, 2013. We were given an opportunity to conduct this space experiment which used a large liquid bridge requiring deliberate operation for four and half years. Thanks to the cooperation, we obtained precious research results. On behalf of our research team, I would like to express appreciation to JAXA staff and all the related parties for the supports received.

The liquid bridge (Credit: JAXA/Yokohama National University/Tokyo University of Science)

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*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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