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Results of theme selection for "Microgravity Science Research International Announcement of Opportunity 2000"

NASDA(JAXA) completed preliminary theme selection for "Microgravity Science Research International Announcement of Opportunity 2000" ( "IAO 2000") and selected five research projects as Principal Investigator (PI) themes and three as Co-Investigator (CI) themes. These themes will proceed to the definition phase, and the research plans will be refined as flight investigations.

Introduction of IAO
The purpose of the International Announcement of Opportunity (IAO) is to obtain the highest quality research through international solicitation and scientific peer review of research proposals, to increase the effective use of the International Space Station (ISS) through international cooperation and utilization of the ISS facilities, and to avoid duplication of projects by fostering international collaboration.


Brief history of the IAO and the selection process
(1) The international announcement of opportunity (IAO) was proposed at the Second meeting of the International Microgravity Science Strategic Planning Group (IMSPG) in 1997 and IMSPG started discussions for the release of the first IAO.
(2) NASDA(JAXA) and the other agencies participating in IAO 2000 started solicitations in the fall of 2000. By the due date of January 12, 2001, 19 PI research themes and 19 CI research themes were submitted to NASDA(JAXA). (A total of 115 research themes was submitted to all the space agencies participating in IAO 2000.)
(3) Science reviews, evaluations of science merit and need for long-duration microgravity, were made by international science review panels organized by IMSPG. Preliminary technical assessments were then made by the space agencies developing the requested research facilities. Program reviews were made by NASDA(JAXA). The sub-committee on Microgravity Science of the Space Utilization Research Committee of Japan reviewed the results of these evaluations and concluded that five Principal Investigator (PI) research themes and three Co-Investigator (CI) research themes were worth selecting.
(4) Based on this recommendation, NASDA made the preliminary selection on January 23, 2002.


Evaluation Results
Science review results
The science merit and need for long-duration microgravity were reviewed by the international science review panels. The sub-committee on Microgravity Science reviewed the results and concluded that nine themes scoring in the top one-third in each panel and one theme that a reviewer strongly recommended were worth considering in the preliminary technical assessments.

Results of the preliminary technical assessments
The feasibility of the proposals was evaluated from the technical point of view. The proposals requesting use of NASDA(JAXA) multi-user facilities were evaluated by NASDA, and the ones requesting use of foreign facilities were evaluated by the developing agency. The sub-committee on Microgravity Science reviewed the results and concluded that five of the 10 themes passing the science reviews were judged as being beyond the capabilities of that relevant facility development; the remaining five themes were worth considering in the program review.

Program review results
Time spans and feasibility of the flight preparations, costs, and compatibility with the science scenario in Japan were reviewed by NASDA(JAXA), and international coordination regarding the use of foreign facilities was initiated. As a result, no major problems were identified in terms of time spans and feasibility of the flight preparations and compatibility with the science scenario in Japan. However, it was concluded that efforts toward cost reductions were necessary. In addition, the need for continued discussions regarding the use of foreign facilities was pointed out.

CI theme results
The sub-committee on Microgravity Science evaluated CI themes based on the standard that a Japanese CI should play a significant and substantial role in a proposal and original outputs should be expected. The Committee concluded that three themes satisfying the standard were worth selecting as CI themes. When the theme is not selected as a flight experiment by the PI's agency, the selection is withdrawn.


Preliminary selection results
The five PI themes listed in Table 1 and three CI themes listed in Table 2 were selected. The theme proposers will be requested to solve all the problems pointed out in each review, particularly cost reductions and international coordination regarding the use of foreign facilities, in the definition phase. The candidate themes must then pass the flight theme selection to be carried out at the end of the definition phase.

PI themes
PI (Affiliation)
Satoshi Matsumoto (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Title
Experimental Assessment of Dynamic Surface Deformation Effects in Transition to Oscillatory Thermocapillary Flow in Liquid Bridge of High Prandtl Number Fluid
Requested Facility
(Development Agency)
FPEF (JAXA) and/or FSL (ESA)
Abstraction
This study verifies the essential mechanism of transition to oscillatory thermocapillary flow. The results will contribute to clarifying the effect of thermocapillary flow during material processing.
PI (Affiliation)
Toshio Itami (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Title
Role of the short range order on the self- and impurity diffusion of group 14 (IVB) elements with a different degree of complexity
Requested Facility
(Development Agency)
AFEX (JAXA) and/ or DMI (NASA)
Abstraction
The diffusion coefficient of molten germanium will be measured with high accuracy using shear-cell technique. Based on the experimental results in space, a new theoretical model of diffusion in molten semiconductor material will be constructed.
PI (Affiliation)
Kazuhiko Kuribayashi (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Title
Containerless Crystallization of Silicon in Microgravity
Requested Facility
(Development Agency)
MSL-EML (ESA)
Abstraction
The morphological instability of crystallization in the undercooled silicon melts will be investigated in microgravity experiments. The results will applied to the process of spherical semiconductor crystals that contribute to the development of new electronic devices.
PI (Affiliation)
Kyoichi Kinoshita (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Title
Growth of Homogeneous In0.3Ga0.7As Single Crystals in Microgravity
Requested Facility
(Development Agency)
GHF (JAXA)
Abstraction
Verification of one-dimension theory related to a new crystal growth technique that can achieve homogeneous InGaAs crystals in order to establish the growth technique. This technique will contribute to developing optical devices of the next generation.
PI (Affiliation)
Osamu Fujita (Hokkaido University)
Title
Effect of Material Properties on Wire Flammability in a Weak Ventilation of Spacecraft
Requested Facility
(Development Agency)
Abstraction
This research verifies a hypothesis concerning flame spread mechanisms by using solid fuel. The results of this study should contribute toestablishing an advanced flame spread model and improving the evaluation of material flammabilities in a space environment.

 
CI themes
CI (Affiliation)
Hiroshi Kawamura (Science University of Tokyo)
Function of CI
Perform the experiment by using FPEF and analyze the experiment results
PI (Affiliation)
Hendrik C. KUHLMANN (ZARM - University of Bremen)
Title
Dynamics of suspended particles in periodic vortex flows
Abstract of the Proposal
This study verifies the prospect for the non-trivial structure formed by the dynamic particle segregation in thermocapillary flow under microgravity conditions.

Materials Science Discipline
CI (Affiliation)
Taketoshi Hibiya (NEC Corporation)
Function of CI
Provide knowledge of handling silicon melt sample. Analyze data of experiment results
PI (Affiliation)
Konrad Samwer (Univ. Gottingen)
Title
Investigations of thermophysical properties of liquid semiconductors in the melt and in the undercooling state under microgravity conditions (SEMITHERM)
Abstract of the Proposal
The thermophysical properties of silicon melt will be measured with high accuracy in an electro-magnetic levitation furnace

Materials Science Discipline
CI (Affiliation)
Takao Tsukada (Tohoku University)
Function of CI
Improve computer fluid dynamics related to industrial Si processing reflecting the space experiment results
PI (Affiliation)
Konrad Samwer (Univ. Gottingen)
Title
Investigations of thermophysical properties of liquid semiconductors in the melt and in the undercooling state under microgravity conditions (SEMITHERM)
Abstract of the Proposal
The thermophysical properties of silicon melt will be measured with high accuracy in an electro-magnetic levitation furnace


Last Updated : October 1, 2003

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