Space experiments with dusty plasmas | 7005
Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering

Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering
Open Access

ISSN: 2168-9792


Space experiments with dusty plasmas

2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Satellite & Space Missions

July 21-23, 2016 Berlin, Germany

Vladimir E Fortov, Gregor Morfill, Oleg Petrov and Hubertus Thomas

Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Aeronaut Aerospace Eng

Abstract :

Dusty (complex) plasmas are plasmas containing small solid particles, typically in the micrometer range, the so-called microparticles. Dusty plasmas are specially prepared to study fundamental processes in the strong coupling regime on the most fundamental (kinetic) level, through the observation of individual microparticles and their interactions. Many interesting phenomena can be studied starting from small two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) clusters, to larger 2D and 3D systems where collective effects play a dominant role. In laboratory conditions, the microparticles are heavily affected by the force of gravity. Under microgravity conditions, e.g. on the International Space Station (ISS), gravity is negligible. It is possible to form dusty plasmas in the bulk region of plasmas in homogeneous large 3D systems and to investigate other phenomena than those accessible on Earth in detail. Since 2001, complex plasma research under microgravity conditions is continuously performed in Russian-German cooperation onboard the ISS with the long-term laboratories PKE-Nefedov and PK-3 Plus. The laboratory PK-3 Plus was perfectly suited for the formation of large stable liquid and crystalline systems and provided interesting insights into processes like crystallization and melting, laning and phase separation in binary mixtures, electrorheological effects due to AC electric fields and projectile interaction with a strongly coupled complex plasma cloud. Although the operation of the PK-3 Plus laboratory stopped in 2013, the promising research of large three-dimensional dusty plasmas will be continued with the next microgravity laboratory, PK-4. This was launched in October 2014 and is operational now and available for the next generation of experiments with dusty plasmas under microgravity conditions onboard the ISS.

Biography :