Tutorial on Microgravity Research
Specific Areas of Microgravity Research
Potential microgravity reseachers include not only academic and researcher community but also other industries that rely on results obtained in experiments carried in microgravity environment to expand.
Research in fluid physics under microgravity
In microgravity environment where complications of gravity-driven convection flows are eliminated, we can explore the fundamental processes in fluids of many types more easily and test fundamental theories of three-dimensional laminar, oscillatory and turbulent flow generated by various other forces. All are of substantial practical as well as theoretical interest on Earth.
By improving the basics for predicting and controlling the behavior of fluids, we open up possibilities for improving a whole range of industrial processes:
- Civil engineers can design safe buildings in earthquake-prone areas thanks to a better understanding of the fluid-like behavior of soils under stress.
- Materials engineers can benefit from a deeper knowledge of the determination of the structure and properties of a solid metal during its formation and can improve product quality and yield, and, in some cases, lead to the introduction of new products.
- Architects and engineers can design more stable and performing power plants with the knowledge of the flow characteristics of vapor-liquid mixture.
- Combustion scientists can improve fire safety and fuel efficiency with the knowledge of fluid flow in microgravity.
Combustion accounts for about 85% of the worlds energy usage. Electric power production, home heating, ground transportation, aircraft and spacecraft propulsion, and materials processing all use combustion to convert chemical energy to thermal energy or propulsion. Despite the crucial role it plays in our lives, combustion remains a challenge to preserve a healthy environment. A better understanding of combustion helps find solution for the pollutants, global warming, unwanted fires and incineration of hazardous waste.