The capillary flow experiments aboard the International Space Station: Status
Weislogel, Mark M., et al. (2009). "The capillary flow experiments aboard the International Space Station: Status." Acta Astronautica 65 5–6: 861-869
This paper provides a current overview of the in-flight operations and experimental results of the capillary flow experiment (CFE) performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) beginning August 2004 to present, with at least 16 operations to date by five astronauts. CFE consists of six approximately 1–2 kg experiment units designed to probe certain capillary phenomena of fundamental and applied importance, such as capillary flow in complex containers, critical wetting in discontinuous structures, and large length scale contact line dynamics. Highly quantitative video images from the simply performed experiments provide direct confirmation of the usefulness of current analytical design tools as well as provide guidance to the development of new ones. A description of the experiments, crew procedures, performances and status of the data collection and reduction is provided for the project. The specific experimental objectives are briefly introduced by way of the crew procedures and a sample of the verified theoretical predictions of the fluid behavior is provided. The potential impact of the flight experiments on the design of spacecraft fluid systems is discussed in passing.