Research Containing: Plasma Crystal-3 Plus
Dust particles of micro-meter size are levitated around a sheath in discharges. Gravity pushes the dust particles from a bulk of plasma to the sheath on the ground. Microgravity conditions brought by sounding rockets, parabolic flights of aircract and the International Space Station allow the dust particles to suspend in the bulk of plasma. Many researches have required phenomena of the dust particles under microgravity to be understood with connected to plasma parameters. Here several examples estimating the plasma parameters of microgravity experiments were shown, and described as manners to elucidate the phenomena in dusty plasmas with the plasma parameters. A rough estimation of ion density was obtained in observing wave propagation, and spatial distribution of the dust particles changed by a discharge control was understood in measuring electron density.
Complex (Dusty) Plasma Research under Microgravity Conditions: PK-3 Plus Laboratory on the International Space Station
Complex (dusty) plasma research under microgravity conditions complements the research in the laboratory. Due to reduction of the main force on microparticles in the lab — gravity — it is possible to form complex plasmas in the bulk region of plasmas in homogeneous large 3D systems and to investigate other phenomena than those accessible on Earth in detail. Therefore, PK-3 Plus was operated as a long-term microgravity facility from 2006 to 2013 on the International Space Station ISS. It was perfectly suited for the formation of large stable liquid and crystalline systems and provided interesting insights into processes like crystallisation 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.
Complex Plasma Research under Microgravity Conditions: PK-3 Plus Laboratory on the International Space Station
Complex (dusty) plasmas are composed of weakly ionised gas and charged microparticles and represent the plasma state of soft matter. Due to the ”heavy” component — the microparticles — and the low density of the surrounding medium, the rarefied gas and plasma, it is necessary to perform experiments under microgravity conditions to cover a broad range of experimental parameters which are not available on ground. The investiga- tions have been performed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) with the help of the ”Plasma Crystal-3 Plus” (PK-3 Plus) laboratory. It was perfectly suited for the formation of large stable liquid and crystalline sys- tems and provided interesting insights into processes like crystallisation and melting, laning in binary mixtures, electrorheological effects due to ac electric fields and projectile interaction with a strongly coupled complex plasma cloud.