Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument-Influence of VIbrations on DIffusion of Liquids (SODI-IVIDIL) - 06.24.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument - Influence of VIbrations on DIffusion of Liquids (SODI-IVIDIL) investigation studies the influence of controlled vibrations on diffusion in liquids in the absence of buoyant convection (transfer of heat by movement) in microgravity. These studies represent part of a series of investigations on the International Space Station (ISS) studying how heat and particles move through liquids in microgravity. This investigation provides additional data for applications to fields in mineralogy and geophysics for predictions about the locations of natural resources beneath the Earth's surface.
Science Results for Everyone
Good vibrations – in space, not on the beach. Researchers investigating the effect of vibrations on liquid diffusion in microgravity found no liquid movement in the absence of external vibrations and sophisticated flow patterns in their presence. The data agree with numerical predictions, suggesting that g-jitter (residual vibration of the station) had little effect. G-jitter did affect diffusion during station events such as orbit correction, docking, or undocking. The results provide benchmark values and shed light on the mechanisms behind vibration-induced convection and will help with controlling fluids in future experiments. The data also have applications in predicting the location of natural resources beneath the Earth's surface.

The following content was provided by Valentina Shevtsova, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Valentina Shevtsova, University of Brussels, Brussells, Belgium

Aliaksandr Mialdun, Ph.D., University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Denis Melnikov, Ph.D., University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Jean-Claude Legros, University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
M Ziad Saghir, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yuri Gaponenko, Ph.D., University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Tatiana Lyubimova, Perm State University, Perm, Russia

Verhaert Design and Development, Antwerp, Belgium

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2009 - March 2010

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The International Space Station (ISS) has residual vibrations, also known as g-jitter. These vibrations have a major impact on the diffusion of particles and heat in liquids in microgravity.

  • The Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument-Influence of VIbrations on DIffusion of Liquids (SODI-IVIDIL) project investigates the impact of vibrations and g-jitter on diffusion in liquids.

  • Information from SODI-IVIDIL will help scientists predict how mass and heat flow in liquids in the absence of gravity. This knowledge has direct application to petroleum research where this kind of diffusion plays a major role in underground reservoir distribution.

The microgravity environment is a unique situation for studying the behavior of liquids, since the reduced buoyancy force allows the observation of processes that are masked or biased by normal gravity. In particular, for binary and more complex fluid mixtures, accurate measurements of thermal and isothermal diffusion coefficients in ground based experiments are often perturbed by gravity, especially in the case of thermal diffusion, where the temperature difference applied to the sample may provoke parasitic convective flows. However, in real space experiments, the benefit of the free fall condition may be altered by residual gravity vibration (also known as g-jitter). It is caused by aerodynamic forces, onboard equipment, and in the case of manned platforms, by crew movements. Although it is recognized that g-jitter may have a major impact on diffusion and thermal diffusion measurements, very few experiments have been carried out in the past. Even if the overall forces caused by disturbances are relatively small (ranging from 10-2 to 10-6 times the normal gravity), the effect may be non-negligible for long duration experiments such as the ones that involve diffusion limited phenomena. The purpose of the SODI-IVIDIL project is to measure thermal and isothermal diffusion coefficients in binary systems subjected to controlled vibration under different values of amplitude and frequency. There exist a number of numerical codes to assess for studying the effect of residual gravity and vibration, but their reliability is difficult to assess due to lack of experimental investigations. The IVIDIL project should therefore provide reference data for the validation and testing of numerical codes.

^ back to top


Space Applications
The SODI-IVIDIL experiment investigates the effects of residual vibrations (g-jitter) on experiments involving diffusion in liquids. Researchers plan to characterize the spectral influence of g-jitter to increase the understanding of the kinetic mechanisms influencing diffusion effects in the presence of vibrations, therefore allowing for more successful science to be operated onboard ISS.

Earth Applications
Based on previous studies, scientists have developed numerical simulations to help understand oil behaviors in a given well. The SODI-IVIDIL experiment will allow scientists to confirm and refine the parameters of their models, leading to more accurate predictions about oil wells being considered for extraction.

^ back to top


Operational Requirements
Downlink of data is required to quickly assess the integrity of the liquid sample and to characterize the thermal field imposed on the experimental cell. Residual gravity levels induced by controlled vibration stimulus will be measured with a companion cell filled with calibrated tracers. The 3D motions of the tracers will be reconstructed by digital holography (a technique that allows a digital, post process reconstruction of the whole experiment cell volume from a single image).

Operational Protocols
Crewmembers install the SODI optical instrument and the IVIDIL experiment cell arrays (2 cell arrays each composed of 2 cells). After installation, the next step involves the optical processing of the liquid binary solution in two steps under the stimulus of controlled linear vibrations. In the first phase, a thermal gradient is imposed across the experimental cell, inducing a concentration difference due to the Soret effect. Then, once a steady state concentration gradient is reached, the temperature gradient is removed, causing the system to homogenize due to molecular diffusion processes. These processes should be repeated several times under various vibration frequencies and amplitudes, so that statistically relevant results can be derived. After processing the IVIDIL cells, the SODI instrument should be stowed.

^ back to top

Results/More Information

A total of 55 experimental runs were successfully completed over the course of three months from October 2009 to January 2010. Initial analysis focused on the evolution of the liquid's concentration field both with and without imposed vibration. In the absence of vibration, there was no movement in the system and the concentration field mirrored the structure of the temperature field. However, in the presence of external vibration, more sophisticated flow patterns emerged (Mazzoni et al. 2010).

Additionally, experimental data from the concentration profiles was compared with numerical predictions. In the absence of vibration, the concentration profile was linear and in agreement with the predicted profile, which suggested that g-jitter (residual vibration) had little effect on diffusion. However, high frequency imposed vibrations did have an effect on diffusion, as seen when the concentration profile deviated from the linear profile under the influence of a relatively weak vibration (Mazzoni et al. 2010).

A closer look was taken at the effect of g-jitter on diffusion processes after the conclusion of each experiment. During the nominal, or quasi-steady, vibration regime of the ISS, g-jitter was not observed to affect diffusion in experiments run without imposed vibrations. These results were duplicated when the experiments were repeated with large time lags and different temperature gradients. Furthermore, the experimental results were in agreement with numeric simulations. However, perturbations were evident in experiments without imposed vibrations that ran during the non-nominal, or vibratory/transient, regime, the zone during which events such as orbit correction, docking, or undocking occur. SODI-IVIDIL was the first successful on-orbit experiment to characterize the effect of onboard g-jitter (Shevtsova et al. 2011).

The coefficients of diffusion and thermodiffusion were determined numerically and experimentally for a mixture of 10% isopropanol and 90% water with a 5 Kelvin (K) temperature gradient and no imposed vibration. Repeatable experimental results were in close agreement with numerical predictions. For water mass factors of 0.5 and 0.9, both the diffusion and thermodiffusion, or Soret, coefficients obtained from SODI-IVIDIL are in agreement with other experimental and literature values. The agreement between experimental and predicted results shows that both the numeric code and onboard method of measurement are successful in both the prediction and measurement of the diffusion and thermodiffusion coefficients. The obtained results provide benchmark values for future diffusion experiments in the intermediate and water-rich concentration regimes (Shevtsova et al. 2011, Mialdun et al. 2012).

The results from IVIDIL shed light on the complex mechanisms behind vibration induced convection and provide useful insight on how to control fluids in space to support future physical and life science experiments (Mazzoni et al. 2010).

^ back to top

Results Publications

    Gaponenko Y, Mialdun A, Shevtsova V.  Experimental and numerical analysis of mass transfer in a binary mixture with Soret effect in the presence of weak convection. European Physical Journal E. 2014 October; 37(10): 90. DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2014-14090-5.

    Shevtsova V, Mialdun A, Melnikov D, Ryzhkov I, Gaponenko Y, Saghir MZ, Lyubimova T, Legros J.  The IVIDIL experiment onboard the ISS: Thermodiffusion in the presence of controlled vibrations. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series IIB - Mechanics. 2011 May; 339: 310-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.crme.2011.03.007.

    Saez N, Ruiz X, Gavalda F, Pallares J, Shevtsova V.  Comparative ISS accelerometric analyses. Acta Astronautica. 2014 February; 94(2): 681-689. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2013.09.005. [Also: presented during the 63rd IAC in Naples.]

    Shevtsova V, Lyubimova T, Saghir MZ, Melnikov D, Gaponenko Y, Sechenyh V, Legros J, Mialdun A.  IVIDIL: on-board g-jitters and diffusion controlled phenomena. Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 2011 December 6; 327: 012031. DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/327/1/012031.

    Khoshnevis A, Ahadi A, Saghir MZ.  On the influence of g-jitter and prevailing residual accelerations onboard International Space Station on a thermodiffusion experiment. Applied Thermal Engineering. 2014 July; 68(1-2): 36-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2014.04.001.

    Shevtsova V, Mialdun A, Melnikov D, Ryzhkov I, Gaponenko Y, Saghir MZ, Lyubimova T, Legros J.  IVIDIL experiment onboard ISS: thermodiffusion in presence of controlled vibrations. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series IIB - Mechanics. 2011; 339: 310-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.crme.2011.03.007.

    Mialdun A, Yasnou V, Shevtsova V, Koniger A, Kohler W, Alonso de Mezquia D, Bou-Ali MM.  A comprehensive study of diffusion, thermodiffusion, and Soret coefficients of water-isopropanol mixtures. Journal of Chemical Physics. 2012 June 28; 136(24): 244512. DOI: 10.1063/1.4730306. PMID: 22755592.

    Saez N, Gavalda F, Ruiz X, Shevtsova V.  Detecting accelerometric nonlinearities in the International Space Station. Acta Astronautica. 2014 October-November; 103: 16-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2014.06.025.

^ back to top

Ground Based Results Publications

    Ahadi A, Saghir MZ.  An Extensive Heat Transfer Analysis using Mach Zehnder Interferometry during Thermodiffusion Experiment on board the International Space Station. Applied Thermal Engineering. 2014 January 25; 62(2): 351-364. DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.09.048.

^ back to top

ISS Patents

^ back to top

Related Publications

    Shevtsova V, Sechenyh V, Nepomnyashchy A, Legros J.  Analysis of the application of optical two-wavelength techniques to measurement of the Soret coefficients in ternary mixtures  . Philosophical Magazine. 2011 September 11; 91(26): 3498-3518. DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2011.586376.

    Saez N, Ruiz X, Gavalda F, Shevtsova V.  Comparative analyses of ESA, NASA and JAXA signals of acceleration during the SODI-IVIDIL experiment. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2014 July; 26(1): 57-64. DOI: 10.1007/s12217-014-9376-y.

    Mazzoni S, Shevtsova V, Mialdun A, Melnikov D, Gaponenko Y, Lyubimova T, Saghir MZ.  Vibrating liquids in Space. Europhysics News. 2010 December 17; 41(6): 14-16. DOI: 10.1051/epn/2010601.

    Ahadi A, Saghir MZ.  Transient Effect of Micro Vibration from Two Space Vehicles on Mixture During Thermodiffusion Experiment. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2013 April; 25(2): 127-139. DOI: 10.1007/s12217-013-9338-9.

    Shevtsova V, Melnikov D, Legros J, Yan Y, Saghir MZ, Lyubimova T, Sedelnikov G, Roux B.  Influence of vibrations on thermodiffusion in binary mixture: A benchmark of numerical solutions. Physics of Fluids. 2007; 19(1): 017111. DOI: 10.1063/1.2409622.

    Sechenyh V, Legros J, Shevtsova V.  Measurements of optical properties in binary and ternary mixtures containing cyclohexane, toluene, and methanol. Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data. 2012 April 12; 57(4): 1036-1043. DOI: 10.1021/je201277d.

^ back to top

Related Websites
CSA Science Pages

^ back to top


image Image of SODI-IVIDIL Cell Array. Image courtesy of ESA.
+ View Larger Image

image Image of SODI-IVIDIL Vibration Mechanism. Image courtesy of ESA.
+ View Larger Image

image Image of SODI facility without the IVIDIL Cell Array inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). Image courtesy of ESA.
+ View Larger Image

image NASA Image: ISS020-E-041873: Robert Thirsk,Expedition 20/21 flight engineer,working with the Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument - Influence of VIbrations on DIffusion of Liquids (SODI-IVIDIL) experiment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) in the Columbus module.
+ View Larger Image