Atomic Densities Measured Radially in Metal Halide Lamps Under Microgravity Conditions with Emission and Absorption Spectroscopy (Arges) - 11.22.16

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

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Science Objectives for Everyone
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Science Results for Everyone
In space, stars twinkle and lamps flicker. This experiment tested the performance and stability of lamps on the space station to help minimize the flickering phenomenon . Lamp instabilities were expected to be rotating helix-shaped but appeared instead to be a non-rotating, singly bent curve. Analysis indicates that rotation is caused by convection and that the curving is caused by self-generated magnetic fields. For one condition, residual gravity caused a very slow rotation. Researchers concluded that gravity was one of the main causes of flickering in the lamps. The data will advance development of more efficient and smaller HID lamps for future use in space and on Earth.

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

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Gerrit M. W. Kroesen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Marco Haverlag, Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Erwin Dekkers, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Jovita Moerel, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Rob de Kluijver, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Peter Brinkgreve, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Charlotte Groothuis, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Joost J. A. M. van der Mullen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Winfred W. Stoffels, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Rob Keijser, Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Mark Bax, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Danny van den Akker, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Pim Kemps, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Andre Kuipers, M.D., European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany

Developer(s)
Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
October 2003 - October 2004

Expeditions Assigned
8,9

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Description
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps are gaining ground in the lighting industry because of their very high energy efficiency (up to 40%). In these lamps, which are contained in a ceramic balloon, filled with xenon, mercury, and salts of various metals and iodine, de-mixing occurs. T his causes non-uniform light distribution in the illuminated area. Also, helical instabilities might occur in the lamp. This instability is characterized by the fact that the central channel of the plasma starts to bend away from the central axis and may even start to rotate around this axis, in the shape of a corkscrew. Although in itself the instability may not be directly detrimental to the efficiency of the lamp, lamps which are instable for a prolonged period, may develop a crack in the burner wall allowing the contents to leak into the outer bulb, making the lamp no longer functional. The main objectives of the experiment are to determine the critical factors for the onset of helical instabilities in HID lamps and to characterise radial de-mixing in HID lamps by radially resolved high-resolution emission spectroscopy.

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Applications

Space Applications
Information Pending

Earth Applications
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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
Part of the experiment is autonomous, while the rest requires astronaut intervention. The experiment is enclosed in a sealed container, to which a user interface (LCD screen plus a few buttons and switches) is attached. In the container, 20 lamps are placed in a carousel. Exchanging of the lamps is done automatically. The container and user interface are placed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). For lamps 1-10, a radially resolved optical emission spectrum is taken. This part of the experiment runs autonomously after being initiated by the astronaut. In lamps 11-20, the onset of helical instabilities is studied. To this end, each lamp is ignited at low power (70 W), and then the power is increased in steps of 10 W. The data obtained provides insight into the onset of instabilities. This section of the experiment requires astronaut intervention: each power step is initiated by pressing a button, and when the discharge channel rests against the wall (visible on the video screen of the Human Machine Interface HMI), the series is aborted by pressing a button. The astronaut intervention is intermittent: 10 minutes "off" during pre-heating of the lamp, and then more or less constant attention until the next lamp is chosen. This is repeated 10 times.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

The experiment in which electronics company Philips and Eindhoven Technical University were participating, was a 100% success and yielded to very promising results. The instabilities in the lamp were expected to be shaped as a rotating helix, and instead they appeared to be a singly bent curve that was not rotating. This fact is very important in improving the performance of the lamps, especially since the instabilities occurred mainly in the most efficient lamps.
 
Analysis afterwards indicated that the rotation in the metal was caused solely by convection and the curving was caused by self-generated magnetic fields. For one condition, residual gravity caused a very slow rotation. As expected, the axial de-mixing did not occur during the in-orbit mission experiments, so the radial demixing could indeed be studied undisturbed. The first results from the experiment actually concluded that one of the main problems/influences causing flickering in the lamps was gravity.
 

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Results Publications

    Flikweert AJ, Nimalasuriya T, Kroesen GM, Haverlag M, Stoffels WW.  The metal-halide lamp under varying gravity conditions measured by emission and laser absorption spectroscopy. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2009 January 30; 21(4): 319-326. DOI: 10.1007/s12217-009-9106-z.

    Kroesen GM, Haverlag M, Dekkers E, Moerel J, de Kluijver R, Brinkgreve P, Groothuis C, van der Mullen JJ, Stoffels WW, Keijser R, Bax M, van den Akker D, Schiffelers G, Kemps P, van den Hout F, Kuipers A.  ARGES: Radial segregation and helical instabilities in metal halide lamps studied under microgravity conditions in the International Space Station. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2005 March; 16(1-4): 191-195. DOI: 10.1007/BF02945974.

    Stoffels WW.  Gravity's pull on arc lamp efficiency. Europhysics News. 2006; 37(6): 35-38.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Flikweert AJ, Meunier AF, Nimalasuriya T, Kroesen GM, Stoffels WW.  Imaging laser absorption spectroscopy of the metal-halide lamp under hyper-gravity conditions ranging from 1 to 10g. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 2008 October 7; 41(19): 195202. DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/41/19/195202.

    Beks ML, Flikweert AJ, Nimalasuriya T, Stoffels WW, van der Mullen JJ.  Competition between convection and diffusion in a metal halide lamp, investigated by numerical simulations and imaging laser absorption spectroscopy. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 2008 July 21; 41(14): 144025. DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/41/14/144025.

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Related Websites
ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive

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Imagery

image Arges experiment on ISS (photo courtesy Dutch Space
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