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Simulation of Geophysical Fluid Flow Under Microgravity - 2 (Geoflow-2)


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

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Christoph Egbers, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Brief Summary

Simulation of Geophysical Fluid Flow under Microgravity - 2 (Geoflow-2) studies heat and fluid flow currents within the Earth's mantle. Geoflow-2 aims to improve computational methods that scientists and engineers use to understand and predict the processes in the Earth's mantle that lead to volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics and earthquakes.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Christoph Egbers, Ph.D., Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

  • B. Futterer, Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany
  • Philippe Beltrame, Ph.D., Max-Planck-Institut fur Physik Komplexer Systeme, Dresden, Germany
  • Pascal Chossat, Centre International Rencontres Mathematiques, Marseille, France
  • Frederik Feudel, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • Rainer Hollerbach, Ph.D., University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Innocent Mutabazi, University of Le Havre, Le Havre, France
  • Laurette Tuckerman, Ph.D., Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, Paris, France
  • Developer(s)
    Information Pending

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    European Space Agency (ESA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration:

    March 2011 - May 2012

    Expeditions Assigned


    Previous ISS Missions

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Simulation of Geophysical Fluid Flow Under Microgravity - 2 (Geoflow-2) investigates the flow of a fluid between two rotating spheres, where the smaller sphere sits inside of the larger sphere. The spheres rotate about a common axis under the influence of a simulated gravitational force field (the gravity field simulated with an applied electric field).

    • Geoflow-2 differs from Geoflow-1 in that the fluid in Geoflow-2 is designed to change its inherent resistance to flow (viscosity) when the temperature of the fluid changes.

    • This experimental design will help to show how fluids flow in a configuration similar to the one found in the liquid nuclei of planets.

    • Understanding the fluid flow in this experiment will not only enhance computer models in predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but also could be useful in a variety of engineering applications, such as improving spherical gyroscopes and bearings, and centrifugal pumps.


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    Space Applications

    Information Pending

    Earth Applications

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    Operational Requirements

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    Operational Protocols

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites

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    image Geoflow-2 models convection in the Earth's mantle (Image courtesy of Brandenburgische Technische Universitšt).
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    image Geoflow-2 fluid cell assembly: core unit of the experiment. The inner sphere is just visible inside outer glass. Image courtesy of Brandenburgische Technische Universitšt.
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    image NASA Image: ISS029E006885 - View of printed sign saying "DO NOT TOUCH. EXPERIMENT RUNNING" in front of the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) rack taken by the Expedition 29 crew.
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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.