Active Projects

Plasma Crystal

Short Description:

The Plasma Crystal Experiments, PKE-Nefedov, PK-3 Plus, and PK-4 are a collaboration of the Russian Institute for High Energy Densities (IHED) and our Institute. They are supported by the Russian and German Space Agencies (Roskosmos and DLR).


PKE-Nefedov was the first basic science experiment onboard the International Space Station ISS. The experiment consisted of a small (0.5 l) chamber containing a radio frequency (RF) discharge Argon plasma. Into this plasma microparticles with a selectable diameter of about 3.4 or 6.8 µm were injected. The particles were illuminated by a thin layer of laser light and the movement of the particles was monitored with two CCD cameras. The data were stored onto video tapes. The investigation of plasma crystals especially, and of complex plasmas generally, is a new topic in the research under microgravity conditions. PKE-Nevedov was named in memoriam of Anatoli P. Nefedov.


PK-3 Plus is the successor of PKE-Nefedov on the ISS since 2005, based on an improved version of the RF plasma chamber.


PK-4, which shall also be operated on the ISS (preparation phase supported by DLR and ESA) is a complex plasma experiment using a DC discharge for investigating mainly the liquid phase.

MPE Contribution:

the complete instruments are designed and built mainly at MPE;  data analysis

 


Status of Experiments:

PKE-Nefedov

Launch

February 26, 2001
End of Mission
July 27, 2005
Status

deorbited

PK-3 Plus

Launch

December 19, 2005
End of Mission
t.b.d.
Status

in Orbit (ISS), taking data

PKE-4

Launch

October 22, 2014
End of Mission
t.b.d.
Status

in preparation


last update 2013-05-28  by H. Steinle

 
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