ICAPS Interactions in Cosmic and Atmospheric Particle Systems

The ESA project ICAPS aims at the investigation of the physical interactions of small particles among themselves, with gas and with light.

63 ESA press release from 27.03.2001: „Hightech from Euroland"

64 Personal communication Dr. Stuffler (Kayser-Threde GmbH) from 22.11.02

Scientific objective are investigations regarding the following topic fields (see fig. 31):

• Aerosol physics

• Phoretic effects

• Aggregation of particles

• Characteristics of Regolith

• Optical and morphologic characteristics of aggregates

• Radiation transport and light scattering theories

Illustration 31: Research objectives of the ICAPS project (source www.icaps.org)

For the investigation of an ensemble of levitating particles without disturbing external influences, experiments under microgravity are essential, in order to maintain particle clouds with a multiplicity of particles sufficiently long or to produce loose structures, which would collapse under their own weight on earth (Poppe 2000). Apart from scientific research also a benefit for application orientated purposes is aimed at, e.g. for the production of nanoporous materials or the advancement of characterisation methods for particles. The ICAPS project is at present in the evaluation phase serving to examine a realization in a suitable rack on the ISS, possibly in combination with the Plasma Facility IMPF.65 The project will be conducted by an international consortium with participation of the astrophysical institute of the University of Jena in a coordinating role.

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