IMPF International Microgravity Plasma Facility

The IMPF as new modular concept is targeted for the investigation of complex plasmas on ISS for scientific and application orientated purposes. The IMPF is developed by an international scientific consortium

65 http://www.estec.esa.nl/spaceflight/facilities/icaps/

under industrial leadership of the Kayser Threde GmbH. The employment of the first experiment module on ISS, which serves to investigate RF plasmas, was planned for 2005/2006. The experiments are to be exchanged regularly within the next 10 years, so that appropriate scientific continuousness is guaranteed. The research approaches aim at aspects of fundamental physics, plasma physics and application relevant aspects (e.g. optimization of plasma lamps). Although gravity influences are relevant only for particles with a size of more than 1 |im, the findings of microgravity experiments can be useful for nanotechnolgy, e.g. for the investigation of particle aggregation or for the production of nanoporous materials (see Kayser Threde 2000).

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