GeoFlow-II experiment campaign complete

ESA today announced the successful completion of the GeoFlow-II experiment campaign aboard the ISS, for those of you interested in experimental work on the interior dynamics of planets.

GeoFlow is a dimensional-similarity fluid-dynamic experiment in the Fluid Science Laboratory aboard the International Space Station. It uses a spherical fluid chamber with heat, pressure, and central attraction force to study the convection patterns in the interiors of planets, investigating the flows with schlieren interferometry. The first flight campaign launched with the lab in 2008, and modeled convection in the Earth’s liquid outer core. The second re-used the hardware, launching in 2011 after modification and refurbishment on the ground, to study the viscous mantle convection.

During my time at ESTEC, I had a small role in the verification and validation of the GeoFlow experiment hardware, and in the early planning for this second flight.

ESA has a more detailed article here.

Famous on the internet

In case you’re curious what I’m up to, here are a few recent mentions on websites other than this one. First off, my grad-student research is being highlighted on the CPSX website at the moment. It’ll be on the front page for a while, after which you can still find it here.

I recently worked with the CPSX outreach co-ordinator, Alyssa Gilbert, and teachers from the Thames Valley District School Board to develop and run a series of space robotics workshops for elementary school students, using Lego Mindstorms gear. The board’s online newsletter describes that program here.

And I also took Alyssa flying, which she’s written about on her blog.

Speaking of Lego, Marianne from CPSX has posted a video on the topic.

And, of course, Western Worlds is still going strong, with new interviews each week. You can generally hear me on the discussion panel, and often as the interviewer.