NASDA made preliminary selection for ``Microgravity Science Research International Announcement of Opportunity 2000'' on January 22, 2002. This report summarizes the outline of the selection process and introduces the abstracts of the selected themes.
The International Announcement of Opportunity for ISS utilization in the field of microgravity science was issued in the autumn of 2000. The international peer science-review process started in May 2001 and the international peer review meetings were held at NASA Peer Review Services in Washington for six panels of different fields. Then, the technical review and the program review by each agency followed, and the final review reports were sent to the Japanese applicants in January 2002. The author's experiences in these processes are described with some comments. Discussion is made on the conditions for a proposal to be highly evaluated.
National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) is now developing the multi-user experiment facilities. The
specifications of these facilities are shown in the NASDA web site. But only to look into this web site does not always help the researcher to plan their experiments in ISS. The purpose of this paper is to help the researcher when they plan some experiment in ISS.
The author has applied to the first IAO (International Announcement of Opportunity) for microgravity science on the subject of Combustion to use CIR (Combustion Integration Rack) developed by NASA. The present report describes the experience of the application focusing on the potential factor to affect the selection process, especially for the case to use foreign experimental module. The importance of domestic researchers' potential in the proposed research field as well as an international relationship to make proper research group has been emphasized.
My experience on the application to the first international announcement of opportunity for microgravity research is described. I learned that the following 5 items should be noted for a good proposal. (1) to write a proposal so that not specialists but scientists can generally understand the proposal, (2) not to be self-satisfied, (3) early preparation, (4) originality of the theme, (5) good English checked by a native speaker.
Near feature, cryogenic propellants including liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas will be handled on orbit for space transportation systems. Measurement of liquid volume under the micro-gravity condition is an important aspect of the space technology. In the present study, Helmholtz resonance is applied to measure a liquid volume of nitrogen in order to conˆrm the applicability of this measurement technique to cryogens. It was found that the measurement of spatial temperature distribution in the container is needed to obtain accurate liquid volume because the velocity of sound has strong temperature dependency. The velocity of sound is an important factor to obtain the Helmholtz resonance frequency. And we also found that the liquid stabilization technique is necessary to apply this technique to cryogens because the deformation of a liquid/vapor interface is largely influenced on the spatial temperature distribution
The diffusion in melts with high melting point was discussed from the phenomenological point of view. For the study of the diffusion in such melts, the microgravity environment provides an ideal experimental field due to the absence of convection. A review was given for the previous studies of diffusion in such melts under microgravity. Finally a scope in future of diffusion study under microgravity was presented.
In 1992, we conducted an experiment related to particle dispersion alloys in FMPT (First Materials Processing Test). The purpose of the experiment was to clarify the effect of microgravity on the dispersibility of particles in the alloys. We selected TiC particle dispersion Ni-base alloys as experimental samples based on the concepts of liquid-phase sintering and wettability. The samples were carefully prepared in order to suppress bubble formation during melting. A newly designed Large Isothermal Furnace (LIF) was developed and used. The LIF enabled applying some pressure to molten samples to squeeze out residual bubble and eliminate Marangoni convection.With these careful arrangements, both terrestrial and space experiments were successful and could reveal important effects of microgravity. This article also describes my successes and failures I experienced through the FMPT project.
FMPT was the first Japanese space experiment mission launched by Space Shuttle in 1992. The author was involved in development of this experiment system and has some feelings there is much importance in mutual understanding between researchers and equipment developers for mission success. In this session the points which researchers and equipment developers shall notice through mission establishment to flight operations are introduced referring some examples of FMPT (FUWATTO '92) mission.