Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Aerodyne Group and DroneDash Technologies Collaborate to Introduce Cross-Border Drone Delivery Services between Malaysia and Singapore
Partnership enables cargo delivery across national boundaries at any...
Notice regarding the Launch Schedule for our SAR Satellite “StriX-3”
TOKYO, 2024, February 21– Synspective Inc., a Synthetic Aperture...
Indian space sector to be turned into a business activity: ISRO chairman
The Indian space sector is changing from a "closed"...
Japan Space Agency Says Test Flight for New Flagship Rocket is Rescheduled for Saturday
Japan's space agency says its new flagship H3 rocket...
First U.S.-India joint space mission will deliver hyper-detailed view of Earth
An upcoming satellite mission will provide a first-of-its-kind, hyper-detailed view...
Russia launches barrage of 45 drones over Ukraine as Kyiv changes more military leaders
KYIV – Russian forces launched 45 drones over Ukraine in...
Africa, China, Russia, United States Space intelligence programmes in Africa adapt to raging geopolitical storms
The problems encountered by Moscow in its space observation...
Saudi Arabia to monitor sustainability strategy from space
Saudi Arabia is looking to tap into the Earth observation...
ESA’s ERS-2 Satellite to Embark on Final Journey Back to Earth
The European Space Agency (ESA) has devised a plan...
European Satellite To Crash Back To Earth Within Week
A large satellite which ended its mission 13 years...

July 2nd, 2019
RUBI – Full steam ahead for the ISS

Friedrichshafen, 02 July 2019 – The next supply mission (CRS-18) to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, will transport a special ‘steam engine’ to the International Space Station (ISS). RUBI (Reference mUltiscale Boiling Investigation), a fluid science experiment developed and built by Airbus for the European Space Agency (ESA), addresses the fundamentals of the boiling of fluids. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is set to install RUBI in the Columbus module of the ISS during his five-month ‘Beyond’ mission (from July to December 2019). The fluid experiment will then be operated and controlled by the Belgian User Support and Operation Centre (B-USOC) in Brussels.

 

RUBI will study the phenomena of phase transition and heat transfer during the evaporation of fluids in microscopic and macroscopic dimensions. RUBI’s core element is a cell filled with fluid, which can be heated and cooled thermoelectrically. The boiling process is then triggered on a metal-coated glass heater using a laser. High-resolution cameras record the formation and growth of vapour bubbles in both the visible and infrared spectrum. By taking up to 500 images per second, RUBI’s cameras can create a three-dimensional representation of the bubble shapes and analyse the temperature distribution on the heater, enabling the scientists to precisely determine evaporation conditions and heat flux densities. The boiling process can be systematically influenced using a high-voltage electrode (up to 15,000 volts) and an adjustable convection loop.

 

On Earth – thanks to the effect of gravity – only small bubbles form, quickly detaching from the heating surface and masking other physical effects. The scientists want to optimise their numerical models of the boiling process with a series of tests conducted under zero-gravity conditions and corresponding reference tests on Earth. In the future, this could contribute towards the production of more efficient and environmentally friendly household appliances (stoves, radiators) and heat exchangers for industrial manufacturing processes.

 

A particular challenge for the Airbus-led industrial team was to shrink RUBI down to the size of a ‘shoe box’ (40 x 28 x 27 cm) weighing just 34 kg that would then be suitable for use in space. By comparison, a terrestrial laboratory setup would be approximately the size of a wardrobe (2 x 1 x 1 m) and would weigh some 300 kg.