Combustion experiments were recently conducted on the ISS and members of The Combustion Institute have been involved. These experiments follow previous experiments conducted on Kibo and led by some of our Japanese members in the last year. The most recent experiments have been led by a team from Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA including Prof. Marshall Long, Prof. Mitch Smooke, and Postdoctoral Associate Jesse Tinajero.
The Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) is focused on advanced combustion technology via fundamental microgravity research. It includes six independent experiments investigating laminar, non-premixed flames of gaseous fuels. The experiments are being conducted with a single set of modular hardware in the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) on the ISS. While the astronauts set up the experimental hardware, the ACME tests are remotely commanded from NASA’s Glenn ISS Payload Operations Center. Videos and Photos of experiments are available as well as other experiments.
ACME setup and checkout were carried out by the ISS crew in Sept.-Oct. 2017. Thus far, a dozen astronauts from Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States have supported the ACME research. Since November 2017, over 300 flames have been ignited for the Coflow Laminar Diffusion Flame (CLD Flame) and Electric-Field Effects on Laminar Diffusion Flames (E-FIELD Flames).
Derek Dunn-Rankin and Yu-Chien (Alice) Chien from the University of California, Irvine, CA, USA are also reviewing data from recent experiments conducted in space. You can find additional information on their research at:
In late 2018, the hardware will be reconfigured for the Burning Rate Emulator (BRE) experiment led by Prof. Jim Quintiere from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. While the first two ACME experiments are focused on improving practical combustion on Earth, BRE is aimed at improving spacecraft fire safety.
Canadian members, Professors Andrew Higgins and Samuel Goroshin and PhD student Jan Palecka, from McGill University, Montréal, Canada are also involved in space research. Their experiment was conducted in April 2018 aboard the rocket, MAXUS 9.