The Suborbital Particle Aggregation and Collision Experiment (SPACE) is a novel approach to study the collision properties of submillimeter-sized, highly porous dust aggregates. The experiment was designed, built, and carried out to increase our knowledge about the processes dominating the first phase of planet formation. During this phase, the growth of planetary precursors occurs by agglomeration of micrometer-sized dust grains into aggregates of at least millimeters to centimeters in size. However, the formation of larger bodies from the so-formed building blocks is not yet fully understood. Recent numerical models on dust growth lack a particular support by experimental studies in the size range of submillimeters, because these particles are predicted to collide at very gentle relative velocities of below 1 cm/s that can only be achieved in a reduced-gravity environment. The SPACE experiment investigates the collision behavior of an ensemble of silicate-dust aggregates inside several evacuated glass containers which are being agitated by a shaker to induce the desired collisions at chosen velocities. The dust aggregates are being observed by a high-speed camera, allowing for the determination of the collision properties of the protoplanetary dust analog material. The data obtained from the suborbital flight with the REXUS (Rocket Experiments for University Students) 12 rocket will be directly implemented into a state-of-the-art dust growth and collision model.
The suborbital particle aggregation and collision experiment (SPACE): Studying the collision behavior of submillimeter-sized dust aggregates on the suborbital rocket flight REXUS 12
Julie Brisset, Daniel Heißelmann, Stefan Kothe, René Weidling, Jürgen Blum; The suborbital particle aggregation and collision experiment (SPACE): Studying the collision behavior of submillimeter-sized dust aggregates on the suborbital rocket flight REXUS 12. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 September 2013; 84 (9): 094501. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4819443
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