Experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS) provide a large but still limited amount of data. A complete set of data is usually returned to Earth on a flash disk a few months later, by which time the experimental facility has already been put into storage or trashed. Thus, scientists have no possibility to repeat the experiment, even if some ambiguities are later found. Therefore, onboard experiments require careful preparation on the ground with multiple tests in the laboratory and in parabolic flights, if possible. Furthermore, during postflight analysis, it is important to clarify all unknown sources of errors. One of the most obvious sources of perturbations on the ISS is g-jitter. Here, we present the preparation and implementation of the Influence of Vibrations on Diffusion in Liquids (IVIDIL) experiment on the ISS, which studied the effect of random g-jitter and given vibrations on diffusion-controlled experiments in liquid mixtures. Since diffusion in liquids is a slow process, only vibrational effects were examined in parabolic flights. A methodology for the analysis of diffusion and thermodiffusion processes was developed in the laboratory.
Part of the book: Preparation of Space Experiments