Electrostatic levitation furnace for the international space station

Keiji Murakami, Naokiyo Koshikawa, Koichi Shibasaki, Takehiko Ishikawa, Junpei Okada, Tai Nakamura, Yukiko Yamaura, Tatsuya Arai, Naoki Fujino, Tetsuya Takada

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


JAXA has been utilizing Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" of the International Space Station (ISS) since August 2008 and has obtained significant results through its first phase utilization. The primary purpose of this phase was to examine Kibo's capability as a space laboratory as well as to conduct selected scientific themes. In the second phase which began in 2010, we plan to challenge variety of themes to contribute to the society such as practical researches aiming industrial applications, technology demonstration for future space activities, and cultural and educational precursor experiments. The Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) is one of the experiment facilities for materials science, which will be on board Kibo in the near future. A unique feature of ELF is to levitate a sample material inside the furnace by means of Coulomb's force throughout the fusion/solidification experiments. By utilizing this capability JAXA plans to study thermo-physical properties of many kinds of the oxides which cannot be measured on earth. In addition, creation of new materials is another objective of space experiments using ELF. In the absence of gravity ELF can generate the ultimate environment for the materials, which is expected to contribute to a new discovery. This paper shows a detailed feature of ELF and its capability as well as typical experiments to be conducted in Kibo for the purposes of scientific research and industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace for Our Future - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference of Pacific-Basin Societies, ISCOPS 2012
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event13th International Space Conference of Pacific-Basin Societies, ISCOPS 2012 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 2012 May 152012 May 18

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Conference13th International Space Conference of Pacific-Basin Societies, ISCOPS 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrostatic levitation furnace for the international space station'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this