Success of the 4th Parabolic Flight campaign!

The fourth parabolic flight campaign (PFC66) of the Vip-Gran instrument were performed in Bordeaux  (France) in May 2017.

We observe for the first time a transition for rods between a gas-like regime of to a cluster-like regime when the density of rods is increased.


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4th Parabolic Flight Campaign for Vip-Gran – May 2017

A310zeroGThe Space Grains collaboration will use the Vip-Gran instrument during the 66th ESA Parabolic Flight Campaign, May 9 to May 19, 2017 at Novespace, Bordeaux (France)

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Meeting to prepare PFC66, Bordeaux, 4 – 5 May 2017

The meeting is dedicated to prepare the 4th Parabolic Flight Campaign (ESA PFC66) of the Vip-Gran instrument. We will define the sets of parameters for the 3 flights of the PFC66 campaign scheduled from 9 to 20 May 2017.

The meeting will take place May 4 and 5, at ICMCB Laboratory  87, Av. du Dr. Schweitzer, Pessac (near Bordeaux), France.

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SpaceGrains Meeting at ESA for ESR, 12-13 April 2017

The goal was to defined the ESR (Experimental Scientific Requirements) for the ISS prototype of the Vip-Gran instrument. Various cells have been defined, among them:    3D and 2D dry cells, Wet cell,  Sound cell, Shear cell…

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Vip-Gran instrument for ISS approved! – March 2017

After our presentation at ESTEC in January 2017, the ESA Programme Board approved the plan to proceed with no further delay with the development (phase δB/C) of the VIP-GRAN instrument for ISS as part of the ESA E3P SciSpace programme.

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Success of the 3rd Parabolic Flight campaign!

The third parabolic flight campaign of the Vip-Gran instrument were performed in Bordeaux  (France) in November 2016.

Granular convection, segregation for heterogeneous granular media, and quasi-elastic limit of a dissipative granular gas were studied.

p12 Version 2

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Ready for PFC65 !

Our instrument VIP-Gran is ready for parabolic flights in Bordeaux next weeks. The parameters of the experiments have been fixed at the Cologne meeting last September.  plan :


  • Day 1: Segregation of small and large ITO coated glass beads: Thanks to the transparency of the particles demixing can be highlighted in the system. Moreover, convection is studied for granular media exposed to asymmetric excitation.
  • Day 2: Thermodynamical limit: Increasing the cell size while maintaining a constant packing fraction triggers cluster formation. This counterintuitive phenomenon is linked to finite sizes effects present in our system.
  • Day 3: Mixing anisotropic particles: We study a mixture of spherical beads and rods. Segregation coupled to the apparition of layers within the bulk may lead to ordered arrangements of the elongated particles.Collecting data is of crucial interest for confirming our recent discoveries : convection in granular gases and segregation phenomena in space.
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