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Blog for project PURE

PURE Presentation

Yes, it has been a while since we added some news, but here is the presentation document of the project. We will keep you inform on new upcoming events.

Again thank you everyone for having made this wonderful adventure possible, particularly:

  • Prof. Davor Pavuna and the IPMC for the scientific support and access to instruments,
  • Mrs. Christine Vuichoud for the administrative support and for her patience,
  • the EPFL Space Center and all our public and private sponsors making it possible,
  • Poseidon for providing us the laptop controlling our experiment,
  • ESA and Novespace for giving us the access to the ZERO-G plane,
  • and... you for following us :)


Addendum : Unfortunatly we participated in the 9th and last Students Parabolic Flight Campaign (SPFC) as it has been interruped for programmatic reasons, but if you are interrested in parabolic flights for your research ESA introduced the Fly Your Thesis program. Lots of interresting research in perspective...

Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 13:54
Hi there everybody!

I think it is time to present our project to other students. There will be, most probably at the end of November, a little presentation in one of EPFL's auditorium. Stay tuned for the exact date and don't miss it!
Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 14:44
Photos and video

P I C T U R E S       

And the video of Alex and Mark flying in ZERO-G

Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 22:17

Ho yeah!!! On September 6th in Bruxelles, Nikolai and Alexei flew to Bordeaux on the A300. 4 hours of fly, 30 parabolas of 20 seconds each! The whole system worked perfectly and all six samples got purified by our system! On the 7th, Mark and I flew from Bordeaux to Bordeaux (sic!) for a second run of samples purification. After so much effort we could enjoy some free flight parabolae. We will soon put the videos and photos of our zero-G experience in Bordeaux!!!

see you soon.

ps:already one video at http://pure.epfl.ch/webdav/site/pure/shared/video/AlexMarkMax.wmv

Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 21:55
Control Interface
Hi everybody!

here is the first version of the control/simulation program for our mecanic arm. You need to have at least the java JRE (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html) to run it.

Simply go to http://pure.epfl.ch/webdav/site/pure/shared/prog/purerobot.jar and download the .jar file and then double click on it.

a little simulation has been is working. Type start simulation in the text area and then press "enter". an automatic procedure will be launch. enjoy
Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 14:01
Presentation for the workshop

Now you can browse a presentation of PURE for the workshop in Noordwijk.

Description of the "Pure" experiment

The major challenge in contemporary industry is the availability of pure and clean crystals with perfect structure. That means without any unwanted impurities, and also with a perfect crystalline order. That offers much better potential in the technological applications (semiconductors, transistors, computer chips, ...) and enhance device performance.

The method usually used to get the best result is to heat the substrata to fusion temperature and then allow it to recrystallise in microgravity. Hence, the material, without undergoing convection and other gravity effects has more ideal crystalline structure.

Our goal is also to purify the crystal, but in a bit modified way by using zone refining. We will also locally heat the material with a coil, but only to about 2/3 of the fusion temperature and move the temperature peak through the whole sample. The effect will be, as in usual zone refining, that the dislocations and the impurities will move because of the temperature gradient.

Our goal is to understand the role of gravity in the movement of the impurities and dislocations due to temperature gradient. We expect that in microgravity the purification quality will be enhanced. In summary, we want to perform this experiment because:

  • it will work as it is just a modification of an experiment that already works
  • it hasn t been done before
  • it is important to understand this phenomena for fundamental sciences and industry point of view
Posted by Alexei Altoukhov at 0:19
PURE team email address
Hey guys,

I have put a link to our list mail address "people-pure@epfl.ch" on the main web portal.
this email address includes all five of us.


Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 12:44
Finalist !!

Ladies & Gentlemen,

we are happy to inform that we have been selected to go to space ! With team number 1090 we are proud to be the unique representatives of Switzerland for that Student Parabolic Flight Campain (SPFC).

Now, we "just" have to prepare the experiment! Plenty of work ahead of us...

Here is the list of selected teams :

Posted by Nikolai Chapochnikov at 15:22
hey, good news! I ran into a friend that did the parabolic fligth two years ago. He has agreed to coach us for the logistic efforts.
Posted by Alexandre De Oliveira e Sousa at 13:44
We have been shortlisted!!!

The ESA has made its preliminar selection and published the shortlisted teams list. Below is the link to this list. Good score for Switzerland with 5 teams in the 60 shorlisted.

But it is not over : in roughly one week we should know if we will flight in the ZERO-G plane, with 29 other teams, to realize our PURE experiment in microgravity. So stay aware during the next week if you wanna be the first to know and support us!

Posted by Mark Ambühl at 11:08
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