Percolating Reactive Waves in Particulate Suspensions (PERWAVES)

research area: combustion

experiment title:

Percolating Reactive Waves in Particulate Suspensions (ESA - MAXUS-9 Experiment)

experiment acronym: PERWAVES

funding agency: ESA

grant number: -

performing organization:

Airbus DS, Bremen, Germany /
McGill University, Montreal, Canada 

prime investigator:

Burkhard Schmitz /
Prof. Andrew Higgins

experiment objective


The objective of the experiment Percolating Reactive Waves in Particulate Suspensions (PERWAVES) is the experimental investigation of reactive wave propagation through media containing discrete particles. Traditional theoretical models describing propagating reactive waves through media containing discrete particles use underlying continuum approaches and fail to take into account the discrete nature of particles. Recent discrete theories have been developed, but cannot be verified experimentally due to interactions of the wave propagation with gravitational effects, namely convection due to buoyancy and settling of particles, both of which create motion in the suspension of the same order of velocity as the reaction wave itself. The experimental concept of the PERWAVES experiment is to ignite a gas/particle mixture (here an Oxygen/Xenon gas mixture and iron particles of a certain size) within a transparent reactor tube, and to be able to visualize, and make measurements of the flame propagation front.

The objective of the drop tower experiment is to verify specific characteristics of the MAXUS 9 PERWAVES experiment under real microgravity conditions.

experiment campaigns

experiment year: 2016
number of drops: 15
number of catapult launches: 5

experiment year: 2015
number of drops: 8