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SPICE Status

October 2013 – The SPICE Principal Investigator is working on the SPICE Science Report.

June 2012 – The SPICE Experiment Assembly is currently installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the operation of the Burning And Suppression of Solids (BASS) combustion experiment.

September 2010 – The SPICE hardware is currently on orbit on the ISS ready to support SLICE and then BASS combustion experiments.

June 2009 – The SPICE experiment finished operations on June 23, 2009. The SPICE combustion experiment successfully completed over 150 smoke points with gaseous fuels.

April 2009 – The SPICE experiment started operations on board the ISS in April 29, 2009. ISS crewmembers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata conducted SPICE operations in the Microgravity Science Glovebox.

September 29, 2010 – SPICE hardware is currently on orbit the ISS awaiting the SLICE experiment launch on STS-133/Flight ULF-5, providing fuel bottles to run SLICE in the SPICE Experiment Assembly hardware. The BASS experiment will also launch on STS-133/Flight ULF-5, providing solid fuel samples to study solid fuel combustion in co-flow environment in the SPICE Experiment Assembly already on orbit.


The Smoke Point in Coflow Experiment (SPICE) will observe nonbuoyant round laminar jet diffusion flames in air coflow at standard temperature and pressure (STP) to:

• Determine the effects of fuel type, burner diameter and coflow velocity on smoke point properties.

• Identify test conditions for closed- and open-tip smoke point behavior and resolve mechanisms of these transitions.

• Determine the effect of fuel type, burner diameter, and approach to the smoke point on luminous flame shapes.

• Develop and evaluate models of soot formation, luminous flame shapes and flame radiation.

• Data to be obtained from SPICE include video of flames, digital photographs of flames, radiometer output, fuel flow velocity, fan voltage, and coflow air velocity.

• The purpose of this test was to measure the acoustic emission levels of SPICE for purposes of comparison with the noise emission limits for Microgravity Glovebox experiments.

Major SPICE Hardware

• Experiment assembly

• Still & video cameras
• Power conditioning box
• Video titler box
• Controller box
• Power cable
• Twelve fuel bottle assemblies
• Six fuels, 2 each of:

– methane
– propane
– ethylene
– propylene: 0, 25, & 50% gaseous nitrogen dilutions

On-Orbit Operations

• Install hardware in MSG & power up.
• Crew sets the experiment parameters and enables the data recording via the Control Box external to the MSG WV.

• Crew turns on the fuel flow and ignites the fuel.
• Using the control box the crew sets smoke point, the radiometer gain and snaps 3 pictures.
• Crew will then disable fuel flow, stop data recording and disable the ignitor.
• Crew will turn off the fuel flow and run MSG air circulation.
• Crew replaces the Micro Drive, Fuel Bottle Assembly or set up for the next test as necessary.

On-Orbit Videos