Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 16, EPSC2022-951, 2022, updated on 14 May 2024
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The ICAPS & Laplace experiments to investigate the initial stage of planet formation

Ingo von Borstel1, Jürgen Blum1, Rainer Schräpler1, Coskun Aktas1, Daniyar Balapanov2, Andrei Vedernikov2, Julie Brisset3, Noah Molinski1, and Ben Schubert1
Ingo von Borstel et al.
  • 1TU Braunschweig, Institute for Geopyhsics and extraterrestrial Physics, Braunschweig, Germany (
  • 2Université Libre de Bruxelles, Microgravity Research Centre, Belgium
  • 3University of Central Florida, Florida Space Institute, USA

The ICAPS setup was flown in 2019 on the Texus-56 sounding rocket and its successor, the Laplace facility, is planned for a usage on the ISS in 2023. Both experiments allow to investigate the very first stages of planet formation. The relevant growth processes require observation of many-particle processes consisting of millions of µm-sized particles in a low-density gas environments (typical a few 10s of Pa, such that Knudsen numbers of >>1 are achieved) for prolonged time. The latter requirement make it necessary to perform these investigations in a microgravity environment. The ICAPS and Laplace setups allow to actively protect the dust cloud against diffusion and other external residual forces and also allow concentration of the dust cloud by means of a unique actively-controlled thermophoretic trap acting on all three axes.

Simultaneously, the dust cloud is made available to a number of observational instruments. As a whole, the cloud is observed in 3D from two perpendicular overview cameras while also making a small central volume of 1 mm² cross-section accessible to a dedicated long-distance microscope with high-speed imaging to facilitate non-destructive in-situ analysis of the growing dust aggregates. An extinction sensor allows to measure the extinction throughout the cloud as a whole. Measurements of the electric charges of the individual particles can be conducted repeatedly by means of a controlled DC or AC fields in order to determine charge and charge evolution.

We will present the design and techniques of the ICAPS and Laplace setups, the current status of the Laplace facility and demonstrate its capabilities on a few select data from the Texus-56 flight of ICAPS.

How to cite: von Borstel, I., Blum, J., Schräpler, R., Aktas, C., Balapanov, D., Vedernikov, A., Brisset, J., Molinski, N., and Schubert, B.: The ICAPS & Laplace experiments to investigate the initial stage of planet formation, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-951,, 2022.


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