Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Ricard González-Cinca
  • Email:

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Microgravity Lab – Department of Physics - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
  • Address: Ed. C3, c/ E. Terradas, 5 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain
  • Province: Barcelona

Research Area

  • Information Science and Engineering (ENG)
  • Physics (PHY)

Brief description of the institution:

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research, specialised in the fields of architecture, engineering and technology.
In a highly creative context, the UPC's research, teaching and management projects are based on the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, solidarity, cooperation, sustainability, efficiency, transparency and social responsibility. They also reflect the University's commitment to the environment and to change.
With a focus on intellectual rigour, critical thinking, a cross-disciplinary approach to knowledge, educational innovation and entrepreneurship, the UPC produces competent professionals with the skills they need to tackle present and future challenges.
The activity that goes on at UPC campuses and schools has made the University a benchmark institution. The University harnesses the potential of basic and applied research, and transfers technology and knowledge to society. These actions make the UPC—in partnership with industry—an agent and driver of economic and social change.
The UPC puts its scientific and technological infrastructure at the service of research groups and centres, researchers and students, professionals, companies and institutions.
As a leading member of international networks of excellence, the UPC has a privileged relationship with global scientific and educational organisations. As a result, the University is at an advantage when it comes to attracting international talent

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The Microgravity Lab started its activities in 2005 in the Castelldefels School of Telecommunications and Aerospace Engineering (EETAC) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC). Our current research interests are focused in space exploration topics and, in particular, in the management of two key issues for space missions: multiphase flows and energy. We perform experimental, analytical and numerical studies that provide understanding on multiphase flows which can be used to develop new technologies for space exploration applications. The experiments are carried out in our laboratory and in the available platforms from the European Space Agency-ESA (Parabolic flights, ZARM DropTower, Sounding Rockets, Large Diameter Centrifuge) and NASA (Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles).

Project description:

There are two possible projects:

  1. Energy storage in the Moon: One of the biggest challenges of the Moon exploration is the survival of the crew and assets during the lunar night. Short term sojourns from days to a week or so can be accomplished without expending major effort into finding technological solutions. However, near-permanent presence on an outpost requires careful attention to detail and systematically worked out requirements and the means to achieve them. Environmental conditions on the lunar surface and its cycle, with long periods of darkness, make any long mission in need of specific amounts of heat and electricity to be successful. We are currently working on a system to store heat and produce electricity in the Moon. When the Sun is shining on the surface, the system runs a heat engine using the solar power and heating a thermal mass. This mass is used as a high temperature source to run the engine during the night to produce electricity.
  2. Acoustic control of bubbles in microgravity: Multiphase flows are present in many space systems, such as thermal control, power generation and energy storage, wastewater management, and many other ECLSS. Multiphase flows can appear naturally by the activity carried out in a mission. In other cases, multiphase flows are especially interesting since their lighter weight make them more convenient than one-phase flows. In all cases, the absence of the buoyancy force in the microgravity environment makes the task of managing multiphase flows specially challenging. Hence, specific technologies different to those used on Earth are required to support long duration space missions. We are currently working in a project to mature a technology to control bubbles and foams by means of acoustic waves in microgravity conditions.


- CV

- Letter of motivation

- 2 letters of recommendation

Deadline: August 28, 2017.

I want to contact the Institution

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