The planet laboratory is dedicated to the investigation of solid surfaces in our solar system. The main focus is on physical properties of regolith as it can be found on Mars, the Moon, and asteroids.
The central part is a vacuum chamber with a coarse vacuum (10-2 mbar) and a closed circuit temperature regulation (+30 °C — -70 °C).
Solar light can be simulated with an arc lamp up to an equivalent solar distance of about 0.7 AU.
The diagnostics consist of various sensors to measure temperature, thermal conductivity and mechanical strength. Electrical properties can be measured with an impedance spectrometer in a separate facility.