We have investigated the columnar to equiaxed transition experimentally in directionally solidified hypoeutectic binary AlSi alloys with and without grain refinement particles and for different processing parameters in the framework of the ESA-MAP CETSOL (Columnar-to-equiaxed transition in solidification processing). A power-down technique was used in a Bridgman-Stockbarger type gradient-furnace to simultaneously increase the solidification rate and decrease the temperature gradient in the cylindrical sample during directional solidification vertically upwards. The position of the CET was determined from the cut and polished samples and correlated to the applied cooling rate for different experiments. Critical parameters for the temperature gradient and the solidification rate at the transition were determined from cooling curves measured within the sample and from a time-of-flight analysis of ultrasonic pulses propagated in the solid part of the sample and being reflected at the solid-liquid interface. The critical values found are compared to the deterministic models of Hunt and of Martorano et al. The objective of this contribution is the presentation of preliminary results for the different alloys and processing parameters of ground-based experiments. These results will be used for the testing of different models describing the CET within the framework of the ESA-MAP CETSOL and for the preparation of comparative microgravity experiments.