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Demonstration of Optimal Chilldown Methods for Cryogenic Propellant Tanks in Reduced Gravity

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Demonstration of Optimal Chilldown Methods for Cryogenic Propellant Tanks in Reduced Gravity

The PIs group has previously performed many terrestrial chilldown and microgravity parabolic flight chilldown experiments for pipes. More difficult to model and in most cases more important for the propellant thermal management is the chilldown of the receiver tank. The receiver tank is the most massive component of the system to be chilled down and, therefore, takes much more time to chill down and thus more cryogen consumption. As a result, the time and propellant spent during chilldown will mostly be dictated by how fast the tank can be chilled down. But at this time there have been no studies on tank chilldown in zero gravity. Previous tank chilldown studies have been limited to just 1g conditions and were very scarce with only two data sets available and the experiments were poorly executed. The proposed project seeks to fill this void and close this gap by conducting reduced gravity experiment for cryogenic chilldown of a receiver tank in reduced gravity, analyzing data, developing models, and then suggest optimal tank chilldown methods. 
This work builds on prior work under T0172.

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