Cryogenic fluid management technologies for space transportation. Zero G thermodynamic vent system
- JAN 1, 1994.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Long term storage of subcritical cryogens in space must address the problem of thermal stratification in the storage tanks, liquid acquisition devices, and associated feed systems. Due to the absence of gravity induced body forces, thermal stratification in zero-g is more severe than commonly experienced in a one-g environment. If left uncontrolled, the thermal gradients result in excessive tank pressure rise and the formation of undesirable liquid/vapor mixtures within the liquid bulk, liquid acquisition system, and propellant transfer lines. Since external heat leakage cannot be eliminated, a means of minimizing the thermal stratification in the ullage gas, liquid, and feed system is required. A subsystem which minimizes the thermal stratification and rejects the environmental heat leakage in an efficient manner is therefore needed for zero-g subcritical cryogenic systems. In ground based storage systems the ullage gas location is always known (top of the tank) and therefore direct venting of gases as a means of heat rejection is easily accomplished. In contrast, because the ullage location in a zero-g environment is not easily predictable, heat rejection through direct gaseous venting is difficult in space (requires liquid settling, or surface tension devices). A means of indirect venting through the use of a thermodynamic vent system (TVS) is therefore required. A thermodynamic vent system allows indirect venting of vapor through heat exchange between the vented fluid and the stored fluid. The objective is to ensure that only gas and not liquid is vented, in order to minimize the propellant losses. Consequently, the design of a TVS is a critical enabling technology for future applications such as solar thermal and electric propulsion, single-stage-to-orbit vertical landers and upper stages, and any space based operations involving subcritical cryogenics. To bridge this technology gap NASA MSFC initiated an effort to build and verify through ground tests a zero-g liquid hydrogen TVS. The primary objective of the zero-g TVS contract (Contract NAS8-39202) was to design a zero-g vent system that is innovative, simple, efficient, lightweight, and can be characterized through one-g tests. The TVS concept defined by Rockwell International was selected by NASA for further design evaluation. The 30 month activity was initiated in November 1991 and concluded on May 1994.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19940032299.
Accession ID: 94N36806.
- No Copyright.
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