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Capillary Channel Flows (CCF)

Principal Investigator: Michael Dreyer, Zarm (Bremen)
Project Scientist: Brian Motil, Glenn Research Center
Project Manager: Monica Hoffmann, Glenn Research Center

Currently scheduled to be launched: Flight #TBD - Date 05/2008

Why:
Current design of spacecraft fuel tanks rely on an additional reservoir to prevent the ingestion of gas into the engines during firing.
Research is necessary because current models do not adequately predict the maximum flow rate achievable through the capillary vanes.

How:
To determine the shape of the free surface and to find the maximum flow rate which may be achieved in an open channel without a collapse of the free surface.
Configurations to be tested include various geometries (parallel plates, grooves, wedges, and a liquid bridge.)
These results will be used to validate and test theoretical models.
 

Open channel with capillary driven flow.
Impact/Benefits:
To reduce cost and weight, and increase life and reliability of spacecraft and satellites by reducing complexity of fuel tanks.
To quantify conditions that lead to a maximum flow rate through an open capillary channel.
Experiment will be designed, built, and funded by German space agency (DLR) and fly in the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR).

Capillary Channel Flows (CCF)

*Next Flight Experiment: MOBI

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