Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Sathya Gangadharan,

Committee Member

Dr. Reda Mankbadi (Co-Chairman)

Committee Member

Mr. James Sudermann


Predicting the effect of fuel slosh on spacecraft and launch vehicle attitude control systems has been a very important and challenging task and has been the subject of considerable research over the past years. Analytic determination of the slosh analog parameters has been met with mixed success and is made more difficult by the introduction of propellant management devices such as elastomeric diaphragms. The experimental set-up in this research incorporates a diaphragm in a simulated spacecraft fuel tank subjected to lateral slosh behavior. This research focuses on the parameter estimation of a SimMechanics model of the simulated spacecraft propellant tank with diaphragms using lateral fuel slosh experiment data. An experimental investigation was conducted to determine and measure the slosh forces response of free surface slosh and diaphragms in an eight inch diameter spherical tank. The lateral slosh testing consisted of the tank assembly partially filled with different liquids, for other tests, diaphragms were incorporated into the tank. The experiment results from different testing conditions were compared for estimation of unknown parameter characteristics that include the pendulum model stiffness constants and damping coefficients.