Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Poster Session; 5-minute Oral Presentation; 10-minute Oral Presentation; 30 minute Workshop

Authors' Class Standing

Lucas Tijerina, Senior Hissar Aguilar, Senior

Lead Presenter's Name

Lucas Tijerina

Faculty Mentor Name

Sathya Gangadharan

Abstract

Through the development of ground-based propellant storage and transfer system experiment, this research is aimed at improving the understanding of propellant dynamics. Theexperiment uses the concept of rotational settling to perform a propellant transfer between two tanks and measures the reactions due to the mass imbalance and internal forces in the tanks using a sensitive multi-axis loadcell. An aluminum frame is fabricated in order to support the experimental rig and acrylic plastic tanks are utilized in order to visualize the moving propellant. During the test, water is used to simulate the propellant. The researchers have simultaneously developed computer simulations through SIMSCAPE Multibody, for a non-transfer case, in order to estimate the forces numerically and identify the hardware requirements of the motor drive assembly. In the future, the research team plans to the implement the analysis of the propellant behavior for the transfer case using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The experiment will be then adapted and prepared for testing in a microgravity environment on a suborbital flight. This project will advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and enable the development of on-orbit propellant management systems.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Spark Grant

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Ground Testing of a Propellant Storage and Transfer System

Through the development of ground-based propellant storage and transfer system experiment, this research is aimed at improving the understanding of propellant dynamics. Theexperiment uses the concept of rotational settling to perform a propellant transfer between two tanks and measures the reactions due to the mass imbalance and internal forces in the tanks using a sensitive multi-axis loadcell. An aluminum frame is fabricated in order to support the experimental rig and acrylic plastic tanks are utilized in order to visualize the moving propellant. During the test, water is used to simulate the propellant. The researchers have simultaneously developed computer simulations through SIMSCAPE Multibody, for a non-transfer case, in order to estimate the forces numerically and identify the hardware requirements of the motor drive assembly. In the future, the research team plans to the implement the analysis of the propellant behavior for the transfer case using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The experiment will be then adapted and prepared for testing in a microgravity environment on a suborbital flight. This project will advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and enable the development of on-orbit propellant management systems.

 

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