Investigation of Gas-Liquid Interface Behavior on Propellant Reorientation in Microgravity Environment

Int. J. Microgravity Sci. Appl. 2011_s120
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The computational and experimental studies have been performed to investigate the process of liquid propellant reorientation flow dynamics for the tank of CZ-3A launch vehicle series fuel tanks in microgravity environment. The volume-of-fluid (VOF) method was used to simulate the free surface flow of gas-liquid. The process of the liquid propellant reorientation started from initially curved interfaces. The characteristic time of propellant reorientation flow was obtained from numerical simulation. The results agree well with the experiments. It’s found that the method of small thrust for liquid reorientation is effective and thrust impulse consumption for reorientation could be saved by using a small thrust Bond number. In addition, a series experimental investigation was conducted in the Drop Tower Facility of National Microgravity Laboratory of China. Preliminary drop tower experimental results shows that the sponge PMD is effective in holding the liquid in microgravity environment.
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