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Project Title:  High-Fidelity Experiments and Computations of Transient Two-Phase Flow for Understanding Cryogenic Propellant Tank Transfer Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2022 
Division: Physical Sciences 
Research Discipline/Element:
Physical Sciences: FLUID PHYSICS--Fluid physics 
Start Date: 11/30/2021  
End Date: 11/29/2026  
Task Last Updated: 01/20/2022 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Miljkovic, Nenad  Ph.D. / University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
Address:  Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering 
105 S Mathews Ave, 2136 Mechanical Engineering Laboratory 
Urbana , IL 61801-2924 
Phone: 617-981-9247  
Congressional District: 13 
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
Joint Agency:  
Yazdani, Miad  Ph.D. United Technologies Corporation 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC22K0294 
Responsible Center: NASA GRC 
Grant Monitor: Chao, David  
Center Contact: 216-433-8320 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2020 Physical Sciences NNH20ZDA012N: Fluid Physics. Appendix A 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC22K0294 
Project Type: FLIGHT,GROUND 
Flight Program: ISS 
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Program--Element: FLUID PHYSICS--Fluid physics 
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: ISS

Task Description: Cryogenic chilldown governs initial stages of cryogen transport. Chilldown involves complicated hydrodynamic and thermal interactions between the liquid, vapor, and channel wall. Large initial temperature differences between the walls and the cryogen create rapid evaporation and large pressure and temperature fluctuation. Although work has attempted to identify transient flow boiling regimes, local surface temperatures, and heat fluxes, chilldown remains poorly understood due to the lack of experimental techniques capable of attaining high spatio-temporal resolution in both optical and infrared (IR) spectra. Furthermore, a lack of computational methods exists which can predict transient flow boiling and chilldown for a variety of length and time scales, and working fluid and system geometries.

Here, we propose a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Raytheon Technologies (RTX) to develop fundamental understanding of chilldown using complementary high-fidelity experiments and computations. Internal flow pattern variations ranging from the film, transition, nucleate, to convection flow boiling using FC-72 and liquid nitrogen (LN2) in NASA relevant aluminum and stainless steel tubes, will be studied. We will use in-liquid endoscopy to study in-situ quench front propagation during FC-72 and LN2 flow boiling. The synchronous use of internal optical and external IR visualization will enable the gaining of a rigorous understanding of the thermal-fluidic behavior occurring in the near-wall region during chilldown and transient flow boiling. The obtained parameters, such as the quench front propagation rate and the temperature and heat flux distributions near the quench front, will then be used to validate high-fidelity computations. The computational framework at RTX leverages the established foundation that is capable of predicting the thermal and hydrodynamic behavior of multiphase flows in convective boiling and condensation regimes. The multiple scales associated with chilldown and two-phase flow boiling will be addressed through a combination of the previously developed Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) approach for the nucleation near the wall, the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) formulation for the macroscopic transport in the core, and a novel coupling scheme for transporting the information across these scales. While the inherent transient phenomena such as solid condition, nucleation, and regime transition are an integral part of this framework, the model will be modified to allow transient boundary and operating conditions due to the operation of the tank during chilldown. The simulation will provide highly resolved information on the thermal and flow characteristics of two-phase cryogenic flow during the chilldown process and particularly the transient evolution of the flow regime during boiling. The model predictions will continually be validated against the high-fidelity experimental measurements over a range of test conditions. The work is broken down into tasks, which are briefly defined by:

1) Experimental analysis of transient heat transfer and pressure fluctuation during chilldown in Earth gravity with FC-72; 2) Integration of synchronous optical and IR visualization of chilldown with FC-72 and LN2 in Earth gravity for a variety of conditions including tube material, tube size, pressure difference, initial system temperature, and cryogen flow rate; 3) Simulations of transient flow boiling and chilldown in Earth gravity with FC-72 in order to provide physical insight on how the flow regime and boiling regime evolve over the course of chilldown; and 4) FC-72 flow boiling tests in microgravity with simulation validation.

The outcomes of the on-Earth experiments will guide testing in microgravity on the Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) on the International Space Station (ISS) to better understand the time-varying system pressure and temperatures during the cryogenic propellant transfer process.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Cryogenic chilldown governs initial stages of cryogen transport. Flow pattern variation and quench front propagation are crucial for analyzing and understanding the mechanism of chilldown.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2022 
Task Progress: New project for FY2022.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: ) 

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 None in FY 2022