Highly Reliable LOX Pump for Vehicle Loading Operations
The current Shuttle LOX loading pumps have several issues requiring high-maintenance and resulting in low reliability. The proposed pump system would mitigate NASA's concerns on reliability in this critical application by virtue of the seal arrangement tested in Phase 1 and the design of each pump to be able to meet the current fill rates in the event of one unit's failure. Phase I focussed on the reliability issues surrounding the primary sealing arrangement in the LOX pumps and demonstrated the feasibility of a non-contacting combination of a dynamic seal and a purged labyrinth seal set as a highly reliable sealing solution for the primary seal for Liquid Oxygen (LOX) transfer pumps. Additionally, Phase I efforts produced a unique concept for a new LOX pumping system for vehicle loading operations. In the proposed system, two pumps would work in parallel to provide an increase in LOX transfer rate of 50%. The scope of work in Phase 2 will include the design and manufacture of this complete pump system composed of 2 pumps, pump performance testing on water, and cryogenic testing at KSC's ATDC facility.
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