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Design of Spray Cooling Systems for Chilldown of Propellant Tanks

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0639
Agency Tracking Number: 204812
Amount: $124,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T2
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947-1020
United States
DUNS: 929950012
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vineet Ahuja
 (215) 766-1520
Business Contact
 Jessica Gillespie
Phone: (215) 766-1520
Research Institution
 University of Connecticut
438 Whitney Road Ext. 1133
Storrs, CT 06269-1133
United States

 Nonprofit college or university

In-space cryogenic propellant transfer is a key enabling technology for future long duration space exploration missions. However, successfully refueling tankage with cryogenic propellants in space presents significant challenges related to the chilldown of nbsp;the receiving tank. There is a limited supply of propellant in space depots and the cold propellant itself has to be used for chilldown purposes utilizing non-vented filling procedures while maintaining the pressure in the receiving tank below a prescribed threshold. Although filling protocols such as pulsed-injection and charge-vent-hold have been developed to optimally achieve high fill-levels during the refueling process, the success of attaining high fill refuel levels is largely dependent on the cooling efficiency of the tank walls and the ullage. It is envisioned that tank cooling will be facilitated by spray injection nozzles that remove thermal energy rapidly from the system minimizing boil-off, propellant loss and chilldown time. The innovation described in this proposal is a collaborative effort between CRAFT Tech and the University of Connecticut that involves detailed experimental visualization and diagnostic measurements involving the interaction of spray nozzles with tank environments and utilizing these observations for the development of specialized spray cooling models in a high-fidelity multiphysics simulation framework.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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