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Cryogenic Tank Modeling for the Saturn AS-203 ExperimentA computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed for the Saturn S-IVB liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank to simulate the 1966 AS-203 flight experiment. This significant experiment is the only known, adequately-instrumented, low-gravity, cryogenic self pressurization test that is well suited for CFD model validation. A 4000-cell, axisymmetric model predicts motion of the LH2 surface including boil-off and thermal stratification in the liquid and gas phases. The model is based on a modified version of the commercially available FLOW3D software. During the experiment, heat enters the LH2 tank through the tank forward dome, side wall, aft dome, and common bulkhead. In both model and test the liquid and gases thermally stratify in the low-gravity natural convection environment. LH2 boils at the free surface which in turn increases the pressure within the tank during the 5360 second experiment. The Saturn S-IVB tank model is shown to accurately simulate the self pressurization and thermal stratification in the 1966 AS-203 test. The average predicted pressurization rate is within 4% of the pressure rise rate suggested by test data. Ullage temperature results are also in good agreement with the test where the model predicts an ullage temperature rise rate within 6% of the measured data. The model is based on first principles only and includes no adjustments to bring the predictions closer to the test data. Although quantitative model validation is achieved or one specific case, a significant step is taken towards demonstrating general use of CFD for low-gravity cryogenic fluid modeling.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Grayson, Gary D. (Boeing Co. Huntington Beach, CA, United States)
Lopez, Alfredo (Boeing Co. Huntington Beach, CA, United States)
Chandler, Frank O. (Boeing Co. Huntington Beach, CA, United States)
Hastings, Leon J. (Alpha Technology Huntsville, AL, United States)
Tucker, Stephen P. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2006-5258
Meeting Information
42nd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit(Sacramento, CA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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