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Tank Pressure Control Experiment: Thermal Phenomena in MicrogravityThe report presents the results of the flight experiment Tank Pressure Control Experiment/Thermal Phenomena (TPCE/TP) performed in the microgravity environment of the space shuttle. TPCE/TP, flown on the Space Transportation System STS-52, was a second flight of the Tank Pressure Control Experiment (TPCE). The experiment used Freon 113 at near saturation conditions. The test tank was filled with liquid to about 83% by volume. The experiment consisted of 21 tests. Each test generally started with a heating phase to increase the tank pressure and to develop temperature stratification in the fluid, followed by a fluid mixing phase for the tank pressure reduction and fluid temperature equilibration. The heating phase provided pool boiling data from large (relative to bubble sizes) heating surfaces (0.1046 m by 0.0742 m) at low heat fluxes (0.23 to 1.16 kW/sq m). The system pressure and the bulk liquid subcooling varied from 39 to 78 kPa and 1 to 3 C, respectively. The boiling process during the entire heating period, as well as the jet-induced mixing process for the first 2 min of the mixing period, was also recorded on video. The unique features of the experimental results are the sustainability of high liquid superheats for long periods and the occurrence of explosive boiling at low heat fluxes (0.86 to 1.1 kW/sq m). For a heat flux of 0.97 kW/sq m, a wall superheat of 17.9 C was attained in 10 min of heating. This superheat was followed by an explosive boiling accompanied by a pressure spike of about 38% of the tank pressure at the inception of boiling. However, at this heat flux the vapor blanketing the heating surface could not be sustained. Steady nucleate boiling continued after the explosive boiling. The jet-induced fluid mixing results were obtained for jet Reynolds numbers of 1900 to 8000 and Weber numbers of 0.2 to 6.5. Analyses of data from the two flight experiments (TPCE and TPCE/TP) and their comparison with the results obtained in drop tower experiments suggest that as Bond number approaches zero the flow pattern produced by an axial jet and the mixing time can be predicted by the Weber number.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Hasan, Mohammad M.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland,OH United States)
Lin, Chin S.
(Analex Corp. Brook Park, OH United States)
Knoll, Richard H.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland,OH United States)
Bentz, Michael D.
(Boeing Defense and Space Group Seattle, WA United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1996
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Heat Transfer
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.60:3564
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 237-02-01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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