Helium hammer in superfluid transferLarge transient pressure pulses, referred to as a helium hammer, which occurred in the transfer line of the main cryogenic tank during the development tests of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, launched on January 25, 1983, are analyzed, and the measures taken to prevent a failure described. The modifications include an installation of a 2.3-liter surge tank upstream, and a back-up relief valve downstream, of a burst disk. The surge tank is designed to attenuate a 0.33-MPa pressure pulse at the inlet down to 0.092 MPa at the outlet. A mechanism of the pulse generation is suggested, which involves flashing and rapid recondensation of the small amount of liquid entering the warm section of a transition to room temperature.
Tward, E. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Mason, P. V. (California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA, United States)