Station Science Top News: Sept. 8, 2023
Researchers have published recommendations that could help enhance realism within computation fluid dynamics (CFD) models. Their mathematical algorithms are based on long-term, zero-gravity slosh data and could be used to validate simulations that need extensive verification for safety.
The SPHERES-Slosh experiment aims to provide high-fidelity data from observations of fluid slosh behavior in-orbit. Researchers hope to improve 3D fluid trajectory models by writing custom code for modeling in OpenFOAM and using software such as Blender for visual realism. Understanding, predicting, and controlling fluid slosh dynamics is critical to safety and improving performance of space missions when a significant percentage of the spacecraft’s mass is a liquid.
Researchers have published results that help to validate the certainty of measurements from the (JAXA) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) aboard the International Space Station. Measurements from the ELF facility and a ground-based NASA Electrostatic Levitation (ESL) facility showed good agreement, with a variation of only 1.8%. This validation is important for future use of ground-based ESL data, for example, in the development of efficient turbines for electric generation systems, aircraft, and the next generation of jet engines.
The space station ELF is designed to melt, solidify, and levitate materials by containerless processes. Accuracy and precision of thermophysical data, such as mass transfer and macro segregation can greatly affect engineering performance of ground-based ESL facilities. The measured density of Ni-based CMSX-4 Plus® superalloy in liquid form was used to validate the uncertainty, precision, and accuracy of the orbiting laboratory's ELF facility.
NASA invests in ESL facilities to develop new high-temperature materials for better rocket engine nozzles, radiator panels, and habitat surfaces. Researchers have used Marshall Space Flight Center’s ESL laboratory to improve medical and industrial lasers, develop metallic glasses stronger than steel, and create materials with memory.