ITTW2018: Best presentation awarded to Alessia Simonini

Alessia Simonini received the best presentation award of young scholars during the 13th International Conference on Two-Phase Systems for Space and Ground Applications (ITTW2018) conference held from 15 to 19 October at Xi'an in China.

The paper presented was entitled "Quantitative characterization of microgravity sloshing: rising wave in water and HFE 7200" and was co-signed by Alessia Simonini, Laura Peveroni, Jean-Baptiste Gouriet and Jean-Marie Buchlin from the von Karman Institute.


The management of conventional and cryogenic propellants is one of the key technologies, which influences a spacecraft or satellite operating conditions. Therefore the prediction of the propellant behavior, i e. the position and the topology of the fluid inside the storage tank, is of an extreme importance for example in the development of Attitude Control System. Even if the sloshing phenomenon has been extensively studied, today there is still a lack of reliable and consistent experimental database, in particular for the free surface shape, its velocity as well as the velocity of the fluid behind it. Measurements of forces and accelerations are available but they are punctual and cannot be used to have a proper CFD benchmark; global techniques, as high-speed visualization, are also commonly employed but they can give only qualitative information about the physics of the phenomenon. The aim of this project is to fill the gap, which today still exists, between the CFD simulations and the experimental characterization of sloshing. Therefore in this research project we propose to quantitatively study the evolution of the liquid/gas interface and the fluid velocity during sloshing in microgravity conditions. More specifically a combination of fluorescent Particle Image Velocimetry (fPIV) and Level Detection and Recording technique (LeDaR) is proposed to achieve these goals. A scaled model of a propeller tank will be designed using a non-dimensional analysis and a substitute fluid will be used. Commercial sensors will measure the external accelerations acting on the reservoir during the experiment; these accelerations will be a part of the boundary conditions for the CFD simulations.The gravitational environment is provided by a parabolic flight. The outcome of this experimental research will be a database, which will be used as a benchmark for numerical simulations of propellant microgravity behavior.

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