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61st Graduation Day and SPARGE

The 61st Graduation Day on 30st of June will be the occasion to present you a unique research activity at VKI:
Sloshing PARabolic fliGht Experiment (SPARGE)




The management of conventional and cryogenic propellants is one of the key technologies, which influences 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. The objectives of the planned experiment are to determine both the liquid/gas interface shape and the fluid velocity during HFE 7200 sloshing in a small cylindrical closed reservoir at ambient temperature. The fluid is a replacement fluid with properties similar to aerospace propellants. During the parabolic flight test campaign the accelerations generated by the parabolic maneuver itself, will be used as trigger for a sloshing wave that can be characterized.

In order to fulfill these two objectives two quantitative visualization techniques will be used: 1) The fluorescent Particle Image Velocimetry (fPIV) and 2) the Level Detection and Recording technique (LeDaR). In order to use these two techniques, a colorant (dye) and appropriate microscopic fluorescent particles have to be mixed to the fluid and illuminated by laser sources. Two cameras will record the velocity of the fluid and the position of the gas/liquid interface on a plane of the tank, during microgravity.


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.
 

(1) Preparation of SPARGE at the Gravity Center

(2) Experiment team present in Novespace, Mérignac-Bordeaux: Laura Peveroni - Senior Res. Eng., Alessia Simonini - PhD student, Michel Bavier - Technician, Miguel Mendez - PhD student, Maria Teresa Scelzo - PhD student 

 
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VKI, CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

ESA          LEDITH