Propellant Management Physics: a new ESA Topical Team!

In September 2019, ESA recognized a new Topical Team on Propellant Management Physics in the framework of the the Science in the Space Environment SciSpacE program.

The von Karman Institute is part of the core team composed by:

- Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Michael Dreyer, University of Bremen, Department of Fluid Mechanics, Head of the Multiphase Flow Group, ZARM (Germany)

- Prof. Sebastien Tanguy, University of Toulouse, Fluid Mechanics Institute of Toulouse (IMFT), Department of Mechanical Engineering (France)

- Dr. Annafederica Urbano, Isae-Supaero Toulouse DCAS - Space Advanced Concepts Laboratory (France)

- Dr. Alessia Simonini, von Karman Institute (Belgium)

- Prog. Man. Laura Peveroni, von Karman Institute (Belgium)

- Res. Man. Jean-Baptiste Gouriet, von Karman Institute (Belgium)

Logos Core Team
One of the influential technologies determining the capabilities and operating conditions for space activities is related to the management of storable and cryogenic propellants in launchers, satellites and space vehicles. The successful design and competitive edge of such technology relies on the sound understanding of the behavior of the propellant in the tank when subjected to specific operational and environmental conditions such as fast changes of acceleration levels, unsteady acceleration due to maneuvers, long exposure to low residual accelerations, as well as to radiative and conductive heat transfer.

The aim of this Topical Team is to bring together Experts on the fields of propellant management and fundamental physics to increase the European synergy of research groups. The Topical Team will identify the critical physical phenomena affecting the propellant behavior in tanks and define how to approach them in order to support a step forward in the state-of-art knowledge on propellant management. The definition of generic experiments isolating each physical phenomenon will be carried out with the intent of defining and validating highly reliable physical models and support their integration within computational fluid dynamics programs. Finally, a more complex sloshing experiment featuring the interaction of the selected phenomena will be proposed.

Quantitative characterization of microgravity sloshing: rising wave in water and HFE 7200. H2O sloshing image sequence (time step 0.12s).

Electronic Rack and Experimental Rack

Propellant Management Physics: a new ESA Topical Team!