Investigation of Gravity Effects on Electrically Driven Liquid Film Boiling: A sub-orbital Re-usable Launch Vehicle Experiment in preparation of ISS Flight Experiment

PI: Jeffrey Didion, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Jamal Yagoobi (Co-I), Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Electrically Driven Liquid Thin Film Boiling phenomena employs two components of the electrohydrodynamic (EHD) force generated by the application of a direct current electric field to a dielectric fluid. This technique enhances two phase heat transfer by providing a constant liquid working fluid source (thus alleviating dry out) through EHD conduction pumping and enhancing vapor departure via the dielectrophoretic force. This suborbital flight test will acquire experimental heat transfer data and confirm the engineering design of critical subsystems of a to-be-launched International Space Station EHD experiment.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA14 Thermal Management Systems
Problem Statement

The most advanced thermal solutions in practice are remote cooling schemes which employ liquid pumps or vapor compressors to pump the working fluid throughout the closed thermal management loop. The application of electric fields to two phase flow permits control of the liquid and vapor phases in a range of gravity fields. Electrically driven liquid film boiling phenomena will lead to a gravity independent, embedded hardware approach which will result in higher temperature heat acquisition, lower mass, size and pumping power consumption than the techniques currently used.

Technology Maturation

The prototype hardware successfully completed a parabolic aircrat flight campaign (T0208) so is currently at TRL-5. The suborbital flight will provide minutes of micro-gravity environment firmly establishing thermal, electrical and hydrodynamic steady state raising the overall TRL to TRL-6: System Adequacy Validated in Simulated Environment.

Future Customers

Embedded thermal management devices based upon the results of the proposed variable gravity and ISS flight experiments will reduce the thermal resistance which can be used to meet a variety of NASA and DoD identified needs.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NASA Directed
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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