Investigation of Noncondensable and Autogenous Unsettled Cryogenic Pressurization Schemes in Reduced Gravity

PI: Samuel Darr, The Aerospace Corporation, Jason Hartwig (Co-I), NASA/Glenn Research Center

The Investigation of Non-condensable and Autogenous Unsettled Cryogenic Pressurization Schemes in Reduced Gravity will demonstrate the pressure control capability of a cryogenic liquid storage tank in reduced gravity. It will examine pressurization directly to the ullage (the top of the liquid’s surface) as well a ssubsurface pressurization. Over three parabolic flights, researchers will investigate the performance of both a non-condensable and autogenous gas in these two schemes. This data is crucial for predicting pressure control capabilities of cryogenic liquid storage tanks.

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

Cryogenic tank pressurization is an important architectural element of a future lunar base. Currently, the effect of reduced gravity on pressurant consumption and pressure rise rate is not firmly known. This data is necessary to compare direct and subsurface pressurization schemes with both non-condensable and autogenous gases.

Technology Maturation

Parabolic flight tests willacquire the data needed to develop and validate reduced gravity cryogenic pressurization models, which can improve the design of propulsion and cryogenic transfer systems. Specifically, this demonstration willadvance the technology’s readiness for unsettled helium and subsurface pressurization, which are currently at TRL 4 and 5 respectively.

This work is a continuation of previous flight testing underT0244.

Future Customers

•Nuclear thermal propulsion systems
•In-space fuel depots
•Liquefaction systems on the Moon and Mars

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights20 (Sep 2020)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 Parabolic

Development Team

Web Accessibility and Privacy Notices Curator: Alexander van Dijk Responsible NASA Official: Stephan Ord Last Update: November 16, 2018