Integrated acoustic technology for boil-off control, mass gauging, and structural health monitoring in cryogenic fuel tanks

PI: Fu-Kuo Chang, Stanford University, Michael Khasin (Co-I), NASA/Ames Research Center

This Integrated Acoustic Technology for Boiloff Control, Mass Gauging, and Structural Health Monitoring in Cryogenic Fuel Tanks experiment combines three common mechanisms for monitoring and managing propellant using acoustic fields and ultrasound sensor networks. By combining three technologies that are typically used separately for boiloff control, mass gauging, and structural health monitoring of cryogenic fuel tanks, this innovation dramatically reduces the amount of necessary equipment. Flight tests will evaluate the three subsystems individually as well as their integrated functionality in microgravity.

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

Long-duration space exploration missions require efficient cryogenic propellant storage and management. An important part of maintaining this efficiency is mitigating environmental effects on the propellant state and tank structure, which includes addressing challenges such as boiloff, accurate fluid gauging, and structural damage.

Technology Maturation

Acoustic technology is a proven, highly effective tool for propellant monitoring and management. This flight test will mature each of the three technologiesfor boiloff control, mass gauging, and structural health monitoring independently, which will in turn serve to advance their integrated functionality. The system is expected to reach a TRL of 5.

Future Customers

•NASA and commercial space exploration missions
•Design of cryogenic fuel management systems

Technology Details

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

Development Team

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