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Cryogenic Experimentation on the Magnetohydrodynamics of Liquid Oxygen
Utah Space Grant Consortium
  • Jeffrey C. Boulware, Utah State University
  • Heng Ban, Utah State University
  • Scott Jensen, Utah State University
  • Steve Wassom, Utah State University
Salt Lake Community College Student Center
Start Date
4-5-2009 3:30 PM

The increasing demands of the small satellite industry are forcing the development of subsystems with increased reliability and robustness while maintaining harsh mass and volume constraints. Basic research has begun on the cryogenic magnetohydrodynamic properties of liquid oxygen to determine its feasibility as a working fluid in a magnetic system void of mechanically moving parts. A 1D finite-differenced numerical algorithm verified experimental data on the dynamics of a liquid oxygen slug propagated by pulsed magnetic fields. Up to 1.4 T was induced by electrically-sequenced solenoids wound with 30 gauge copper wire. The test section consisted of two solenoids and a 0.075 inch quartz tube and was completely submerged in liquid nitrogen. Because of this, visual confirmation of the slug size was difficult, and the algorithm was also used to determine its length. Using data obtained from upstream and downstream pressure sensors, the lengths were predicted as 3.75 inches for an oscillating slug test and as 2.2 inches for a propagating slug test. The maximum pressure differential obtained was 0.24 psi, which is comparable to ferrofluid-based experiments. The experiment resulted in the most detailed information to date on the paramagnetic susceptibility of liquid oxygen. It is anticipated that this basic research will eventually lead to the development of small satellite subsystems with significantly longer lifetimes.

Citation Information
Jeffrey C. Boulware, Heng Ban, Scott Jensen and Steve Wassom. "Cryogenic Experimentation on the Magnetohydrodynamics of Liquid Oxygen" (2009)
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