Skip to main content
Article
A Novel Device Addressing Design Challenges for Passive Fluid Phase Separations Aboard Spacecraft
Microgravity Science and Technology (2009)
  • Mark M. Weislogel, Portland State University
  • E. A. Thomas
  • J. C. Graff
Abstract

Capillary solutions have long existed for the control of liquid inventories in spacecraft fluid systems such as liquid propellants, cryogens and thermal fluids for temperature control. Such large length scale, ‘low-gravity,’ capillary systems exploit container geometry and fluid properties—primarily wetting—to passively locate or transport fluids to desired positions for a variety of purposes. Such methods have only been confidently established if the wetting conditions are known and favorable. In this paper, several of the significant challenges for ‘capillary solutions’ to low-gravity multiphase fluids management aboard spacecraft are briefly reviewed in light of applications common to life support systems that emphasize the impact of the widely varying wetting properties typical of aqueous systems. A restrictive though no less typifying example of passive phase separation in a urine collection system is highlighted that identifies key design considerations potentially met by predominately capillary solutions. Sample results from novel scale model prototype testing aboard a NASA low-g aircraft are presented that support the various design considerations.

Disciplines
Publication Date
July, 2009
Citation Information
Mark M. Weislogel, E. A. Thomas and J. C. Graff. "A Novel Device Addressing Design Challenges for Passive Fluid Phase Separations Aboard Spacecraft" Microgravity Science and Technology Vol. 21 Iss. 3 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_weislogel/22/