Fluids in rocket tanks

Fluids in rocket tanks

Simulating the dynamical behavior of liquids is of great importance in designing and analyzing the tanks of space vehicles. In these applications, predicting the distribution of the propellant as well as additional quantities such as pressure in the tank is essential for efficient and reliable designs.

Under 0g conditions, the position of a liquid/gas interface is mainly determined by the contact angle between the interface and the wall of the tank. The liquid/gas interface on the other hand determines the position of the liquid bulk itself. The contact angle and interface position of the propellant can be influenced by physical effects due to non-isothermal conditions.

The aims of the project were to develop a mathematical model which is able to take the aforementioned effects into account and its numerical realization. The resulting method was implemented in the CFD solver Navier developed at AM3 and evaluated by using experimental results obtained by our project partners at the center of applied space technology and microgravity (ZARM).

The following persons have worked on this project:

  • Rolf Krahl
  • Eberhard Bänsch
  • Steffen Basting
  • Deborah Bennet