Capillary Fluidics in Space

Monday, February 18, 2013
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Mark Weislogel , Portland State University, Portland, OR
Significant progress in our ability to predict capillarity-driven flows and phenomena has been made over the last 10 years during experiments performed aboard the ISS. Much of our new understanding is ready for applications to advanced system design with the hope of greatly increasing system reliability by exploiting the passive, ever-present, and often redundant capillary force. We believe that literally all fluid systems aboard spacecraft should be revisited in light of such results including liquid cryogen and fuels management systems, life support systems such as water processors, and thermal control equipment such as condensing heat exchangers and heat pipes. Earth applications of design methodologies developed for the space experiments are increasing and a selection of example problems are highlighted.