Simulation and prediction of magnetic propellant reorientation in reduced gravity


Recent advances in magnet technology suggest that magnetic positive positioning of liquids may become a viable technology for future spacecraft systems. Development of a computational tool for simulation of this process is presented, as are results from experimental and computational studies. Simulation results that extend beyond the parameter space of the experimental investigation are presented to better understand this process and aid in the design of future experiments. A magnetic bond number is defined and serves as a valuable predictive correlating parameter for the investigation of magnetically induced propellant reorientation. Simulation predictions are presented and compared by the use of the magnetic bond number to determine if tank geometry, magnetic field configuration, tank fill, initial position, and g level have significant effects on the reorientation process. The influence of the magnetic field on propellant reorientation timing is also evaluated. Evidence is presented and conclusions are drawn that support the use of the simulation and the magnetic bond number as viable modeling and predictive tools in the continuing study of magnetic fluid positioning.

Publication Title

Journal of Propulsion and Power