MP3 for retention of LO2 in an accelerating environment


Positioning cryogenic propellant away from the spacecraft tank wall will dramatically lower the rate of heat leak to the propellant and may be a mission enabling technology for an exploration mission or a space-based fuel depot. The feasibility of using Magnetic Positive Propellant Positioning (MP3) to accomplish this goal is studied using a public domain energy minimization code, Surface Evolver. The development of a magnetic energy model suitable for use with this computational tool is described. Its implementation to represent a magnetic dipole field is original, is validated, and is presented in sufficient detail as to be easily adopted for use by anyone familiar with Surface Evolver. The results of a study designed to reveal a relationship between dimensionless parameters representing the magnetic retention of an LO2 pool in the presence of a background acceleration are presented. Shortcomings in the data generated by this study are examined. No conclusion could be drawn about the efficacy of the dimensionless representation and therefore only limited conclusions are drawn on the feasibility of MP3 for the proposed application.

Publication Title

Collection of Technical Papers - 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting

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