Future space exploration missions will rely on in situ production, storage, and transfer of cryogenic rocket propellants. Engineers need accurate and efficient modeling tools to design the next generation of lightweight, efficient cryogenic propellant management devices and processes. Predictive models for key fluid dynamics and heat transfer behavior must be tailored for use with cryogenic propellants and easily implemented in existing modeling frameworks. We propose to develop a suite of pool boiling correlations developed specifically for common cryogenic fluids and propellants, including hydrogen, oxygen, and methane. We will create a database of existing cryogen pool boiling data from the literature and augment it with new data collected from our cryogenic pool boiling test apparatus. In Phase I, we will focus on pool boiling critical heat flux and demonstrate our approach to database generation, experimental pool boiling data collection, and correlation optimization. In Phase II, we will produce new data and correlations that are piecewise smooth across all pool boiling regimes.
Improved pool boiling correlations tailored for cryogenic fluids will help with design of propellant tanks to minimize chilldown times and minimize liquid venting during propellant fill. They will also help model propellant boiloff due to static heat gain during operations. Outside of propellant management, our correlations may be used in design of low-temperature cooling systems for use with electronics or science instruments.
Cryogenic fluid management is also important for directed-energy weapons cooling and liquid natural gas production and transport. Our pool boiling heat transfer correlations will be useful in designing these systems.