Cryogenic propellant production, storage, and transport is critical for future space missions. Engineers need accurate tools to design the next generation of efficient, lightweight components and processes for cryogenic fluid management (CFM). Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are key for these efforts, but current commercial codes struggle to capture key behavior at liquid-vapor interfaces common in CFM. We propose to develop a suite of submodels to increase accuracy of temperature, pressure, velocity, and species gradients near interfaces in CFD simulations, and we will customize these models for use with commercial CFD software. In Phase I we will focus on developing a model for temperature gradient at interfaces and implement it in a coupled Level-Set + Volume-of-Fluid framework. We will use our model to demonstrate accurate prediction of liquid distribution and propellant consumption during tank self-pressurization. In Phase II, we will develop submodels for other key parameters near interfaces and simulate more complex CFM problems such as tank quenching or pressure control via jet mixing.
Our submodels will increase accuracy of design calculations for a number of cryogenic fluid management (CFM) problems, including (1) propellant transfer modeling, (2) propellant tank design, (3) propellant tank dynamics modeling (i.e., slosh), and (4) tank chilldown modeling. Outside of CFM applications, our submodels may be used to improve simulation of any multi-phase design problem, including those present in life support, power system, propulsion, and other technical areas.
Our submodels will be useful in improving simulation accuracy of any multi-phase problem. Outside of NASA, these tools will be useful for designing (1) cooling systems for directed-energy weapon systems, (2) liquid natural gas storage and transport technologies, (3) active cooling for high energy density electronics, and (4) combustion fuel sprays.