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Explore a Unified, Ultra-efficient and Gravity-insensitive Flow Boiling Pattern for Space Missions University of South Carolina/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Human Exploration & Operations Space Technology and Science Mission Directorates

A unified, ultra-efficient and gravity-insensitive flow boiling for space missions.

Compared to existing single-phase loops in space missions, more efficient flow boiling loops will result in significantly decreased size and weight of thermal energy systems. However, boiling performs much worse in microgravity than it does in gravity because bubbles cannot be released owing to the reduction of buoyancy force in space. In this project, we are developing an innovative and gravity-insensitive bubble release mechanism to facilitate efficient nucleate boiling and self-stabilized two-phase flow in microgravity using nanowire-coated surfaces as shown in figure to the right. The understandings of two-phase transport at micro/ nanoscale developed in this project can advance space power systems, thermal management technologies, liquid handlings in cryogenic and life support systems to support NASA’s future space exploration missions.

The dependence of flow boiling on gravity. (a) In plainwall microchannels, and (b) in nanowired microchannels. Note that upward facing (0° Orientation) and downward facing (180° Orientation).

Dr. Chen Li, Science PI, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina



NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Theodore Swanson, NASA Technical Monitor, Goddard Senior Fellow, Goddard Space Flight Center, STMD

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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