Reduced-Gravity Fluid Transfer Experiment
The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the effectiveness of a fuel system designed to deliver spacecraft propellant in microgravity. The fuel system contained a rotating tank designed to utilize rotational inertia and unique geometry to stabilize the contained liquid and create a uniform profile. The system also contained a stationary fluid pickup line within the tank, designed to utilize the dynamic pressure of the rotating liquid to extract it from the tank. The final components of the system were the liquid volume measuring devices. The first device, a liquid level capacitance sensor, was designed to measure the liquid volume by determining the ratio of liquid to air within the tank. The second device was a liquid flow meter designed to measure the liquid volume by monitoring the liquid flow from the tank. The behavior of liquids in microgravity is markedly different from those in Earth’s gravity making a reduced gravity environment necessary for the experiment.