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NASA Microgravity Droplet Combustion

Combustion of isolated, spherically-symmetric liquid fuel droplets provides a canonical experimental configuration for generating validation data relevant to the coupled physical-chemical processes governing liquid fuel utilization. Processes such as molecular transport, heat transfer and oxidation kinetics cans be deconvolved in detailed numerical models of droplet burning, illuminating the role of each process both individually and in its interaction with others. To obtain sphero-symmetric conditions the gravitation effect has to be eliminated and therefore microgravity condition has to be established.

The objectives of the NASA funded microgravity droplet combustion research project are twofold:

  • Understanding the complex issues involved in the design of an effective fire suppression system aboard spacecraft (FLEX-1)
  • Fundamental studies on combustion phenomena/characteristics of different single and bi-component liquid fuel droplets (FLEX-2)