Microgravity Droplet Combustion at Princeton

Prof. Frederick L. Dryer
Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
D-316 Engineering Quadrangle
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

(609) 258-5206; Fax: (609) 258-1939
e-mail: fldryer@phoenix.princeton.edu

Project Overview

These Web Pages summarize Princeton's contributions (supported by NASA-Lewis COOP No. NCC3-487) to the overall science support program for the development, flight, and data analyses of three space-platform-based experiments which study the combustion of isolated liquid droplets. These experiments are tethered droplet glove-box combustion experiments referred to as the "Fiber Supported Droplet Combustion Experiments" (FSDC-1 & FSDC-2); and a shuttle experiment for free, isolated droplet combustion referred to as "Droplet Combustion Experiment" (DCE). The over all support program also involves efforts at the University of California, San Diego (Prof. Forman A. Williams, principal investigator, supported by NASA-Lewis COOP No. NCC-3-407), and NASA-Lewis personnel, particularly Dr Vedha Nayagam (Project Scientist), and Dr. Renato Colantonio (Deputy Project Scientist).

FSDC-1 flew on STS-73 in October 1995 as part of United States Microgravity Laboratory-2 (USML-2), and the data from the flight will be issued in the spring of 1995 as a NASA-Lewis Technical Report. Initial analyses of these data are underway both at Princeton University and at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Both FSDC-2 and DCE flew on STS-83 in April 1997 as part of Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 (MSL-1). Although the mission was curtailed due to a fuel-cell problem on the orbitor, some science was obtained from DCE. The entire MSL-1 mission is presently being reflown on STS-94, launched July 1, 1997. DCE and FSDC experiments are also proposed for future studies aboard future missions.

Princeton's efforts are especially directed toward studies of n-heptane and methanol as fuels on both FSDC-1 and DCE flights, as well as methanol/water mixtures on FSDCI-1, and on methanol/water, ethanol, and ethanol/water mixtures on FSDC-2. The tools, analyses, and science developed through Prineton's efforts are also supportive of other experiments within the FSDC projects which consider droplet combustion of binary mixtures of hydrocarbons and alcohols, and the effects of convection.

Experimental efforts involve:

  • Bench-scale experiments data analyses, and testing at Princeton
  • Experiments in Drop Towers with NASA-LeRC personnel
  • The 2.2 Second Facility
  • The 5.18 second Zero Gravity Facility (ZGF)
  • Modeling efforts involve:

  • Development of numerical computational tools and sub-models:
  • Sphero-symmetric, transient models
  • Two-dimensional, axi-symmetric transient models
  • Sub-models for:
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Non-Luminous Radiation
  • Soot Formation and Oxidation
  • Soot-Shell Formation
  • Development of Test Matrices Flight Experiments
  • DCE - n-Heptane
  • Analyses of and Comparisons with Drop Tower Data
  • Analyses of and Comparisons with FSDC-1 Data
    • Projections of FSDC-2 Experimental Results
      • Methanol/water
      • Ethanol and Ethanol/water
  • Projections of DCE Experimental Results
  • n-Heptane
  • Methanol
  • Sub-headings listed under this Project Overview demonstrate some of the work conducted in the above areas. Readers are also invited to contact the Principal Investigator for copies of the publications listed elsewhere in this Web Site.

  • Return to Microgravity Droplet Combustion Home Page http://www.princeton.edu/~fldryer/nasa.dir/ovrview.htm
    Last updated: July 5, 1997