Simulation of LOX reorientation using magnetic positive positioning

  • Jeffrey G. Marchetta


A combination of both experimental and computational simulation results have recently provided strong evidence that magnetic positioning may be a feasible alternative technology for managing cryogenic propellants onboard spacecraft. One prerequisite in the assessment of magnetic propellant management is the ability of predicting propellant reorientation in full-scale propellant tanks. A computational simulation is used to model magnetically induced liquid oxygen (LOX) flows in reduced gravity. Simulations of magnetic positive positioning of LOX are presented and the influence of the magnetic field and background acceleration on reorientation timing is explored. A dimensionless reorientation time is sought to compliment the magnetic Bond number and Bond number as an additional predictive correlating parameter for scaling this process. Evidence is provided that supports the continued use of these correlating parameters to predict the magnetic fields required to reorient cryogenic propellants in full-scale spacecraft tanks. Further, this study supports the conclusion that magnetic positive positioning appears to be a viable emerging technology for cryogenic propellant management systems that merits further computational investigation and space-based experimentation to establish the technology base required for future spacecraft design.


Magnetic Field Strength Surface Tension Force Fill Fraction Parabolic Flight Fill Level 
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Copyright information

© Z-Tec Publishing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey G. Marchetta
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering, 322D Engineering Sciences Bldg, Member AIAAUniversity of MemphisMemphis

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