Flame Extinguishment Experiment -2 JAXA (FLEX-2J) - 08.18.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Fires burn differently in space, where fuels form spherical droplets and flames burn in a rounded form, rather than straight up. The Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2 JAXA (FLEX-2J) studies the interactions of flames on the motion and ignition (or non-ignition) of millimeter-sized droplets. Results can provide fundamental insight into the physics of fuel burning, which improves computer models designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption efficiency in space and on Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Hiroshi Nomura, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Hiroshi Nomura, Ph.D., College of Industrial Technology, Chiba 275-8575, Japan

Daniel L. Dietrich, Ph.D., Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States
ZIN Technologies Incorporated, Cleveland, OH, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • This investigation extends the results of single droplet studies to the conditions where droplet-droplet interactions are important. This provides insight into the fundamental physics of practical combustors. Specifically, droplets in practical combustors interact with each other as a flame spreads through a fuel spray. This includes not only how the flame spreads between the droplets, but also how the flame influences the motion of the droplets. 
  • The combustion of liquid fuels is a major source of energy in the world, and the overwhelming energy source in the transportation sector. The combustion of liquid fuels, however, faces enormous engineering and scientific challenges in the future. This includes minimizing the carbon footprint, and the minimization of pollutant emissions and combustors that can accommodate fuels from a range of fuel stocks (e.g. oil shales, biofuels, etc.). These challenges can only be met by further the understanding of liquid fuel combustion from a fundamental perspective. This includes detailed numerical and theoretical modeling that, in turn, requires validation from high quality bench-scale experiments such as FLEX-2J.

Information Pending

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Space Applications
Previous flame extinguishment experiments on the International Space Station studied fuel burning in single droplets of fuel. This research builds on that work to study interactions among many droplets. As a flame spreads throughout a spray of fuel, droplets interact with each other and with the flame. Studying these interactions in space benefits spacecraft propulsion systems, as well as crew safety.

Earth Applications
Combustion of fuels is the main source of generating energy on Earth, from transportation to power plants. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard limited resources, combustion of liquid fuels, such as gasoline, will need to become more efficient in the future. Burning behavior of millimeter-sized droplets in space is similar to that of fine droplets in combustion engines on Earth. Results from this investigation benefit those efforts by providing new insight into the fundamental physics of fuel burning.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols


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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Applied Physical Science in Space AP7
Applied Physical Science in Space AP8

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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