Boiling eXperiment Facility (BXF) - 07.15.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone The Boiling Experiment Facility (BXF) will support experiments to study the processes involved in boiling, including the heat transfer and vapor removal processes that take place during boiling in microgravity. This research should enable more efficient cooling systems to be developed for future spacecrafts and for Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Developer(s) Information Pending
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2010 - September 2011
Previous ISS Missions
The Boiling Experiment Facility is unique hardware that has not flown in microgravity.
- The International Space Station (ISS) is the ideal laboratory for studying the influence of microgravity on boiling.
- Understanding the effects of microgravity on boiling mechanisms is critical to the design of heat removal equipment for use in space-based applications. The Boiling Experiment Facility (BXF) will validate models being developed for heat transfer coefficients, critical heat flux, and pool boiling curves.
- Boiling is relevant to space-based hardware, such as heat exchangers, and processes, such as cryogenic fuel storage and electronic cooling, since large amounts of heat can be removed with only small increases in the temperature of the heat transfer fluid, reducing the difference between the temperature of the heat source and the temperature of the radiator. For space applications, this reduction in temperature difference allows a higher radiator temperature, which can reduce the area and weight of the radiator.
An avionics box contains the data acquisition and control unit, removable hard drives, indicator panel, and the control unit for the high-speed video camera. The avionics box interfaces with the Microgravity Science Glovebox laptop computer, the high-speed video camera, and the BXF-embedded controller boards within the containment vessel.
All three heater arrays are located in a single fluid-filled test chamber. Various data, including temperature and pressure data, and video will be acquired throughout the test. Postflight processing and analysis of this data and video will lead to more accurate mathematical models of the heat transfer process. A test chamber produces the appropriate pressure and temperature conditions for the 3.5 liters of the test fluid, n-perfluorohexane. Each investigation uses custom heaters. Two arrays of 96 individually controlled microheaters are currently coupled with side-view and high-speed cameras that take photographs through the bottom of the microheaters. Another single heater array consists of five independently controlled heaters that activate individual bubble nucleation sites.
- The crew will activate the Boiling Experiment Facility (BXF) after setting it up inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG).
- The crew will be required to change videotapes and hard drives.
Ground Based Results Publications
Boiling Experiment Facility (BXF) chamber testing at Glenn Research Center.
+ View Larger Image