Experiments Go With the Flow
Experiments Go With the Flow

How does fluid flow in microgravity? That's the question being investigated by NASA Glenn scientists and investigators from Portland State University in an ongoing experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

In April, these five additional capillary flow units will be launched to the ISS. Each unit consists of a fluid reservoir containing red silicone oil of various viscosities and a test chamber with unique capillary flow geometry or shapes within the vessel. Once in orbit, astronauts will twist the knob on the unit to pump fluid into the test chamber. The fluid response will be imaged with an on-board high definition video camera.

A total of 11 handheld units will be used in the flight experiments to investigate the behavior of capillary flow phenomena found in vanes, screens and wicking structures. The results of the experiment have applications in propellant management for fluid storage tanks, thermal control systems and advanced life support systems for spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA
Bridget R. Caswell (Wyle Information Systems, LLC)


Page Last Updated: August 2nd, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator