NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow ) - 11.22.16

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Liquids move and flow differently in microgravity than they do on Earth. NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) examines microgravity's effects on fluid being pumped through a thin tube, improving understanding of liquid transportation in space. The investigation, designed by high school students, improves microgravity models of fluid flow that can be used to study the circulatory system as well as space station infrastructure.
 
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Sam Terfa, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-21 S/N 1002

Principal Investigator(s)
Minnehaha Academy , Minneapolis, MN, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Sam Terfa, M.S., Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, MN, United States

Developer(s)
Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Valley Christian High School , San Jose , CA, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014

Expeditions Assigned
39/40

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) investigates the effects of microgravity on fluid flow. From this test, a greater understanding of liquid transportation can be obtained and used for future applications.
  • NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow analyzes the speed of water being propelled by a miniature pump (through a fluid flow meter) through 3 feet of thin (5/64 in inner diameter) tubing. The results show if a loss, a gain, or a conservation of pumping force is witnessed in space.
  • The impact of this research is to provide information about the efficiency of liquid flow in microgravity. The implications of this research are biological (ex. the circulatory system), physical (ex. filtration systems) and mechanical (ex. hydraulics).

Description
NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) investigates the effects of microgravity on fluid flow. The goal of the investigation is to have a greater understanding of liquid transportation which can then be used for future applications.  For the investigation, the students designed a circuit board to deliver a duty cycle to a pump, which circulates degassed water through a system of tubing.  The flow is measured with a flow sensor, and the data is recorded.  On regular timed intervals a camera takes a picture of the experiment’s LED’s, which displays the duty cycle in binary.  The pump works its way through eight duty cycles (each with a different time), to observe the efficiency of the pump and possible effects of capillary action.

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Applications

Space Applications
The investigation uses pressure sensors to analyze the speed of water being pumped through three feet of very thin (5/64-inch) tubing. Students analyze data from a NanoRacks module on the International Space Station and compare it with data from a control module on Earth. Results demonstrate whether microgravity causes a gain, loss or conservation of pumping forces. The investigation provides insight into capillary action and other flow forces in microgravity, which can be used to study fluid-transportation systems in space.
 

Earth Applications
The investigation is designed by 13 high school students who completed a year-long class in applied engineering. Students learned basic electronic circuitry, programming and other skills related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, the investigation improves understanding of gravity's role in fluid flow at very small scales. Engineers could use this information to design more efficient pumps that take advantage of gravity to move and store liquids.
 

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks Module-21 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal.  During the investigation actual data is taken and sent back to earth in the form of photographs, time data, and percentage data on the flow. Data is taken in sections of no more than 30k data points.  The payload chamber must be returned intact.
Crew interaction with Module-21 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

image The NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) Minnehaha Academy International Space Station 2014 Student Team and Mentors with visiting NASA astronaut Dr. Tom Marshburn on Feb. 25, 2014. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.
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image ISS Student Team Member Griffin Snow soldering the NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) experiment. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.
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image ISS Mentor Tom Holman and ISS student Project Manager Poppy Anema checking the NanoRacks-Minnehaha Academy-The Effect of Microgravity on Fluid Flow Efficiency (NanoRacks-MA-Fluid Flow) experiment circuitry. Image courtesy of Minnehaha Academy.
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