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.Facility Manager(s)
Facility Developer(s) Information PendingSponsoring Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Expeditions Assigned
25/26,27/28Previous ISS Missions
The Boiling Experiment Facility is unique hardware that has not flown in microgravity.
The Boiling Experiment Facility (BXF) is designed to operate in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on the International Space Station (ISS). The BXF consists of a boiling chamber mounted within a containment vessel. The boiling chamber has three science heaters, pressure and temperature measurement instrumentation, a bellows assembly for pressure control, and pumps for liquid conditioning. The containment vessel provides the second and third levels of containment for the test fluid should it leak from the boiling chamber. Standard rate (29.97 Hz) video cameras are mounted inside the chamber to provide two orthogonal side-view images and a standard side-view image. The high-speed video camera is mounted on the exterior of the containment vessel wall and acquires 4 seconds of images through the bottom of the heater at 500 images per second.
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.