NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Tests New Spacecraft Propellant Gauge on Lunar Lander

9
NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Tests New Spacecraft Propellant Gauge on Lunar Lander


Editor’s note, Feb. 6, 2024: This article has been updated to clarify that the Radio Frequency Mass Gauge estimates how much propellant is available in a tank. It does not make an exact measurement.

It’s easy to measure fuel in tanks on Earth, where gravity pulls the liquid to the bottom. But in space, the game changes. Quantifying fuel that’s floating around inside a spacecraft’s tank isn’t so simple.

“Because of the very small amount of gravity, fluid doesn’t settle to the bottom of propellant tanks but rather clings to the walls and can be anywhere inside,” said Lauren Ameen, deputy manager for the Cryogenic Fluid Management Portfolio Project Office at NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “That makes it really challenging to understand how much propellant you have within your tank, which is really important to maximize your mission duration and plan how much you need to launch with.”

A space-age fuel gauge technology meant to solve this problem will be demonstrated on an upcoming journey to the Moon. Developed at NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn under the agency’s Technology Demonstration Missions program, the Radio Frequency Mass Gauge (RFMG) payload is set to launch as a part of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 delivery to the lunar surface through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. With CLPS, NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is working with American companies to deliver scientific, exploration, and technology payloads to the Moon’s surface and orbit.

Dr. Greg Zimmerli, principal investigator for the Radio Frequency Mass Gauge (RFMG) project at NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, explains how RFMG technology will help pave the way for future space missions.

Credit: NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Denise Eletich

RFMG technology uses radio waves and antennae in a tank to measure how much propellant is available. While smaller-scale experiments have been conducted on the International Space Station and during parabolic flights, this will be the first long-duration RFMG testing on a standalone spacecraft, the Nova-C lunar lander. The data engineers receive throughout its journey can validate simulations done on the ground and mark the next step in developing this technology.

“It’s definitely a critical point,” Ameen said. “This is the first time we’re getting this type of data for RFMG.”

RFMG can be crucial during future long-duration missions that will rely on spacecraft fueled by cryogenic propellants, like liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, or liquid methane. These propellants are highly efficient but are tricky to store as they can evaporate quickly, even at low temperatures. Being able to accurately measure spacecraft fuel levels will help scientists maximize resources as NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration moves toward its goal of returning humans to the Moon through Artemis.


Disasters Expo USA, is proud to be supported by Inergency for their next upcoming edition on March 6th & 7th 2024!

The leading event mitigating the world’s most costly disasters is returning to the Miami Beach

Convention Center and we want you to join us at the industry’s central platform for emergency management professionals.
Disasters Expo USA is proud to provide a central platform for the industry to connect and
engage with the industry’s leading professionals to better prepare, protect, prevent, respond
and recover from the disasters of today.
Hosting a dedicated platform for the convergence of disaster risk reduction, the keynote line up for Disasters Expo USA 2024 will provide an insight into successful case studies and
programs to accurately prepare for disasters. Featuring sessions from the likes of The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, TSA and several more this event is certainly providing you with the knowledge
required to prepare, respond and recover to disasters.
With over 50 hours worth of unmissable content, exciting new features such as their Disaster
Resilience Roundtable, Emergency Response Live, an Immersive Hurricane Simulation and
much more over just two days, you are guaranteed to gain an all-encompassing insight into
the industry to tackle the challenges of disasters.
By uniting global disaster risk management experts, well experienced emergency
responders and the leading innovators from the world, the event is the hub of the solutions
that provide attendees with tools that they can use to protect the communities and mitigate
the damage from disasters.
Tickets for the event are $119, but we have been given the promo code: HUGI100 that will
enable you to attend the event for FREE!

So don’t miss out and register today: https://shorturl.at/aikrW

And in case you missed it, here is our ultimate road trip playlist is the perfect mix of podcasts, and hidden gems that will keep you energized for the entire journey

-

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More