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Dynamic sloshing investigation by non-intrusive measurement techniques - Alessia Simonini - Ph.D. Thesis - Free download

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VKI PHDT 2018-09, Alessia Simonini, Dynamic sloshing investigation by non-intrusive measurement techniques, ISBN 978-2-87516-140-6, 182 pgs


Dynamic sloshing investigation by non-intrusive measurement techniques - Alessia Simonini - Ph.D. Thesis - Free download

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Dynamic sloshing investigation by non-intrusive measurement techniques
By Alessia Simonini

PhD Thesis from the von Karman Institute / Université libre de Bruxelles, September 2018, ISBN 978-2-87516-140-6, 182 pgs



The motion of the free liquid surface inside a reservoir is called sloshing. It is of large interest in different industrial fields such as satellite and spacecraft trajectory control, automotive industry, nuclear engineering, building design, etc. The framework of propellant management on spacecraft is of main interest for this PhD thesis, even if its outcome can be applied to many other fields concerned by sloshing.

Being able to understand the behavior of the fluid in a reservoir subjected to extreme environmental conditions means being able to predict its position and topology inside the tank, for a given external and gravitational acceleration and a determined thermodynamic condition. The prediction and control of this motion is far from being understood due to the different parameters that play a role in the dynamic system such as the geometry of the container, the type of external excitation (shape, frequency content and amplitude), the level of the liquid and finally the kind of liquid. In particular, the design of propulsion systems are affected by this phenomenon, still hampered by the unavailability of validated CFD models. Moreover the existing experimental studies are mainly based on intrusive and local single point measurement techniques, which give no information on the behavior of the 3D liquid interface and on the velocity field inside the liquid phase.

The main goal of this project has been to extend the experimental approach of liquid sloshing investigation in space propulsion, studying, developing and improving non-intrusive measurement techniques for free surface behavior and velocity characterization in the liquid phase. In particular, the free surface behavior have been studied by means of Laser Detection and Recording technique (LeDaR), retrieving the profile of the interface over a line, and Reference Image Topography technique (RIT), capturing the instantaneous 3D interface shape. In addition, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) have been used to measure the 2D velocity field in the main section of the reservoir. Tests performed with water were used as simpler test case to perform the techniques while liquid nitrogen has been used as replacement fluid having physical properties similar to real space propellants.

The experimental problems of the selected measurement techniques related to the particular application have been addressed and a solution has been proposed. Especially, the selection of tracers which could comply with the use of a cryogenic fluid while for RIT the possibility to deal with circular domains and to measure the absolute value of the liquid level. Finally, PIV in wavy flows needed to deal with dynamic curved interfaces for which a widely-accepted processing algorithm was not available in literature and besides, the choice of the particles and their seeding procedure in cryogenics fluids had to be solved.

Some applications are shown, which present the potentiality of the techniques for a new insight on sloshing flows with the future purpose of providing an accurate database for the verification and validation of numerical simulations and a better understanding of the phenomena.

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