NASA selects proposals to provide new insights from freely available data

NASA selects proposals to provide new insights from freely available data

Press release from: NASA Science Mission Directorate
Posted: Wednesday June 16 2021

NASA’s Physical Sciences Research Program selected five ground-based proposals in response to the research announcement “Using the NASA Physical Sciences Computer System – Annex G. These five research projects, involving recognized experts in the fields of combustion science, complex fluids, fluid physics, fundamental physics and materials science, will use the data contained in the PSI system and build on previous research in reduced gravity to advance basic research in the physical sciences.

Researchers will study important issues in all five research areas with existing data from NASA Physical Sciences Computer Science (PSI). The online database contains data from physical science reduced gravity flight experiments conducted on the International space station, space shuttle flights, free-flight spacecraft, commercial cargo flights to and from the space station or from related ground studies.

One of the selected studies will take advantage of the E-FIELD Flames experiment to simulate the behavior of a small scattering flame under the influence of an externally applied electric field in microgravity. Once validated, the simulations can be extended to Earth’s gravity. This should lead to a better understanding and possibly control of hydrocarbon flames under the influence of electric fields, which can be used to extend flammability limits, reduce emissions, prevent instability and blowing, as well. that alter soot production. This project is a collaborative effort between the University of California, Irvine, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is led by Professor Yu-Chien Chien (University of California, Irvine).

Another selected study plans to use computer modeling based on micromechanics to analyze scanning electron microscopy images from the MICS (Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification) experiment to better understand the impact of microstructure on mechanical properties. resulting from the cement. Based on the cementitious binders used in the microgravity experiment, this study will provide the first simulation results to predict the performance of various cementitious binders manufactured in microgravity. The effort should lead to recommendations on microstructures with improved properties, an important consideration for future construction of shelters and habitats using materials in place on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The project, a collaboration between Pennsylvania State University and the NASA Glenn Research Center, is led by Professor Namiko Yamamoto (Pennsylvania State University).

The selected proposals come from five institutions in five states, with a combined total amount of approximately $ 988,000 over a two-year period.

The physical science research program is managed by the Division of Biological and Physical Sciences at the NASA Science Mission Directorate. This program conducts research in basic and applied physical sciences, with the aim of making pioneering scientific discoveries, enabling space exploration and providing benefits on Earth. The program advances basic research by studying the fundamental laws of the universe and physical phenomena in the absence of gravity. The program also conducts applied research, which contributes to the basic understanding of space exploration technologies that will aid our return to the Moon and our journey to Mars and beyond. Both have led to improved space systems or new products on Earth.

Below is the full list of selected proposals, principal investigators and their organizations:

  • Yu-Dog Dog, University of California, Irvine, “PeleLM CFD of ionic winds from diffusion flames
  • Ivan Christov, Purdue University, “Validation of a CFD model for gas-liquid flows in fixed bed reactors to allow thermofluid analysis in microgravity
  • Nikolaos Gatsonis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, “Multi-scale computer modeling of dusty plasmas near spatial surfaces”
  • Eric Weeks, Emory University, “Thermal fluctuations of colloidal gels
  • Namiko Yamamoto, Pennsylvania State University, “Micromechanical modeling of cement solidified in microgravity

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