Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boiling bubbles are cool in space

Date:
March 1, 2011
Source:
NASA
Summary:
It may seem illogical, but boiling is a very efficient way to cool engineering components and systems used in the extreme environments of space. An experiment to gain a basic understanding of this phenomena launched to the International Space Station on space shuttle Discovery Feb. 24. The Nucleate Pool Boiling Experiment, or NPBX, is one of two experiments in the new Boiling eXperiment Facility, or BXF.

NPBX Experiment -- boiling at Earth normal gravity and low gravity.
Credit: NASA

It may seem illogical, but boiling is a very efficient way to cool engineering components and systems used in the extreme environments of space.

Related Articles


An experiment to gain a basic understanding of this phenomena launched to the International Space Station on space shuttle Discovery Feb. 24. The Nucleate Pool Boiling Experiment, or NPBX, is one of two experiments in the new Boiling eXperiment Facility, or BXF.

Nucleate boiling is bubble growth from a heated surface and the subsequent detachment of the bubble to a cooler surrounding liquid. As a result, these bubbles can efficiently transfer energy from the boiling surface into the surrounding fluid. This investigation provides an understanding of heat transfer and vapor removal processes that happen during nucleate boiling in microgravity. Researchers will glean information to better design and operate space systems that use boiling for efficient heat removal.

Bubbles in microgravity grow to different sizes than on Earth. This experiment will focus on the dynamics of single and multiple bubbles and the associated heat transfer.

NPBX uses a polished aluminum wafer, powered by heaters bonded to its backside, and five fabricated cavities that can be controlled individually. The experiment will study single and/or multiple bubbles generated at these cavities. It will measure the power supplied to each heater group, and cameras will record the bubble dynamics. Analysis of the heater power data and recorded images will allow investigators to determine how bubble dynamics and heat transfer differ in microgravity.

"With boiling, the size and weight of heat exchange equipment used in space systems can be significantly reduced," said Vijay Dhir, the experiment's principal investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Boiling and multiphase heat transfer is an enabling technology for space exploration missions including storage and handling of cryogenic, or extremely low temperature liquids, life support systems, power generation and thermal management."

"The cost of transporting equipment to space depends on the size and weight of the equipment," added David Chao, the project scientist from NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. "The knowledge base that will be developed through the experiment will give us the capability to achieve cooling of various components and systems used in space in an efficient manner and could lead to smaller and lighter spacecraft."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. The original article was written by Lori Meggs, International Space Station Program Science Office, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Boiling bubbles are cool in space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228191426.htm>.
NASA. (2011, March 1). Boiling bubbles are cool in space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228191426.htm
NASA. "Boiling bubbles are cool in space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228191426.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) — Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) — Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) — Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins