Our Acoustic Fuel Manipulation (AFM) technology development has culminated in the achievement of controlled movement and positioning of fluids using acoustic waves. This technology could be applied to fuel on board Spacecraft to save significant mass by reducing waste fuel and ancillary fuel tank elements such as baffles.
Space missions depend upon various fuel systems to work and in microgravity environments the fuel used is dominated by capillary forces which cause them to coalesce into large droplets or cling to tank walls, which means that optimum fuel usage cannot be achieved. Magna Parva’s AFM development aim was to investigate and demonstrate methods that use acoustic streaming to trap propellant in predetermined locations. This would enable maximal fuel usage allowing optimisation of the fuel mass providing more efficient overall systems. The project achieved this through a number of tasks; acoustic modelling (a computer model examining the interaction between the acoustic waves and the liquid it’s travelling through), analysis, and implementation of a ground test bench that works at both room and cryogenic temperatures.
Using sound energy in unique developments is proven to be one of Magna Parva’s key strengths. If you would like any more information, or think we could help you, please contact us!
The technology development project was funded by the European Space Agency and supported by Cranfield University.
The video below shows the movement by using coloured dye to highlight the fluid flow.