Multiphase Effluents Flowmeter Technology

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2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems

NASA needs for long-duration human space missions include the development of a standalone, space-qualifiable, non-invasive mass flowmeter sensor to measure the flow of a complex mix of effluents resulting from waste processors onboard spacecraft. Hedgefog Research Inc. (HFR) is developing a Multiphase Effluents Flowmeter (MEF) – a new technology to fulfil that need.

HFR’s research has demonstrated that by knowing the thermo-physical properties of an effluent mix and the local flow geometry, the true mass flow value can be calculated in real time even for multi-component flows that are time-transient and may have broadly varying composition.

At the heart of this new technology is an accurate analytical/numerical model of a multiphase flow in a waste processor-specific exhaust configuration. This flow model is complemented with a suite of robust sensors for localized measuring of the path-averaged flow velocity, temperature, pressure, and liquid saturation and a compact electronic data analysis platform running our analysis software. By applying physical model-derived algorithmic processing of the measurements obtained by the state-of-the-art individual sensors integrated into a single flowmeter device, the new metering system will be capable of tracking the waste processor mass outflow throughout its operational cycle, accounting for radical changes in the flow components as the processor operation proceeds through its various phases.

Dmitri Vainchtein, Drexel University, US
John Bell, Hedgefog Research Inc., US
Robert Newman, Drexel University, US
Alex Kolessov, Hedgefog Research Inc., US
ICES304: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Waste Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Spacecraft, Waste management, Flowmeter, Multiphase, Mass flow