Many power systems used in spacecraft operate on liquid fuel which is stored in onboard fuel tanks. In order to function properly, these systems must be provided with a reliable supply of vapor-free fuel. Designing fuel acquisition systems which operate in a microgravity environment is very challenging since surface tension tends to control the motion and location of the fuel, making it difficult to guarantee it will be at the tank outlet when needed. Propellent management devices (PMDs) can be designed to ensure that vapor-free fuel is delivered to the power systems consistently.
FLOW-3D enables designers of spacecraft to simulate real-world orbit maneuvers and design PMDs with a high degree of confidence. FLOW-3D provides users with well-validated physical models of surface tension and wall adhesion, free-surface advection and non-inertial reference frames. Below are examples of PMDs simulated by FLOW-3D, courtesy of PMD Technology.