Welcome to the homepage of the University of Minnesota 2004 Fluids Microgravity Team - otherwise known as "Goldy's G's". We are a group of four aerospace students at the U designing and executing an experiment for NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program (RGSFOP).
The RGSFOP program is sponsored by the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, to provide a unique opportunity for students to engage in scientific research, hands-on construction of a design, testing and evaluation of an experiment, and public outreach experiences. Participation in the project consists of brainstorming, proposing and designing, fabricating, flying, and evaluating an experiment of our choice. What makes the project special is that the JSC provides for us use of their specially modified Boeing KC-135A jet.
|Experiment Proposal Abstract|
Study of Reflexive Droplet Separation Criteria and Behavior in a Liquid
A fluid mechanics experiment involving binary droplet collisions in a liquid/liquid interface is proposed for NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. Specifically, the phenomenon of stretching and reflexive droplet separations will be studied, while varying the dimensionless parameters Weber number and Impact parameter in a zero gravity situation. The experiment will define the regime boundary between droplet coalescence and the two separation modes, as well as reveal the internal behavior, mass transfer and mixing of fluids during separation. Primarily, the experiment will reveal the effect a micro-gravity environment will have on the Weber number criteria at each boundary, the critical ambient fluid film thickness, and the film drainage rate, due to the absence of a pressure gradient. These results will be compared and contrasted with macro-gravity ground tests using identical parameter sets. A simulated micro-gravity environment for the experiment is provided through the use of NASA's modified KC-135A jet. Also presented is a design for an apparatus to conduct this experiment. A preliminary safety evaluation of this equipment is outlined concerning its reliability and risk in flying aboard the plane. Finally, a team outreach outline is presented, concerning development of a team website, grade K-12 school visits, presentations, and media exposure for the experiment and NASA programs.