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Green Propulsion Research at TNO the Netherlands

Abstract

This paper describes the recent theoretical and experimental research by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) into green replacements for hydrazine, hydrazine derivatives and nitrogen tetroxide, as propellants for in-space propulsion. The goal of the study was to identify propellants that are capable of outperforming the current propellants for space propulsion and are significantly less hazardous for humans and the environment. Two types of propellants were investigated, being monopropellants and bipropellants. The first section of the paper discusses the propellant selection. Nitromethane was found to be the most promising monopropellant. As bipropellant, a combination of hydrogen peroxide (HP) and ethanol was selected, where the ethanol is rendered hypergolic with hydrogen peroxide. The second part of the paper describes the experimental verification of these propellants by means of engine testing. Initiation of the decomposition of nitromethane was found to be problematic, hypergolic ignition of the hydrogen peroxide and ethanol bipropellant however was successfully demonstrated.

Open access
Heat Transfer Determined by the Temperature Sensitive Paint Method

Abstract

The paper presents practical aspects of determining the amount of heat flow by measuring the distribution of surface temperature using the Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP) method. The quantity measured directly with TSP is the intensity of the excited radiation, which is then converted to surface temperature. The article briefly presents three different methods for determining the heat transfer coefficient. Each of these methods is based on a separate set of assumptions and significantly influences the construction of the measuring station. The advantages of each of the presented methods are their individual properties, allowing to improve accuracy, reduce the cost of testing or the possibility of using them in tests of highly complex objects. For each method a mathematical model used to calculate the heat transfer coefficient is presented. For the steady state heat transfer test method that uses a heater of constant and known thermal power, examples of the results of our own research are presented, together with a comparison of the results with available data and a discussion of the accuracy of the results obtained.

Open access
Increasingly Safe, High-Energy Propulsion System for Nano-Satellites

Summary

Numerous attempts have been undertaken to develop propulsion systems for nano-satellite-type spacecrafts to enable their maneuvering in orbits. One of the potentially viable chemical propellant propulsion systems is a hybrid system. The present paper studies propellant composition variants with the metal hydride as fuel that can be chosen for a nano-satellite hybrid propulsion system. It defines key requirements for chemical propellant nano-satellite propulsion systems, and specifies potential propellant pairs based on a compact metal hydride. The study describes basic technical characteristics of a 1U CubeSat propulsion system.

Open access
Propulsion System Modelling for Multi-Satellite Missions Performed by Nanosatellites

Abstract

Progress in miniaturization of satellite components allows complex missions to be performed by small spacecraft. Growing interest in the small satellite sector has led to development of standards such as CubeSat, contributing to lower costs of satellite development and increasing their service competitiveness. Small satellites are seen now as a prospective replacement for conventional sized satellites in the future, providing also services for demanding users. New paradigms of multi-satellite missions such as fractionation and federalization also open up new prospects for applications of small platforms.

To perform a comprehensive simulation and analysis of future nanosatellite missions, an adequate propulsion system model must be used. Such model should account for propulsion solutions which can be implemented on nanosatellites and used in multi-satellite missions.

In the paper, concepts of distributed satellite systems (constellations, formations, fractionated and federated) are described with a survey of past, on-going and planned multi-satellite nanosatellites missions. Currently developed propulsion systems are discussed and the models of propulsion systems embedded in the WUT satellite simulation model are presented.

Open access
A system consists of lifted steel tank and four assembly supports with variable assembly conditions

Abstract

In the method of steel tank erection, consisting in assembling the roof and the next courses (segments) of the shell at the ground level, starting from the top one (the so-called hydraulic jacking-up method), the assembled part of the tank is lifted using assembly supports (towers, trestles), hydraulic jacks and ropes. Supports are located inside or outside the tank, and their bases are usually not anchored. During the assembly work, numerous contaminations can appear under the bases of the supports; therefore, boundary conditions of the system consisting of the elevated tank and assembly supports may change, influencing the field of displacements and stresses in the elements of this system. This article presents the results of numerical tests of an exemplary mounted tank – mounting support system – at various possible coefficients of friction between the bases of the supports and the ground. The influence of the support conditions on the effort of the essential elements of the system was assessed. Calculation difficulty was noted to determine the directions of horizontal responses of the supports. It was assumed that these directions did not change after exceeding the values of the friction forces. The analysed tank collapsed during its erection.

Open access
Thermally Treated Clay as a Stabilizing Agent for Expansive Clayey Soil: Some Engineering Properties

Abstract

The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of adding thermally treated clay on some engineering properties of the untreated expansive clayey soil. Three expansive clayey soil samples obtained from three different sites in the south of Syria have been investigated. They were thermally treated up to three different levels (450°C, 650°C and 850°C) for 3 hours. Three replacement levels of thermally treated clay were used, i.e. 0%, 10% and 20%. The X-ray diffractometer (XRD) technique has been used to detect the crystalline and glassy phase in the clayey samples before and after the thermal treatment. Pozzolanic activity of the thermally treated clayey soil has been studied using the modified Chapelle test and the mechanical strength test at each of the temperature levels. Atterberg limits, compaction, free swell, swelling pressure and linear shrinkage have particularly been investigated. Test results revealed the positive effect of thermally treated clay when added to the natural soil. Plasticity index (PI) was reduced by about 60% when 20% thermally treated clay was added to the natural soil. In addition, 6% lime was added to further investigate the combined effect of lime and calcined clay on the properties of the clayey expansive soil. All investigated properties were significantly improved when 20% thermally treated soil and 6% lime were added together. For instance, swelling pressure and linear shrinkage values were reduced to less than 15% or even much less when compared with those of the natural soil. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis were employed as well.

Open access
Stability Assessment of Mining Excavations: the Impact of Large Depths

Abstract

Back in the early 1980s, coal deposits occurring at depths of ~700 m below surface were already regarded as large-depth deposits. Meanwhile, today the borderline depth of large-depth mining has extended to >1,000 m. Design, excavation and maintenance of mining roadways at the depth of >1,000 m have, therefore, become crucial issues in a practical perspective in recent years. Hence, it is now extremely important to intensify research studies on the influence of large depths on the behaviour of rock mass and deformation of support in underground excavations. The paper presents the results of the study carried out in five mining excavations at depths ranging from 950 to 1,290 m, where monitoring stations with measurement equipment were built. The analysis of data from laboratory and coal mine tests, as well as in situ monitoring, helped to formulate a set of criteria for stability assessment of underground excavations situated at large depths. The proposed methodology of load and deformation prediction in support systems of the excavations unaffected by exploitation is based on the criteria referring to the depth of excavation and the quality of rock mass. The depth parameter is determined by checking whether the analysed excavation lies below the critical depth, whereas the rock mass quality is determined on the basis of the roof lithology index (WL) and the crack intensity factor (n)

Open access
Endurance of the wooden bridge reinforced by the dowel plates

Abstract

The most important piece of road infrastructure is bridges. Wooden bridges have advanced constantly during the past decades. The trend began in Scandinavian countries but has also now gained significant ground in Russia. This research studies experimental endurance potential of the joints of the wooden beam while considering the coefficient of asymmetry of the cycle, which corresponds to the actual operating conditions. Performance analysis of the composite bars is carried out based on the experiment; the development of a special methodology for calculating the joints of wooden elements with the dowel plates for their better endurance is also introduced in this paper. The results of experimental studies on the performance of bending composite wooden bridge bars based on dowel plates operating under cyclic influences thus determine the endurance limit of wood for composite wooden bridge beams based on dowel plates. The calculation technique and interdependence of the endurance coefficient affecting the asymmetry coefficient of the bent composite wooden bridge bars on the dowel plates under cyclic loading are considered. The experimental data on the endurance of composite wooden bridge beams have been obtained, and separate analysis has been made of the compounds under cyclic loading performance; a method has been developed for calculating the bent composite wooden bridge bars reinforced by the dowel plates under cyclic influences.

Open access
A note on the differences between Drucker-Prager and Mohr-Coulomb shear strength criteria

Abstract

A systematic approach to measure the differences between Mohr-Coulomb (MC) and Drucker-Prager (DP) shear strength criteria used commonly in soil and rock mechanics is presented. It is shown that the DP criterion generates a shear strength between 0.6 and 3 times the MC strength, for the same friction angle and cohesion parameters. The appropriate conditions for obtaining equal shear strengths are given. Moreover, some new DP failure surfaces are proposed which minimize the differences relative to the MC predictions. The equivalence of the DP and MC criteria under plane strain conditions is also examined.

Open access
Soil–steel structure shell displacement functions based on tensometric measurements

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of loads that change their location, i.e. moving but quasi-static loads. Displacements defining the deformation of the soil–steel structure’s shell buried in soil are calculated from the results of measurements performed using a dense grid of points located on the circumferential section of the corrugated plate. In this way, all the components of the structure, namely the corrugated plate, the backfill and the pavement with its foundation, as well as the natural (real) principles of their interaction, are taken into account in the solution. In the proposed algorithm, unit strains are converted into displacements, whereby results as accurate as the ones obtained by direct experimental measurements are obtained. The algorithm’s main advantages are that the number of points is limitless, they are regularly distributed on the circumferential section of the shell and any displacement directions can be obtained. Consequently, the deformations of the shell can be faithfully reproduced. The algorithm’s convenient feature is that one can use a simplified computational diagram of the shell in the form of a beam having the shape of the shell in 2D space (without the other components of the soil–steel structure). The advantage of this measuring method (electric resistance tensometry) is that there is no need to build the solid scaffold used for displacement measurements. The research focuses on the analysis of the displacements and the unit strains arising during the primary and secondary (return) travel of the load.

Open access