Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction – Growth and Extinction Limit (SoFIE-GEL)
The Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction - Growth and Extinction Limit (SoFIE-GEL) investigation studies burning in microgravity, measuring the amount of heating in a fuel sample to determine how fuel temperature affects material flammability. Results could improve understanding of early fire growth behavior and help determine optimal fire suppression techniques, improving crew safety in future space facilities.
Delivery to the International Space Station via Northrop Grumman Commercial Resupply Services Mission 17.
The Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction - Growth and Extinction Limit (SoFIE-GEL) investigation helps researchers experimentally determine the flame growth and extinction characteristics (rate, flame shape and dimensions) over a thick solid fuel [a Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) sphere] as a function of flow velocity, oxygen percentage, pressure and the degree of internal heating. A high-fidelity numerical model is compared with the microgravity results, and serves as a tool connecting Earth gravity (1g) and microgravity performance.
Developing an effective fire safety strategy suppression techniques is critical to ensuring crew wellbeing on future missions.
Studying flames in space allows us to refine computer models of combustion without the complicating aspects of buoyancy. The improvements in the models can then be applied to terrestrial applications.