Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction – Material Ignition and Suppression Test (SoFIE-MIST)
The Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction - Material Ignition and Suppression Test (SoFIE-MIST) investigation examines thermally-assisted burning in microgravity, by varying parameters including air flow speed, oxygen concentration, pressure, and level of external radiation. Results could improve understanding of early fire growth behavior and validate models for material flammability, helping to inform selection of safer materials for future space facilities and determine the best methods for extinguishing fires in space.
Delivery to the International Space Station via Northrop Grumman Commercial Resupply Services Mission 17.
In the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction - Material Ignition and Suppression Test (SoFIE-MIST) investigation, the boundaries for ignition and extinction of a solid fuel (PMMA cylinder) as a function of flow speed, oxygen concentration, and external radiant flux are to be determined. The effects of the space exploration atmospheres (SEA) under consideration by NASA (lower pressure and increased oxygen concentrations compared to air) on the flammability and suppression of materials are of particular interest.
Assessment of the flammability of materials used in future space missions is a critical part of the design. The equipment and procedures to detect and suppress a fire and to clean up afterwards are essential for crew safety.
Results may help scientists refine combustion models that could be used in terrestrial settings.