The Size Optimization of the Liquid Helium Pressurant Tank for Liquid Propellant Rocket


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An efficient and reliable pressurization system for an oxidizer and fuel of a liquid propellant rocket is critical for a successful launch. A liquid helium pressurization system employing a heater can reduce its mass, and be made simpler and more reliable than conventional pressurization systems. The key issue to minimize the total mass of the system is the optimization of the size of the liquid helium tank. In this paper, we describe a method to determine the optimal size of a liquid helium tank, and present one set of results under a given set of requirements. In this pressurization system, the heater design is represented by the heater efficiency. To estimate the heater efficiency, the convection heat transfer coefficient should be known beforehand. The guideline how to estimate this convection heat transfer coefficient based on the preliminary experimental data is also presented in this paper.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 277-279)

Edited by:

Kwang Hwa Chung, Yong Hyeon Shin, Sue-Nie Park, Hyun Sook Cho, Soon-Ae Yoo, Byung Joo Min, Hyo-Suk Lim and Kyung Hwa Yoo




Y. M. Park et al., "The Size Optimization of the Liquid Helium Pressurant Tank for Liquid Propellant Rocket ", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 277-279, pp. 776-782, 2005

Online since:

January 2005




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[2] Robert J. Stochl, Joseph E. Maloy, Phillip A. Masters, and Richard L. Dewitt: Gaseous-helium Requirements for the Discharge of Liquid Hydrogen from a 3. 96-meter-(13-ft-) Diameter Spherical Tank (NASA TN D-7019, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland Ohio 44135).

[3] A. Teissier, C. Bass: Liquid helium storage for Ariane 5 main stage oxygen tank pressurization (31st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, San Diego U.S.A. July 1995).


[4] Sehwan In, Sangkwon Jeong and Hongseong Kim: Investigation on the Pressurization Process Using Heater in Liquid Propellant Rocket (Presented at the Space Cryogenics Workshop, Alaska 2003).


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