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Multilayer Insulation Testing at Varible Boundary Temperatures

Title: Multilayer Insulation Testing at Varible Boundary Temperatures.
Name(s): Hurd, Joseph A., author
Van Sciver, Steven W., professor directing thesis
Guo, Wei, committee member
Oates, William, committee member
Department of Mechanical Engineering, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) is working toward going back to the moon and beyond. Currently they are developing a dewar that can store liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LO2) in space so the capsule may refuel past the moon in order to continue toward Mars. However, thermal radiation in space threatens to boil the cryogenic fuels, which exist at 20 K (LH2) and 90K (LO2), before it may be utilized. This is why NASA has been testing MLI samples to determine the most suitable insulation to protect the cryogenic storage vessel from the thermal radiation. Florida State University (FSU) Cryogenics Group has a specialized calorimeter, known as the Multilayer Insulation Thermal Conductivity Experiment (MIKE), that can test multilayer insulation (MLI) at variable boundary temperatures without the use of cryogens such as liquid nitrogen (LN2) or liquid hydrogen. MIKE is particularly beneficial due to its ability to test at liquid hydrogen temperatures without any LH2 which is explosive and requires special safety considerations. NASA has requested the Cryogenics group at FSU to test several samples of MLI on MIKE so they may know how these samples would behave under proposed operating conditions The calorimeter is made up of two concentric copper cylinders that are cooled by a cryogenic refrigerator and have its temperatures controlled with though Minco heaters. A thermal support rod suspends the inner cylinder and has its thermal conductance so it may also measure the heat load through the MLI. Two samples of a new Load Bearing MLI (LB-MLI) developed by Quest Thermal Group ( and three samples of traditional MLI with a VelcroTM (tMLI) seam developed by YetiSpace, Inc ( were sent to FSU to be tested. First the LBMLI and the tMLI was tested at boundary temperatures of 20 K and 90 K. Afterward the 5-layer sample of LBMLI was tested at boundary temperatures of 77 K and 293 K to compare results on the same material tested at NASA Kennedy Space Center.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-8571 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2013.
Date of Defense: November 8, 2013.
Keywords: Cryogenics, Multilayer Insulation
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Steven W. Van Sciver, Professor Directing Thesis; Wei Guo, Committee Member; William Oates, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Mechanical engineering
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Hurd, J. A. (2013). Multilayer Insulation Testing at Varible Boundary Temperatures. Retrieved from