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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Stabilizing cryogenic fuel systems


December 22, 2014
Behavior of two-phase flow with liquid rocket propellant in space observed with sounding rocket

Sounding rocket S-310-43 lifted off from JAXA's Uchinoura Space Center at 23:00 on August 4, 2014. The sounding rocket test used the low-gravity environment created when putting the rocket into ballistic flight for the purpose of investigating such behavior as boiling and flow of cryogenic liquid rocket propellant (liquid nitrogen used for this test) in an environment simulating coasting flight in space. ...[more]

From the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles which use liquid hydrogen as fuel to the development of hydrogen stations, efforts for realizing a hydrogen-based society are accelerating. Liquid hydrogen measurement control technology is the key for realizing this goal. Although there are numerous Japanese corporations that are currently developing such technology, these corporations lack the testing facilities and know-how to safely use liquid hydrogen. Consequently, overseas manufacturers still dominate the market and Japan relies on imports.
Through past R & D on hypersonic turbo jet engines and liquid fuel rockets, JAXA has accumulated technology for the testing and safe handling of cryogenic fuel, as well as the measurement and control of cryogenic multiphase flow.
By utilizing cryogenic propellant testing facilities and testing technology, JAXA is working to establish a cryogenic fuel supply system that can also be applied for general used in society on a broad scale.

Cryogenic void meter developed by JAXA