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Engineering: Current Students

NASA Microgravity University 2011

Microgravity 2011


The UNL College of Engineering is proud to participate in NASA's Microgravity University. The program engages selected college and university teams in scientific research that helps our nation's space program to refine its efforts. Projects are conducted during a series of parabolic reduced-gravity flights in specially-equipped NASA aircraft that reach 35,000 feet above the earth's surface.

2011 Project:

Extended Investigation of Propellant Sloshing in the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

Nebraska Engineering’s 2011 Microgravity University Team will construct a propellant tank that will utilize a flexible membrane (also known as a bladder) that separates the gas from liquid phases, to help stabilize the sloshing of the fluid contained in the tank.

The primary focus of this investigation is to characterize the behavior of the fluid when excited at natural frequencies under microgravity conditions. Relevant data collected will include sloshing forces, environmental accelerations, and visual observations of the displacement of the bladder during sloshing. The tank must be able to hold specific amounts of liquid that can be easily varied during flight. This will be accomplished by draining the liquid into a reservoir at specific points during the flight. The tank must be transparent in order to observe the amount of fluid displacement during sloshing.

Lastly the entire experiment has to be contained within a simple structure that protects the experiment during flight and secures everything to the aircraft.