Why You Should Visit our Website

You should immediately join us! For lots of reasons: we are a team of young students who really love their work and at the same time love life and having fun! We love travelling and thanks to the REXUS/BEXUS project have this possibility, so this gallery is full of inetersting and beautiful pictures of our travels and experiences connected to this project we are involved in. 
A very brief description of our experiment is given below.

Project at a Glance:

The SPONGE experiment concerns a propellant management device, which is a component meant to control propellant behaviour in tanks, during micro gravity conditions.
program, to validate the numerical code we are currently implementing, starting from OpenFOAM, which is an open source volume of fluid tool that can beThe basic aim is to use the data that will be acquired thanks to the REXUS updated and modified directly by the user.
In particular, a sponge PMD device has been chosen for the experiment (and its validation), thus it will also be possible to have a series of data concerning the sponge retention capability during micro gravity operations.
The fluid dynamic similarity theory will be used to extend the results of the experiment to sponges of different dimensions to be used in larger tanks.
These objectives will be achieved thanks to a vision system recording the images of the fluid inside the sponge in different acceleration conditions. These different accelerations will be imposed by an electric motor rotating at three different velocities. Specific and appropriate diagnostics will also be used in
order to monitor the system characteristics during the various phases of the experiment.

SPONGE Project Objectives

This experiment is aimed at studying particular phenomena which could be of
great importance for the actual space applications.
In particular, the focus is on the performance of specific propellant management devices (sponges) to retain propellant in various acceleration conditions.
This is necessary to guarantee access to the propellant during the different phases of a mission. The other aim of this experiment is to collect enough data to use the fluid similitude principle and extend the results to tanks with different dimensions and to different propellants or external acceleration levels.
This information will be necessary for the fulfilment of the main aim, which is the verification and validation of the code we are developing, a 3D CFD tool simulating sponge devices.
During the microgravity phase the capillary forces shall be predominant with respect to the hydrostatic ones. A horizontal-plate centrifuge would apply predetermined and controlled lateral accelerations to the test article, which is a sponge-like device to be installed within the sample. Acting on the accelerations, we will monitor and control the dominance behaviours of the two fluid phases (gas and liquid), measuring the sponge directional retention capabilities, depending on the different accelerations applied.

Thus, in conclusion, the objectives of the SPONGE experiment are:

  •  To validate the code under development for the sponge device simulation;
  •  To study the behaviour of a specific PMD device under low-g operations in terms of bubble point, behaviour in different acceleration conditions and design of the perforated plates;
  •  To apply the fluid dynamic similitude theory.

What's the Best About Our Team and Experiment?

Our experiment is quite complicated to design, both for the mechanics and the electronic systems, but this is also what makes it so interesting! And we are a team of friends and University collegues, so we really enjoy working together!