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  • Experimental Investigation of Surface Reorientation and Oscillations of Liquid

    Paper number



    Mr. Malte Stief, ZARM - University of Bremen, Germany


    Dr. Michael Dreyer, ZARM - University of Bremen, Germany




    In recent years an extensive study about the reorientation of a free surface in a circular cylindrical container has been performed. These experiments covered a wide range of the characteristic time scales and non-dimensional numbers. Expending the range of characteristic time scales and non-dimensional numbers towards applications of the space industry requires to perform experiments with cryogenic liquids.

    A cryostat for the free fall micro gravity environment in the drop tower has been developed to investigate the reorientation behavior of cryogenic liquids at ambient pressures and under deep temperature conditions.

    Experiments with nitrogen at saturation state have been carried out. Nitrogen is held in a 50 mm right circular cylinder such that it is partly filled with liquid and the remaining space is occupied by its vapor. Using a endoscopic system and high speed digital video recording, the movement of the free surface is observed. Furthermore digital image processing were applied to detect the contour of the free surface for each video frame.

    Initially the free surface contour is defined by hydrostatic pressure and the contact angle of the liquid with the wall material, such that the surface forms a flat contour with a curvature at the cylinder wall. With sudden compensation of gravity, capillary forces become dominant and the free surface searches its new equilibrium configuration with a damped oscillating motion.

    The results of the experiments are compared with the assumptions and extrapolations that where made from the previous experiments with storable liquids.

    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-05-C4.P.06.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.