A sounding rocket payload experiment on zero gravity fuel gauging using modal analysis

Kevin Crosby, Eric Ireland, Kevin Lubick, Steven Mathe, Steven Metallo, Rudy Werlink


For the past three years Carthage Space Sciences faculty and students have been developing Ex- perimental Modal Analysis (EMA) techniques for use in microgravity fuel gauging of spacecraft propellant tanks. Our experiments were initially conducted on parabolic flights in which periods of microgravity of 20 seconds can be obtained. Parabolic flights were necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique in a relevant environment, but the short period of microgravity available during each parabola is insufficient to probe the resolution of the technique for settled, non-sloshing propellant. Here we report the results of an experiment in which the EMA technique is implemented in a sounding rocket payload developed through participation in the RockSat-C program of the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17307/wsc.v0i0.10


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