New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 19, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Engineering Professor Stephen D. Tse can comment on flame experiments this month on the International Space Station.
The NASA project on symmetrical flames, called s-Flame, is aimed at studying combustion, with implications for energy efficiency, pollutant mitigation and fire safety in space and on Earth. Since experiments on the space station are subject to micro levels of gravity, flames experience almost no buoyancy, with some becoming spherical depending on the conditions.
Rutgers is a 50-50 partner with Princeton University on the project, with the experiments guided in real-time from Tse’s office at Rutgers. The first set of experiments began on Sept. 11, and a Facebook page has more information about the project.
“A spherical flame is one-dimensional because it is defined only by its radius, allowing the chemistry and transport processes controlling the flame to be more easily analyzed,” said Tse, who is director of outreach and Mary W. Raisler Distinguished Teaching Chair in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the School of Engineering. “With national fuel expenditures totaling on the order of a trillion dollars per year, advances in combustion technology can significantly reduce fuel needs and pollution.”
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