Tech Briefs

Gaseous Nitrogen Orifice Mass Flow Calculator

The Gaseous Nitrogen (GN2) Orifice Mass Flow Calculator was used to determine Space Shuttle Orbiter Water Spray Boiler (WSB) GN2 high-pressure tank source depletion rates for various leak scenarios, and the ability of the GN2 consumables to support cooling of Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) lubrication during entry. The data was used to support flight rationale concerning loss of an orbiter APU/hydraulic system and mission work-arounds.

The GN2 mass flow-rate calculator standardizes a method for rapid assessment of GN2 mass flow through various orifice sizes for various discharge coefficients, delta pressures, and temperatures. The calculator utilizes a 0.9-lb (0.4 kg) GN2 source regulated to 40 psia (≈276 kPa). These parameters correspond to the Space Shuttle WSB GN2 Source and Water Tank Bellows, but can be changed in the spreadsheet to accommodate any system parameters. The calculator can be used to analyze a leak source, leak rate, gas consumables depletion time, and puncture diameter that simulates the measured GN2 system pressure drop.

The software is programmed into a Microsoft Excel Solver spreadsheet.

This work was done by Charles Ritrivi of The Boeing Company for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24873-1