To burn a drop of fuel in the us segment of the ISS are prepared by Russian scientists. This experiment requires a “Glow” to study combustion processes in microgravity to improve fire extinguishing system in orbit.
Before you know how difficult to burn combustible substances, it is necessary first to know all about simple. To this end, two or three years ago, the Americans conducted the first experiment with the burning of droplets of single-component hydrocarbons heptane and methanol in the segment Destiny in a pressurized chamber CIR.
Drops with a diameter of not more than 4 mm was formed inside the combustion chamber using a special needle. After the needle was removed, to the droplet, suspended in weightlessness, was applied to the two electrodes, in order to light it. Then put them away, after which a drop was left in limbo and burned, and around it formed a normal yellow flame. But then happened something that no one saw on the Ground: Pogorel a few seconds, the drop was suddenly extinguished. But video and camera at different wavelengths showed that after that, around the drops remained a very dim bluish glow. The straw was reduced in size, that is burned. The Americans then announced the opening of a new physical phenomenon — Grodnoenergo burning. “It was recorded for the first time, although most likely and in our earth such an effect exists, – says the head of the Russian experiment “Glow” Sergey Frolov. Just nobody paid attention.”
According to him, later, analyzing the data received by the Americans aboard the ISS, ICP RAS, doubt the correctness of the term “grodnopromstroi burning.” In fact, after extinction of the flame in weightlessness, in fact, was not burning, and low temperature oxidation with periodic flashes of blue color.
A new experiment, which is scheduled for February-March 2017 must prove the hypothesis of Russian scientists. Only this time, the experience decided to go with a heavier hydrocarbon, dodecane, containing 12 carbon atoms (С12Н26). The experiment will again be held at the Destiny, but it will be an international group of astronauts and cosmonauts. “Our task is to deal with the combustion of drops in space at the micro level, – said Frolov. – Together with the Americans, we will monitor the experiment from the Ground in real time, and to Express analysis results to quickly change the program of the experiment, if need be.” By the way the new knowledge will help scientists not only to reduce the risk of fire on space station (specialists will know features of the behavior of flames in zero gravity), but will be useful on Earth. In particular, they will improve the combustion process in automotive, rocket and gas turbine engines to reduce the formation of harmful substances.