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Current technology for pumping liquid oxygen (LOX)-the corrosive, highly explosive, cryogenic fluid used as the oxidizing agent in many space launch vehicles-involves traditional mechanisms such as impellers and rotors. The moving parts that are in contact with the fluid, as well as the seals around the pump, are potential failure points. These parts require special attention to protect against a reaction with LOX. We have developed a method to use pulsed magnetic fields to pump finite quantities of LOX that requires no moving parts in contact with the fluid. The equipment for this pumping technology is potentially nonintrusive and may be lighter in weight than existing mechanical pumps. Here, we compute equations of motion using a finite-difference technique, predicting the movement of a finite-length column of LOX in response to a pulsed magnetic field. We compare the calculated dynamics to experiment for various configurations.
Date of Publication: July 2003