Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets

Viatcheslav Osipov, Cyrill Muratov, Halyna Hafiychuk, Ekaterina Ponizovskaya-Devine, Vadim Smelyanskiy, Donovan Mathias, Scott Lawrence, Mary Werkheiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An engineering risk assessment of the conditions for massive explosions of cryogenic liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets during launch accidents is presented. The assessment is based on the analysis of the data of purposeful rupture experiments with liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks and on an interpretation of these data via analytical semiquantitative estimates and numerical simulations of simplified models for the whole range of the physical phenomena governing the outcome of a propellant-tank breach. The following sequence of events is reconstructed: rupture of fuel tanks, escape of the fluids from the ruptured tanks, liquid film boiling, fragmentation of liquid flow, formation of aerosol oxygen and hydrogen clouds, mixing of the clouds, droplet evaporation, self-ignition of the aerosol clouds, and aerosol combustion. The power of the explosion is determined by a small fraction of the escaped cryogens that become well mixed within the aerosol cloud during the delay time between rupture and ignition. Several scenarios of cavitation-induced self-ignition of the cryogenic hydrogen/oxygen mixture are discussed. The explosion parameters in a particular accident are expected to be highly varied and unpredictable due to randomness of the processes of formation, mixing, and ignition of oxygen and hydrogen clouds. Under certain conditions rocket accidents may result in very strong explosions with blast pressures from a few atm up to 100 atm. The most dangerous situations and the foreseeable risks for space missions are uncovered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-871
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

Fingerprint

propellant tanks
liquid hydrogen
Propellants
Rockets
rockets
hazards
Explosions
explosions
explosion
Hazards
hazard
Aerosols
hydrogen
Ignition
aerosols
hydrogen clouds
Hydrogen
oxygen
accidents
liquid

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Osipov, V., Muratov, C., Hafiychuk, H., Ponizovskaya-Devine, E., Smelyanskiy, V., Mathias, D., ... Werkheiser, M. (2013). Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 50(4), 860-871. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277
Osipov, Viatcheslav ; Muratov, Cyrill ; Hafiychuk, Halyna ; Ponizovskaya-Devine, Ekaterina ; Smelyanskiy, Vadim ; Mathias, Donovan ; Lawrence, Scott ; Werkheiser, Mary. / Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets. In: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. 2013 ; Vol. 50, No. 4. pp. 860-871.
@article{6c74b0d315844fdaa527cab0675d27b9,
title = "Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets",
abstract = "An engineering risk assessment of the conditions for massive explosions of cryogenic liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets during launch accidents is presented. The assessment is based on the analysis of the data of purposeful rupture experiments with liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks and on an interpretation of these data via analytical semiquantitative estimates and numerical simulations of simplified models for the whole range of the physical phenomena governing the outcome of a propellant-tank breach. The following sequence of events is reconstructed: rupture of fuel tanks, escape of the fluids from the ruptured tanks, liquid film boiling, fragmentation of liquid flow, formation of aerosol oxygen and hydrogen clouds, mixing of the clouds, droplet evaporation, self-ignition of the aerosol clouds, and aerosol combustion. The power of the explosion is determined by a small fraction of the escaped cryogens that become well mixed within the aerosol cloud during the delay time between rupture and ignition. Several scenarios of cavitation-induced self-ignition of the cryogenic hydrogen/oxygen mixture are discussed. The explosion parameters in a particular accident are expected to be highly varied and unpredictable due to randomness of the processes of formation, mixing, and ignition of oxygen and hydrogen clouds. Under certain conditions rocket accidents may result in very strong explosions with blast pressures from a few atm up to 100 atm. The most dangerous situations and the foreseeable risks for space missions are uncovered.",
author = "Viatcheslav Osipov and Cyrill Muratov and Halyna Hafiychuk and Ekaterina Ponizovskaya-Devine and Vadim Smelyanskiy and Donovan Mathias and Scott Lawrence and Mary Werkheiser",
year = "2013",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "860--871",
journal = "Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets",
issn = "0022-4650",
publisher = "American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)",
number = "4",

}

Osipov, V, Muratov, C, Hafiychuk, H, Ponizovskaya-Devine, E, Smelyanskiy, V, Mathias, D, Lawrence, S & Werkheiser, M 2013, 'Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets', Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 860-871. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277

Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets. / Osipov, Viatcheslav; Muratov, Cyrill; Hafiychuk, Halyna; Ponizovskaya-Devine, Ekaterina; Smelyanskiy, Vadim; Mathias, Donovan; Lawrence, Scott; Werkheiser, Mary.

In: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 50, No. 4, 01.07.2013, p. 860-871.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets

AU - Osipov, Viatcheslav

AU - Muratov, Cyrill

AU - Hafiychuk, Halyna

AU - Ponizovskaya-Devine, Ekaterina

AU - Smelyanskiy, Vadim

AU - Mathias, Donovan

AU - Lawrence, Scott

AU - Werkheiser, Mary

PY - 2013/7/1

Y1 - 2013/7/1

N2 - An engineering risk assessment of the conditions for massive explosions of cryogenic liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets during launch accidents is presented. The assessment is based on the analysis of the data of purposeful rupture experiments with liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks and on an interpretation of these data via analytical semiquantitative estimates and numerical simulations of simplified models for the whole range of the physical phenomena governing the outcome of a propellant-tank breach. The following sequence of events is reconstructed: rupture of fuel tanks, escape of the fluids from the ruptured tanks, liquid film boiling, fragmentation of liquid flow, formation of aerosol oxygen and hydrogen clouds, mixing of the clouds, droplet evaporation, self-ignition of the aerosol clouds, and aerosol combustion. The power of the explosion is determined by a small fraction of the escaped cryogens that become well mixed within the aerosol cloud during the delay time between rupture and ignition. Several scenarios of cavitation-induced self-ignition of the cryogenic hydrogen/oxygen mixture are discussed. The explosion parameters in a particular accident are expected to be highly varied and unpredictable due to randomness of the processes of formation, mixing, and ignition of oxygen and hydrogen clouds. Under certain conditions rocket accidents may result in very strong explosions with blast pressures from a few atm up to 100 atm. The most dangerous situations and the foreseeable risks for space missions are uncovered.

AB - An engineering risk assessment of the conditions for massive explosions of cryogenic liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets during launch accidents is presented. The assessment is based on the analysis of the data of purposeful rupture experiments with liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks and on an interpretation of these data via analytical semiquantitative estimates and numerical simulations of simplified models for the whole range of the physical phenomena governing the outcome of a propellant-tank breach. The following sequence of events is reconstructed: rupture of fuel tanks, escape of the fluids from the ruptured tanks, liquid film boiling, fragmentation of liquid flow, formation of aerosol oxygen and hydrogen clouds, mixing of the clouds, droplet evaporation, self-ignition of the aerosol clouds, and aerosol combustion. The power of the explosion is determined by a small fraction of the escaped cryogens that become well mixed within the aerosol cloud during the delay time between rupture and ignition. Several scenarios of cavitation-induced self-ignition of the cryogenic hydrogen/oxygen mixture are discussed. The explosion parameters in a particular accident are expected to be highly varied and unpredictable due to randomness of the processes of formation, mixing, and ignition of oxygen and hydrogen clouds. Under certain conditions rocket accidents may result in very strong explosions with blast pressures from a few atm up to 100 atm. The most dangerous situations and the foreseeable risks for space missions are uncovered.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84882446020&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84882446020&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277

DO - https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277

M3 - Article

VL - 50

SP - 860

EP - 871

JO - Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

JF - Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

SN - 0022-4650

IS - 4

ER -

Osipov V, Muratov C, Hafiychuk H, Ponizovskaya-Devine E, Smelyanskiy V, Mathias D et al. Explosion hazard from a propellant-tank breach in liquid hydrogen-oxygen rockets. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. 2013 Jul 1;50(4):860-871. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A32277