Press Release

NASA Announces Microgravity Combustion Science Grants

By SpaceRef Editor
August 21, 2003
Filed under , , ,

NASA selected 21 researchers to receive grants totaling
approximately $9.4 million to conduct ground-based
microgravity combustion research.

The researchers will have access to NASA’s microgravity
facilities including drop-tubes, drop-towers, and aircraft.
Sponsored by NASA’s Office of Biological and Physical
Research (OBPR), Washington, this research offers
investigators the opportunity to take advantage of a low-
gravity environment to improve understanding of fundamental
physical and chemical processes associated with combustion.

“This community of researchers has been tremendously
productive and has effectively used past opportunities for
space and ground-based research offered by NASA, ” said
Eugene Trinh, Physical Sciences Division Director, OBPR.
“This new group of ground-based awards is laying the
foundation for the next generation of flight experiments for
the Space Station that will focus on the technological
challenges of space exploration.”

NASA received 79 proposals for this research announcement.
The proposals were peer-reviewed by scientific and technical
experts from academia, government, and industry.

The list of awardees (by state), their institutions, and
research titles is on the Internet at:

For information about NASA on the Internet, visit:

Home Page

For information about NASA’s space research on the Internet,


Benjamin Shaw
Regents of the University of California
Davis, CA 95616
“Reduced Gravity Studies of Soret Effects in Liquid Fuel Combustion”

Theodore Tsotsis
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089
“The study of reactive separations under microgravity conditions”


Lisa Pfefferle
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520
“Small-scale, Multipurpose Catalytic Reactor for Combustion, Fuel Processing and Product Synthesis in Space”

District of Columbia

Kazhikathra Kailasanath
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington, DC 20375
“Fire Suppression and Safety in Reduced Gravity Environments”

Elaine Oran
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington, DC 20375
“Exploration and Development of a Novel Micropropulsion Technique for Navigation in Low-Gravity Environments”


Bruce Linnell
Dynacs, Inc.
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
“Advanced Fire Detection in Enclosed Environments Via The Detection of Chemical Vapor Signatures From Pre-Combustion Processes Using Machine Olfaction”


Andrei Fedorov
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332
“MEMS-Enabled Processing of Liquid Fuels for Distributed Power Generation using Fuel Cells”


Kenneth Brezinsky
University of Illinois
Chicago, IL 60607
“High Pressure Studies of Carbon Monoxide Oxidation for Application to Mars Exploration”


Yudaya Sivathanu
En’Urga Inc.
West Lafayette, IN 47906
“Small Angle Scattering for the Characterization of Combustion Generated Particulate”


Gregory Linteris
BFRL, 8665, Gaithersburg, MD 20899
“Large-Scale Fire Dynamics in Spacecraft in Reduced Gravity”

Richard Roby
Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc.
Columbia, MD 21045
“Development of an Engineering Tool for the Determination of Suppression Device Placement in Reduced Gravity Environments”


James Driscoll
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
“A Flame Extinction Database for Unsteady Conditions Obtained Using a Flame-Vortex Experiment”

Gerard Faeth
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
“Chemically-Passive Suppression of Laminar Nonpremixed (Diffusion) Flames”

New Jersey

Yiguang Ju
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544
“Studies of Thermal Radiation Effects on High Pressure Flame Dynamics”


Fletcher Miller
National Center for Microgravity Research
Cleveland, OH 44135
“Catalyzed Combustion for Extra-Terrestrial Applications”

Kurt Sacksteder
NASA Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, OH 44135
“Combustion in Artificial Gravity”

Fumiaki Takahashi
National Center for Microgravity Research
Cleveland, OH 44135
“Flame Stability, Spread, and Suppression”


Ajay Agrawal
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK 73019
“High Speed Rainbow Schlieren Deflectometry to Quantify Buoyancy Effects in Transitional/Turbulent Gas Jet Flames”


Robert Pitz
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37235
“Curved Laminar Flames in Microgravity”


Harsha Chelliah
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
“Heterogeneous Combustion of Solid Fuel Particles Under Microgravity”


James Hermanson
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195

SpaceRef staff editor.