CHBE Seminar: Dr. Paul Rueger, NASA

Friday, November 3, 2023
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Patricia Lorenzana
301 405 1935

Title: Cryogenics and Fluids at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center


Abstract: Spacecraft thermal design presents unique thermal and fluid challenges caused by a variety of harsh spacecraft thermal environments. In addition, at cryogenic temperatures (i.e., less than 123 K (-150° C), and sometimes as low as 50 milliKelvin), more challenges arise, such as the increasing importance of mitigating thermal radiation, the effects of coefficient of thermal expansion mismatches between different materials, changes in the physics behavior of materials, and increasing thermodynamic difficulty of lifting heat up large temperature gradients. In this talk, Dr. Rueger will present a broad overview of spacecraft thermal environments; cryogenic design practices; components of interest for the Cryogenics and Fluids Branch (e.g., cryocoolers, adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators, heat switches, and superconducting leads); cryogenic considerations in some current NASA mission examples (e.g., the DragonFly mission to Titan and the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission); and capabilities of the Cryogenics and Fluids Branch at NASA.

Bio: Paul Rueger is an Associate Branch Head in the Cryogenics and Fluids Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. This Branch of NASA focuses on thermal and fluid design in spacecraft at temperatures below 123 K (-150° C). Prior to joining NASA, he worked in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program in Washington, DC from 2013 to 2022, where he was responsible for thermal and fluid aspects of the design of nuclear reactors that provide propulsion for submarines and aircraft carriers. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 and his B.S. in 2007 in Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. His Ph.D. work was performed under the guidance of Dr. Richard V. Calabrese; this work involved high-shear emulsification and characterization of the resultant liquid-liquid drop size distributions as a function of energy dissipation density in batch and in-line rotor-stator mixers.

Audience: Graduate  Faculty 

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