We propose a comprehensive theoretical and experimental investigation (including ground-based studies and experiments conducted on board of the International Space Station) with the aim of understanding and quantifying transport properties of nonconducting ferrofluids and physics of their flows. The specific emphasis is on using such fluids for safe and reliable heat removal in micro-gravity conditions of a realistic spacecraft. Our preliminary investigation indicates that compact magneto-convection heat removal systems can operate in zero-gravity conditions and deliver better efficiency than their conventional convection-based counterparts operating at normal gravity.
This white paper is a submission to Applied Physical Sciences panel of the US National Research Council and NASA's joint Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space. The decadal survey was commissioned to establish priorities and provide recommendations for life and physical sciences research in microgravity and partial gravity for the 2010-2020 decade and invited contributions from the research community.