FPEs Bustamante Goes Zero-G

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In May 2012, University of Maryland student Michael Bustamante (M.S. ’12, fire protection engineering) had the unique opportunity to participate in micro-gravity testing at Ellington Field, TX.  The testing was part of research headed by Associate Professor Peter B. Sunderland (fire protection engineering) and John L. Bryan Chair James G. Quintiere (fire protection engineering).

In total, 14 different experiments from different universities and organizations participated over the course of the week, including another group from the University of Maryland.  The experiments were secured onto a plane run by the Zero-G Corporation which flies in parabolas in order to simulate 0-g for up to 20 seconds.

Bustamante investigated ethanol fueled flames.  The results are believed to be the first 0-g results where a steady state, condensed fuel flame has been established in a quiescent environment.

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Published June 7, 2012