Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) conduction pumping is well suited for pumping coolants in space-borne thermal control systems. Advantages of EHD pumps include light-weight, simple designs, no moving parts, fast response times, and low power consumption. The EHD conduction pumping phenomenon is a result of electrical conduction in highly resistive liquids, in which charge carriers are ions created by a reversible dissociation-recombination reaction. EHD pumps show promise as a means to actively control the distribution of coolants within a flow network and may be applied to a novel biologically-inspired thermal control system. This experiment characterizes the performance of an EHD pump operating under various flow conditions and demonstrates the successful control of flow distribution between two parallel lines using the EHD pump in two configurations. The first configuration orients the EHD pump so that the net pumping forces act in the same direction as the flow velocity. In this case, the EHD pump pulls additional flow through the desired line. The second configuration orients the EHD pump such that the net pumping forces act in the direction opposite to the flow velocity. In this case, the EHD pump opposes the flow in its line, thereby forcing additional flow through the desired line, as one would use a valve. Results show that the latter configuration is more effective at controlling flow distribution between the two lines at total mass flow rates ranging from 0 to 7.7 g/s.


Electrohydrodynamics, Liquid dielectrics, Fluid dynamics (Space environment), Space vehicles--Cooling.

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Truman, Randall

Second Committee Member

Razani, Arsalan

Third Committee Member

Williams, Andrew


Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, New Mexico Space Grant Consortium

Document Type