Heat Transfer to Uninsulated Missile Tanks Containing Liquid Hydrogen 630374
An approximate analytical method was developed to predict boil-off losses due to external heating of uninsulated missile tanks containing liquid hydrogen. The analysis was applied to the upper-stage tankage of two typical missile configurations which differed only in the type of propulsion utilized; a solid propellant first stage with 90 seconds of action time, and a liquid propellant first stage which burned for 140 seconds.
It was predicted that during first-stage flight 15–16% of the liquid hydrogen fuel would be lost due to boil-off. These prohibitive losses could be avoided with a thin layer of light insulation such as corkboard. Therefore, it was concluded that uninsulated missile tanks, containing liquid hydrogen, were not desirable.