PSP Bibliography


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Extreme temperature thermal vacuum testing of the solar probe plus radiator

AuthorDrabenstadt, Christian; Ercol, Carl;
KeywordsCoolants; Cooling; Cooling systems; DC motors; Fins (heat exchange); Heat flux; Heat radiation; Liquefied gases; Probes; Solar cell arrays; Thermoanalysis; Thermoelectric equipment; Vacuum technology; Waste heat; Parker Engineering
AbstractThe Solar Probe Plus (SPP) spacecraft is equipped with four thermal radiators as part of the solar array cooling system. This cooling system rejects the heat absorbed by two high heat flux solar arrays. Each thermal radiator is comprised of nine aluminum radiation fins that are bonded with epoxy to titanium tubes. These tubes are connected together via inlet and outlet manifolds to create each radiator assembly. The solar arrays are cooled by micro-channel-etched titanium plates through which the working fluid, water, is forced via a sensorless DC motor-driven pump. The absorbed waste heat is rejected by the four radiator panels, and the cold coolant returns to the pump to complete the cycle. The system is designed to accommodate approximately 6500 Watts of heat dissipation cooling capacity and, in addition, must be able to withstand the cold temperatures of launch, resulting in wide minimum and maximum temperature extremes to be seen by each radiator. To meet these severe temperature requirements, the radiator was subjected to a closed loop thermal vacuum test using gaseous and liquid nitrogen as the coolant. This process thermally cycles both radiator fins and a fully assembled radiator while maintaining a small temperature gradient throughout the radiator. The results of this test, including the test methodologies and apparatus used in the verification of the SPP thermal radiators, are discussed in detail.
Year of Publication2014
Journal28th Space Simulation Conference - Extreme Environments: Pushing the Boundaries
Number of Pages
Date Published