A Two-Phase Fluid Pump for Use in Microgravity Environments 1999-01-1979
The two-phase pump assembly (TPPA) supports advanced thermal control systems (TCS) being developed for future orbital and deep space missions that continuously demand technological advancements to reduce cost, schedule, size, and weight. The TCS provides cooling to onboard personnel and systems by utilizing a coolant in which the working fluid undergoes vaporization and condensation while circulating in the coolant fluid loop. The considerable latent heat associated with these liquid-vapor phase transitions allows the working fluid to absorb and transport a given amount of heat energy with a significantly reduced coolant flow rate resulting in a smaller system size, volume, and mass. Properly designed heat exchangers which utilize boiling and condensation phase transitions can be made smaller and lighter than single-phase systems for a given heat dissipation load. Issues which currently limit development and deployment of two-phase space TCS include availability of space-qualified two-phase fluid handling components and a lack of published two-phase flow design data for large scale flows in the microgravity environment.