Flight Test Results for the HST Orbital Systems Test (HOST) Capillary Pump Loop Cooling System 1999-01-1980
The Near Infrared Camera and Multi Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) was installed in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in February 1997. Shortly thereafter, the instrument experienced a thermal short in its solid nitrogen dewar system which will significantly shorten the instrument’s useful life. A reverse Brayton cycle mechanical refrigerator will be installed during the Third Servicing Mission (SM3) to provide cooling for the instrument, and thereby extend its operations. A Capillary Pump Loop (CPL) and radiator system was designed, built and tested to remove up to 500 watts of heat from the mechanical cryocooler and its associated electronics. The HST Orbital Systems Test (HOST) platform was flown on the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) as a flight demonstration of the cryocooler system, CPL control electronics, and the CPL/Radiator. This paper will present the flight test results and thermal performance of the CPL system in detail.