Design and Development of Loop Heat Pipes 2000-01-2315
Future telecommunication and constellation satellites share a common objective to improve their thermal control performances when compared to the current state of the art. They are increasingly demanding in heat transport and thermal dissipation. Thus the use of classical thermal devices such as heat pipes or typical radiators are not sufficient anymore for the overall spacecraft thermal control.
Therefore, the expected thermal control needs in the near future have motivated and directed, since about 5 years, new developments as e.g. Loop Heat Pipes.
This technology is now almost mature and the industrialisation phase is being started.
Indeed, as they give valuable possibilities and advantages to the thermal design of the platform, the LHPs constitute the most promising system to ensure particularly:
The North / South radiator thermal coupling. This function is performed by reversible LHPs, which have a condenser identical to the evaporator.
The (internal) thermal coupling of a high dissipative unit to a radiator or a heat pipe network.
The (external) thermal coupling of the spacecraft structure or fixed radiator to a deployable radiator (flexible LHPs). In this case, the optimisation of the panel efficiency and the condensing line architecture versus the mass is the main challenge.
In this context, this paper gives an overview of the current LHP technology developed in MMS, in terms of characteristics, limits and performances, through validations within several on-going programs like STENTOR (CNES), COM2PLEX (ESA) and ESA Deployable Radiator (ESA).
In addition, a general view of the different LHP modelling methods and engineering tools developed and used in MMS are discussed.