A Selected Operational History of the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) for International Space Station (ISS) 2004-01-2470
The Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) has been developed jointly by Boeing Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama and Honeywell Engines & Systems, Torrance, California to meet the internal thermal control needs for the International Space Station (ISS). The ITCS provides heat removal for the critical life support systems and thermal conditioning for numerous experiment racks. The ITCS will be fitted on a number of modules on the ISS. The first US Element containing the ITCS, Node 1, was launched in December 1998. Since Node 1 does not contain a pump to circulate the fluid it was not filled with ITCS fluid until after the US Laboratory Module was installed. The second US Element module, US Laboratory Module, which contains the pumps and all the major ITCS control hardware, was launched in February 2001. The third US Element containing the ITCS, the US Airlock, was launched in July 2001.
The dual loop system of the ITCS is comprised of a low-temperature loop (LTL) and a moderate-temperature loop (MTL). Each loop has a pump package assembly (PPA), a system flow control assembly (SFCA), a three-way mixing valve (TWMV), several rack flow control assemblies (RFCA), cold plates, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, pump bypass assembly (PBA) and a heat exchanger. In addition, the MTL has an additional TWMV, a payload regeneration heat exchanger (P/RHE) and a manual flow control valve (MFCV). The LTL has a service performance and checkout unit (SPCU) heat exchanger. The two loops are linked via one loop crossover assembly (LCA) providing cross loop capabilities and a single PPA, two-loop functionality.
One important parameter monitored by the ground stations and on-orbit is the amount of fluid leakage from the ITCS. ISS fluid leakage is of importance since ITCS fluid is costly to re-supply, may be difficult to clean up in zero-g, and if uncontained could lead to equipment failures and potential hazards. This paper examines the nominal leakage observed over period of a year of on-orbit operation and compares this with analysis predictions. This paper also addresses the off-nominal leakage and a fluid transfer event causing significant changes in accumulator quantity.