Consideration has been given to utilizing the external area of the Space Station common modules or resource nodes to provide heat rejection. A program was undertaken to define the best body mounted radiator design, to define and build a full size test article and to conduct testing to verify performance.
Trade studies were conducted and a preferred design selected. The selected design employed high performance grooved heat pipes of an off-the-shelf design. Twenty panels, each about 1.2 m wide by 5.6 m long are installed on each module rejecting a total of about 12 kW. The radiators are interfaced with the module thermal control loop by use of a refrigerant 21 loop with an on-orbit operable disconnect at each panel. A one-panel test article has been designed and is currently being fabricated. Testing is scheduled to be conducted in June of 1987.