1988-07-01

Prototype Space Erectable Radiator System Ground Test Article Development 881066

The space-erectable radiator system (SERS) is being developed by NASA-JSC to provide a long-life, highly reliable waste heat rejection capability for Space Station and similar large space systems. In general, the SERS features modular, high-capacity radiator panels that can be installed and replaced on-orbit, as needed. Each panel interfaces with the central heat transport loop through a dry contact heat exchanger attachment. The Grumman prototype SERS is based upon a low-risk extension of proven monogroove heat pipe technology for the radiator element and a simple “whiffletree” mechanical clamping mechanism for achieving the required contact pressure at the dry attachment interface.The SERS ground test article that has been built consists of eight radiator panels, each 1 ft wide by 48 ft long, and eight separate whiffletree clamps that engage a 2 ft2 contact area. Each of the heat pipe radiator panels has been acceptance tested at ambient conditions to demonstrate a minimum heat transfer capability of 2.4 kW at 1/2 inch adverse tilt with an overall thermal conductance, between evaporator and radiator fin root, of 200 watts per °F. Separate component tests to evaluate contact conductance indicate an average value of 450 BTU/hr ft2 °F. This paper provides further detail describing the design and performance characteristics of the prototype SERS ground test article that is scheduled for thermal vacuum testing at NASA-JSC during June 1988.

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