Under the COLUMBUS Preparatory Support Technology Programme, the European Space Agency has coordinated the development of critical components for a European pumped two-phase heat transport system.
The critical components are Evaporator Cold Plate (Dornier GmbH), Evaporative Heat Exchanger (Aeritalia) being an interface component to an external loop, Heat Rejection Interfaces/Condensers (Fokker), active Accumulator/Control Reservoir (British Aerospace) and Vapour Quality Sensors (Dornier GmbH and NLR). They have been incorporated into a flexible and fully instrumented test bed at BAe. The test bed is designed to evaluate the performance of a complete representative loop with heat loads up to 15 kW and primary loop lengths up to 40 metres. It includes an implementation of algorithms developed at Fokker and NLR for the control of evaporator inlet temperature conditions, vapour temperature setpoint and vapour quality.
The results of the first sequence of component and loop testing in normal modes are reported and interesting phenomena leading to extended testing during the second sequence are discussed.