A Direct-Interface Fusible Heat Sink for Astronaut Cooling 901433

Astronaut cooling during extravehicular activity is a critical design issue in developing a portable life support system that meets the requirements of a space station mission. Some of the requirements are that the cooling device be easily regenerable and nonventing during operation. In response to this, a direct-interface, fusible heat sink prototype with freezable quick-disconnects has been developed. A proof-of-concept prototype has been constructed and tested that consists of an elastic container filled with normal tap water and having two quick-disconnects embedded in a wall. These quick-disconnects are designed so that they may be frozen with the ice and yet still be joined to the cooling system, allowing an immediate flow path. The inherent difficulties in a direct-interface heat sink have been overcome, i.e., (1) establishing an initial flow path, (2) avoiding low-flow freeze-up, and (3) achieving adequate heat-transfer rates at the end of the melting process. The requirements, design, fabrication, and testing are discussed.


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