European Two-Phase Heat Transport Technology Advanced Test Bed Results 911520
In the scope of the COLUMBUS-preparatory support technology programme, funded and coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC), critical components of a mechanically pumped two-phase heat transport system, i.e. evaporator cold plate, evaporative heat exchanger, vapour quality sensors, condenser, accumulator, gas trap and control system, have been identified and developed by a number of European companies under Dornier-subcontract.
A comprehensive test programme, focussed on the investigation of critical components performance characteristics and limits, has generally demonstrated very satisfactory and partially even excellent results.
However, experience gained during test performance as well as overall test evaluation have concluded in several recommendations for further analysis, improving modifications and a continuation of testing aimed at an enhancement of European two-phase technology know-how.
This paper details the modifications applied on the test bed loop and its support systems. In particular it discusses the preliminary results of the advanced test programme, which has recently been finished, including a detailed checkout of critical components, system operation during a simulation of an on-orbit sinusoidal radiator temperature variation, capillary pumped mode operation, a simulation of system leakage, heat load sharing and performance tests of an adaptive-predictive control system.