Unfurlable Radiator for Lunar Base Heat Rejection 941326
A proof-of-concept (POC) lightweight lunar radiator was fabricated and tested. The POC radiator has a specific weight of 5 kg/kW one quarter the specific weight of current space radiators. The significant weight reduction was due to the radiator's unique design. It is a multicellular heat pipe radiator utilizing the lunar gravity for condensate return. The innovation of this radiator is the laminated film material used as the heat pipe envelope. By utilizing a flexible, durable, leak tight laminate structure instead of the typical ridged heat pipe envelope, significant weight reductions were achieved. In addition, the resulting radiator is extremely flexible, allowing it to be rolled or folded and compactly stored during transit to the lunar surface. Testing demonstrated that a laminated film heat pipe radiator offers improved performance and significant mass savings over conventional space radiators.