1995-07-01

Development of a High Performance Heat Pipe (HPHP) for a Satellite Application 951552

This paper presents the development program of a High Performance Heat Pipe (HPHP) whose first application is aboard the satellite STENTOR, the French Advanced Telecommunication Satellite.
A trade-off study has been performed to select the most appropriate high performance heat pipe design to meet the requirements (maximum heat transport capability of at least 500W.m). The selected one is the aluminium axially grooved heat pipe.
A numerical model has been used to optimise the grooves geometry, which consists of divergent entrance passageways (0.4mm width) and a circular trough.
As a first development tests model, a HPHP of 17 mm outer diameter, 2.8 m long and 470g/m has been manufactured and tested.
The first tests results have shown a heat transport capability of 600 W.m horizontally at +20°C and 400 W.m under a tilt height of 5 mm. In term of ratio W/kg, this represents a capability of 1277 W/kg (for 1m H.P.) which is better than common grooved heat pipes or other high performance heat pipes.
Moreover, these first test results should be improved by reaching the grooves dimensions required and optimising the ammonia filling charge.
After performing the qualification tests program in 1g, a HPHP of at least 4m will be installed on the satellite STENTOR to qualify it in Og.

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