1996-07-01

Performance of the CAPL 2 Flight Experiment 961432

This paper describes flight test results of the CAPL 2 Flight Experiment, which is a full scale prototype of a capillary pumped loop (CPL) heat transport system to be used for thermal control of the Earth Observing System (EOS-AM) instruments. One unique feature of CAPL 2 is its capillary starter pump cold plate design, which consists of a single capillary starter pump and two heat pipes. The starter pump enhances start-up success due to its self-priming capability, and provides the necessary capillary pumping force for the entire loop. The heat pipes provide the required isothermalization of the cold plate. Flight tests included those pertinent to specific EOS applications and those intended for verifying generic CPL operating characteristics and performance limits. Experimental results confirmed that the starter pump was indeed self-priming and the loop could be successfully started every time. CAPL 2 met all EOS-AM thermal requirements, and retained many of the performance characteristics of a traditional CPL.

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