An Assessment of Advanced Thermal Control System Technologies for Future Human Space Flight 961480
In an era of tight fiscal constraints, research and development funds are not sufficient to study all possible avenues for technology development. Hence, development priorities must be set and funding decisions made based on the projected benefits which will arise from fully developing different technologies. In order to identify promising development initiatives for advanced thermal control systems, a study was conducted which quantified the potential mass savings of various technologies.
Assessments were made for five reference missions considered to be likely candidates for major human space flight initiatives beyond the International Space Station. The reference missions considered were Space Station Evolution, Space Shuttle Replacement, First Lunar Outpost Lander, Permanent Lunar Base, and Mars Lander. For each mission a baseline active thermal control system was defined and mass estimates were established. Then each applicable advanced technology was applied to the baseline architecture one at a time and the mass savings were computed.
Some of the most promising technologies identified were heat pumps, two-phase thermal control systems, light weight radiators, and radiator shades.