1996-07-01

Vapour Compression Heat Pump for a Lunar Lander/Rover Thermal Control 961537

The thermal control of lunar landers/rovers necessitates the use of a system to allow heat rejection to the high temperature lunar environment. In this context a vapour compression heat pump which is a proven technology in terrestrial and aeronautical applications has been studied; its suitability in providing 2 kW cooling capability with adequate temperature lift for final heat rejection by space radiators is assessed.
The stringent requirements of space-based hardware in terms of temperature lift, compactness, mass, performance and reliability necessitates optimization studies.
Mass optimization of the heat pump components has been carried out, as well as selection of refrigerants and thermodynamic cycles most suited for the application.
Finally a sensitivity study has been performed for the main parameters such as radiator mass penalty, power mass penalty, coefficient of performance (COP), environment sink temperature and radiator thermo-optical properties, in order to identify the driving parameters on the heat pump mass.

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