The Porous Plate Sublimator as the X-38/CRV(Crew Return Vehicle) Orbital Heat Sink 972411
A porous plate sublimator (an existing Lunar Module design) is being evaluated as the heat sink for the X-38 vehicle due to its simplicity, reliability, and flight readiness. It is ideally suited for the X-38/CRV as it requires no active control, has no moving parts, has 100 % water usage efficiency, and is a well-proven technology.
This paper presents sublimator performance, including ground test data at CRV conditions, at both a component and system level. Potential sublimator modifications which could allow significant CRV ECLSS system simplification, reliability enhancement, and cost reduction are also discussed.