1997-07-01

Thermal Control of Electronics Enclosures for Mars Exploration 972468

The Mars Exploration Technology (MET) Program Thermal Control Task at JPL provided for the design, development, fabrication, and demonstration of an insulated Warm Electronics Enclosure (WEE). The thermal control technique consisted of Phase Change Material (PCM) for efficient thermal storage, and heat switches to provide diode action to control the heat path between the solar array and the PCM enclosure. For a simulated Mars's thermal environment, the WEE maintained its interior temperature within the temperature range of -27 °C to +23 °C. Included in this paper is a description of the WEE design, the thermal vacuum tests and correlation with thermal model analyses as well as discussion of the analytical results.

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