1998-07-13

Ground Tests of Capillary Pumped Loop (CAPL 3) Flight Experiment 981812

The success of CAPL 2 flight experiment has stirred many interests in using capillary pumped loop (CPL) devices for spacecraft thermal control. With only one evaporator in the loop, CAPL 2 was considered a point design for the Earth Observing System (EOS-AM). To realize the full benefits of CPLs, a reliable system with multiple evaporators must be developed and successfully demonstrated in space. The Capillary Pumped Loop (CAPL 3) Flight Experiment was designed to flight demonstrate a multiple evaporator CPL in a space environment. New hardware and concepts were developed for CAPL 3 to enable reliable start-up, constant conductance operation, and heat load sharing. A rigorous ground test program was developed and extensive characterization tests were conducted. All performance requirements were met, and the loop demonstrated very reliable operation.

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