A Capillary Pump Loop Cooling System for the NICMOS Instrument 981814

The Near Infrared Camera and Multi Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) was installed in the Hubble Space Telescope in February 1997. Shortly thereafter, the instrument experienced a thermal short in its solid nitrogen dewar system which will shorten its useful life significantly. A reverse Brayton cycle mechanical refrigerator will be installed during the third servicing mission (SM3) to provide cooling for the instrument, and thereby extend its life. A Capillary Pump Loop (CPL) and radiator system has been designed, built and tested to remove up to 500 watts of heat from the mechanical cooler and its electronics. This paper will describe the CPL system in detail and present the results of the extensive testing and qualification program.


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