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Journal Article

Design Description and Initial Characterization Testing of an Active Heat Rejection Radiator with Digital Turn-Down Capability

2009-07-12
2009-01-2419
NASA's proposed lunar lander, Altair, will be exposed to vastly different external temperatures following launch till its final destination on the moon. In addition, the heat rejection is lowest at the lowest environmental temperatures (0.5 kW @ 4K) and highest at the highest environmental temperature (4.5 kW @ 215K). This places a severe demand on the radiator design to handle these extreme turn-down requirements. A radiator with digital turn-down capability is currently under study at JPL as a robust means to meet the heat rejection demands and provide freeze protection while minimizing mass and power consumption. Turndown is achieved by independent control of flow branches with isolating latch valves and a gear pump to evacuate the isolated branches. A bench-top test was conducted to characterize the digital radiator concept. Testing focused on the demonstration of proper valve sequencing to achieve turn-down and recharge of flow legs.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit Performance of the TES Loop Heat Pipe Heat Rejection System

2008-06-29
2008-01-2000
Launched on NASA's Aura spacecraft on July 15, 2004, JPL's Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) has been operating successfully for over three years in space. TES is an infrared high resolution, imaging fourier transform spectrometer with spectral coverage of 3.3 to 15.4 μm to measure and profile essentially all infrared-active molecules present in the Earth's lower atmosphere. It measures the three-dimensional distribution of ozone and its precursors in the lower atmosphere on a global scale. The Aura spacecraft was successfully placed in a sun-synchronous near-circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 705 km and 98.9 minute orbit period. The observatory is designed for a nominal 5 year mission lifetime. The instrument thermal design features include four temperature zones needed for efficient cryogenic staging to provide cooling at 65 K, 180 K, 230 K and 300 K.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design of the Mars Science Laboratory Powered Descent Vehicle

2008-06-29
2008-01-2001
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will use a Powered Descent Vehicle to accurately and safely land a roving, robotic laboratory on the surface of Mars. The precision landing systems employed on this vehicle are exposed to a wide range of mission environments from deep space cruise to atmospheric descent and require a robust and adaptable thermal design. This paper discusses the overall thermal design philosophy of the MSL Powered Descent Vehicle and presents analysis of the active and passive elements comprising the Cruise, Entry, Descent, and Landing thermal control systems.
Journal Article

Start-Up Characteristics and Gravity Effects on a Medium/High-Lift Heat Pump using Advanced Hybrid Loop Technology

2008-06-29
2008-01-1959
Thermal characterization was performed on a vapor compression heat pump using a novel, hybrid two phase loop design. Previous work on this technology has demonstrated its ability to provide passive phase separation and flow control based on capillary action. This provides high quality vapor to the compressor without relying on gravity-based phase separation or other active devices. This paper describes the subsequent work done to characterize evaporator performance under various startup scenarios, tilt angles, and heat loads. The use of a thermal expansion valve as a method to regulate operation was investigated. The effect of past history of use on startup behavior was also studied. Testing under various tilt angles showed evaporator performance to be affected by both adverse and favorable tilts for the given compressor. And depending on the distribution of liquid in the system upon startup, markedly different performance can result for the same system settings and heat loads.
Journal Article

Development of Passively Actuated Thermal Control Valves for Passive Control of Mechanically Pumped Single-Phase Fluid Loops for Space Applications

2008-06-29
2008-01-2002
Passively activated thermal control valves were developed for use in a mechanically pumped single-phase fluid liquid loop (MPFL) of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. A key approach to the thermal control of the rover with the fluid loop is to control the flow through the rover's heat generating or heat rejecting components. This is achieved by either splitting or mixing the fluid stream coming from different branches of the system at different temperatures; actively or passively controlled flow valves are typically used for such purposes. To meet the thermal control requirements of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, a splitting and a mixing thermal control valves with gradual control capabilities using a linear thermal actuator and a spool was developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The key feature of these control valves is the balancing of the flow through the various branches of the fluid loop in order to balance the heat loads of the whole thermal system.
Journal Article

Development of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Instrument Thermal Control System

2008-06-29
2008-01-2065
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will carry a single science instrument scheduled for launch on an Orbital Sciences Corporation LeoStar-2 architecture spacecraft bus in December 2008. The science objective of the OCO instrument is to collect spaced-based measurements of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to identify CO2 sources and sinks and quantify their seasonal variability. The instrument will permit the collection of spatially resolved, high resolution spectroscopic observations of CO2 and O2 absorption in reflected sunlight over both continents and oceans. These measurements will improve our ability to forecast CO2 induced climate change. The instrument consists of three bore-sighted, high resolution grating spectrometers sharing a common telescope with similar optics and electronics.
Journal Article

Thermal Control System of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper Instrument

2008-06-29
2008-01-2119
The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument is one in a suite of twelve instruments which will fly onboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2008. Chandrayaan-1 is India's first mission to the Moon and is being managed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore, India. Chandrayaan-1 overall scientific objective is the photo-selenological and the chemical mapping of the Moon. The primary science objective of the M3 instrument is the characterization and mapping of the lunar surface composition in the context of its geologic evolution. Its primary exploration goal is to assess and map the Moon mineral resources at high spatial resolution to support future targeted missions. It is a “push-broom” near infrared (IR) imaging spectrometer with spectral coverage of 0.4 to 3.0 μm at 10 nm resolution with high signal to noise ratio, spatial and spectral uniformity.
Technical Paper

Viral Populations within the International Space Station's Internal Active Thermal Control System Ground Support and Potential Flight Hardware

2007-07-09
2007-01-3108
The Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) aboard the International Space Station (ISS) contains an aqueous, alkaline fluid (pH 9.5±0.5) that aids in maintaining a habitable environment for the crew. Because microbes have significant potential to cause disease, adverse effects on astronaut health, and microbe-induced corrosion, the presence of both bacteria and viruses within IATCS fluids is of concern. This study sought to detect and identify viral populations in IATCS samples obtained from the Kennedy Space Center as a first step towards characterizing and understanding potential risks associated with them. Samples were concentrated and viral nucleic acids (NA) extracted providing solutions containing 8.87-22.67 μg NA per mL of heat transfer fluid. After further amplification viral DNA and cDNA were then pooled, fluorescently labeled, and hybridized onto a Combimatrix panvira 12K microarray containing probes for ∼1,000 known human viruses.
Technical Paper

Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Technologies for Thermal Control of Future Mars Rovers

2006-07-17
2006-01-2035
Future planetary science missions planned for Mars are expected to be more complex and thermally challenging than any of the previous missions. For future rovers, the operational parameters such as landing site latitudes, mission life, distance traversed, and rover thermal energy to be managed will be significantly higher (two to five times) than the previous missions. It is a very challenging problem to provide an effective thermal control for the future rovers using traditional passive thermal control technologies. Recent investigations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have shown that mechanical pump based fluid loops provide a robust and effective thermal control system needed for these future rovers. Mechanical pump based fluid loop (MPFL) technologies are currently being developed at JPL for use on such rovers. These fluid loops are planned for use during spacecraft cruise from earth to Mars and also on the Martian surface operations.
Technical Paper

Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Control Architecture

2005-07-11
2005-01-2828
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL1) mission to land a large rover on Mars is being planned for Launch in 2009. As currently conceived, the rover would use a Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to generate about 110 W of electrical power for use in the rover and the science payload. Usage of an MMRTG allows for a large amount of nearly constant electrical power to be generated day and night for all seasons (year around) and latitudes. This offers a large advantage over solar arrays. The MMRTG by its nature dissipates about 2000 W of waste heat. The basic architecture of the thermal system utilizes this waste heat on the surface of Mars to maintain the rover's temperatures within their limits under all conditions. In addition, during cruise, this waste heat needs to be dissipated safely to protect sensitive components in the spacecraft and the rover.
Technical Paper

Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mission Flight Thermal Performance

2005-07-11
2005-01-2827
NASA launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 as a part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. MER-A (Spirit) landed on Mars in Gusev Crater at 15 degrees South latitude and 175 degrees East longitude on January 4, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Dec. 2004). MER-B (Opportunity) landed on Mars in Terra Meridiani at 2 degrees South latitude and 354 degrees East longitude on January 25, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Aug. 2004). Both rovers have well exceeded their design lifetime (90 Sols) by more than a factor of 5. Spirit and Opportunity are still healthy and continue to execute their roving science missions at the time of this writing. This paper discusses rover flight thermal performance during the surface missions of both vehicles, covering roughly the time from the MER-A landing in late Southern Summer (aereocentric longitude, Ls = 328, Sol 1A) through the Southern Winter solstice (Ls = 90, Sol 255A) to nearly Southern Vernal equinox (Ls = 160, Sol 398A).
Technical Paper

Extended Temperature Range Studies for Dry Heat Microbial Reduction

2005-07-11
2005-01-3096
Dry heat microbial reduction is an approved method to reduce the microbial bioburden on space-flight hardware prior to launch to meet flight project planetary protection requirements. Microbial bioburden reduction also occurs if a spacecraft enters a planetary atmosphere (e.g., Mars) and is heated by frictional forces. However, without further studies, administrative credit for this reduction cannot be applied. The killing of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores has been examined and lethality data has been collected by placing spores in a vacuum oven or thermal spore exposure vessels (TSEV) in a constant temperature bath. Using this lethality data, a preliminary mathematical model is being developed that can be used to predict spore killing at different temperatures. This paper will present the lethality data that has been collected at this time and the planned future studies.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design and Flight Experience of the Mars Exploration Rover Spacecraft Computer-Controlled, Propulsion Line Heaters

2004-07-19
2004-01-2412
As part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 and successfully landed both of them on Mars in January of 2004. The cruise stage of each spacecraft (S/C) housed most of the hardware needed to complete the cruise from Earth to Mars, including the propulsion system. Propulsion lines brought hydrazine propellant from tanks under the cruise stage to attitude-control thrusters located on the periphery of the cruise stage. Hydrazine will freeze in the propellant lines if it reaches temperatures below 1.7°C. Thermal control of the propulsion lines was a mission critical function of the thermal subsystem; a frozen propellant line could have resulted in loss of attitude control and complete loss of the S/C.
Technical Paper

Margin Determination in the Design and Development of a Thermal Control System

2004-07-19
2004-01-2416
A method for determining margins in conceptual-level design via probabilistic methods is described. The goal of this research is to develop a rigorous foundation for determining design margins in complex multidisciplinary systems. As an example application, the investigated method is applied to conceptual-level design of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) cruise stage thermal control system. The method begins with identifying a set of tradable system-level parameters. Models that determine each of these tradable parameters are then created. The variables of the design are classified and assigned appropriate probability density functions. To characterize the resulting system, a Monte Carlo simulation is used. Probabilistic methods can then be used to represent uncertainties in the relevant models. Lastly, results of this simulation are combined with the risk tolerance of thermal engineers to guide in the determination of margin levels.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop for Space Applications –Working Fluid Selection

2004-07-19
2004-01-2415
Mechanically pumped single-phase fluid loops are well suited for transporting and rejecting large amounts of waste heat from spacecraft electronics and power supplies. While past implementations of such loops on spacecraft have used moderate operating temperatures (less than 60ºC), higher operating temperatures would allow equivalent heat loads to be rejected by smaller and less massive radiators. A high temperature (100 to 150ºC) mechanically pumped fluid loop is currently being investigated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for use on future Mars missions. This paper details the trade study used to select the high temperature working fluid for the system and the initial development testing of loop components.
Technical Paper

Thermal Performance Evaluation of a Small Loop Heat Pipe for Space Applications

2003-07-07
2003-01-2688
A Small Loop Heat Pipe (SLHP) featuring a wick of only 1.27 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter has been designed for use in spacecraft thermal control. It has several features to accommodate a wide range of environmental conditions in both operating and non-operating states. These include flexible transport lines to facilitate hardware integration, a radiator capable of sustaining over 100 freeze-thaw cycles using ammonia as a working fluid and a structural integrity to sustain acceleration loads up to 30 g. The small LHP has a maximum heat transport capacity of 120 Watts with thermal conductance ranging from 17 to 21 W/°C. The design incorporates heaters on the compensation chamber to modulate the heat transport from full-on to full-stop conditions. A set of start up heaters are attached to the evaporator body using a specially designed fin to assist the LHP in starting up when it is connected to a large thermal mass.
Technical Paper

Development Testing of a Paraffin-Actuated Heat Switch for Mars Rover Applications

2002-07-15
2002-01-2273
A paraffin-actuated heat switch has been developed for thermal control of the batteries used on the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers. The heat switch is used to reject heat from the rover battery to a radiator. This paper describes the development test program designed, in part, to measure the thermal conductance of the heat switch in an 8 Torr CO2 environment over the expected operating temperature range of the battery. The switch has a closed conductance of about 0.6 W/°C and an open conductance of 0.019 W/°C. The test program also included measuring the battery temperature profile over a hot case and a cold case Mars diurnal cycle. The test results confirm that the battery will remain well within the upper and lower allowable flight temperatures in both cases.
Technical Paper

Design and Flight Qualification of a Paraffin-Actuated Heat Switch for Mars Surface Applications

2002-07-15
2002-01-2275
The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) flight system uses mechanical, paraffin-actuated heat switches as part of its secondary battery thermal control system. This paper describes the design, flight qualification, and performance of the heat switch. Although based on previous designs by Starsys Research Corporation1,2, the MER mission requirements have necessitated new design features and an extensive qualification program. The design utilizes the work created by the expansion of a paraffin wax by bringing into contact two aluminum surfaces, thereby forming a heat conduction path. As the paraffin freezes and contracts, compression springs separate the surfaces to remove the conduction path. The flight qualification program involved extensive thermal performance, structural, and life testing.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design and On-Orbit Performance of the Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

2001-07-09
2001-01-2262
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument was launched aboard NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra spacecraft on December 18, 1999. The overall mission design lifetime for the instrument is 6 years. The EOS Terra spacecraft was placed in a sun-synchronous near-circular polar orbit with an inclination of 98.3 degrees and a mean altitude of 705 km. The overall objective of MISR is to provide a means to study the ecology and climate of Earth through the acquisition of global multiangle imagery on the daylit side of Earth. MISR views the sunlit Earth simultaneously at nine widely spaced angles, collects global images with high spatial detail in four colors at every angle. The images acquired, once calibrated, provide accurate measurements of brightness, contrast and color of reflected sunlight.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Transient Temperature Oscillations of a Propylene Loop Heat Pipe

2001-07-09
2001-01-2235
A technology demonstration propylene Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) has been tested extensively in support of the implementation of this two-phase thermal control technology on NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument. This cryogenic instrument is being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA. This paper reports on the transient characterization testing results showing low frequency temperature oscillations. Steady state performance and model correlation results can be found elsewhere. Results for transient startup and shutdown are also reported elsewhere. In space applications, when LHPs are used for thermal control, the power dissipation components are typically of large mass and may operate over a wide range of power dissipations; there is a concern that the LHP evaporator may see temperature oscillations at low powers and over some temperature range.
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