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