Development of Lightweight Radiators for Lunar Based Power Systems
This report discusses application of a new lightweight carbon-carbon (C-C) space radiator technology developed under the NASA Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) High Capacity Power Program to a 20 kWe lunar based power system. This system comprises a nuclear (SP-100 derivative) heat source, a Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion unit with heat rejection by means of a plane radiator. The new radiator concept is based on a C-C composite heat pipe with integrally woven fins and a thin walled metallic liner for containment of the working fluid. Using measured areal specific mass values (1.5 kg/m2) for flat plate radiators, comparative CBC power system mass and performance calculations show significant advantages if conventional heat pipes for space radiators are replaced by the new C-C heat pipe technology.