Columbus Active Thermal Control Equipment Development
The Columbus laboratory module for the International Space Station (ISS) uses active thermal control for cooling of avionics and payload in the pressurized compartment. The Active Thermal Control Subsystem (ATCS) is based on a water loop rejecting waste heat to the Medium Temperature Heat Exchanger and Low Temperature Heat Exchanger on Node 2, part of the US Segment of the ISS. Flow and temperature control in the ATCS is achieved by means of the Water Pump Assembly (WPA) and the 3-Way Modulating Valve (WTMO) units. For the flow control the WPA speed is commanded so that a fixed pressure drop is maintained over the plenum with the avionics and payload branches. Adjusting the WTMO internal flow split permit the two active units to perform the CHX and plenum inlet temperature control. The WPA includes a filter and an accumulator to control the pressure in the ATCS and to compensate for leakage and temperature-dependent volume variations.