Columbus to Human Research Facility Hydraulic Compatibility Test: Analysis and Results
ESA and NASA agencies agreed to run an interface compatibility test at the EADS facility between the Columbus flight module and a duplicate ground unit of a currently on-orbit US International Standard Payload Rack, the Human Research Facility (HRF) Flight Prototype Rack (FPR). The purpose of the test was to demonstrate the capability to run US payloads inside the European ISS module Columbus. One of the critical aspects to be verified to ensure suitable operations of the two systems was the combined performance of the hydraulic controls resident in the HRF and Columbus coolant loops. A hydraulic model of the HRF FPR was developed and combined with the Columbus Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) model. Several coupled thermal-hydraulic test cases were then performed, preceded by mathematical analysis, required to predict safe test conditions and to optimize the Columbus valve configurations.