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Journal Article

Mars Science Laboratory Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop for Thermal Control - Design, Implementation, and Testing

2009-07-12
2009-01-2437
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to land a large rover on Mars is being prepared for Launch in 2011. A Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) on the rover provides an electrical power of 110 W for use in the rover and the science payload. Unlike the solar arrays, MMRTG provides a constant electrical power during both day and night for all seasons (year around) and latitudes. The MMRTG dissipates about 2000 W of waste heat to produce the desired electrical power. One of the challenges for MSL Rover is the thermal management of the large amount of MMRTG waste heat. During operations on the surface of Mars this heat can be harnessed to maintain the rover and the science payload within their allowable limits during nights and winters without the use of electrical survival heaters. A mechanically pumped fluid loop heat rejection and recovery system (HRS) is used to pick up some of this waste heat and supply it to the rover and payload.
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

Two Phase vs. Single Phase Thermal Loop Trades for Exploration Mission LAT II Architecture

2008-06-29
2008-01-1958
NASA's Exploration Mission program is planning for a return to the Moon in 2020. The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD)'s Lunar Architecture Team (LAT) is currently refining their lunar habitat architectures. The Advanced Thermal Control Project at the Johnson Space Center, as part of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) is developing technologies in support of the future lunar missions. In support of this project, a trade study was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the mechanically pumped two-phase and single-phase thermal loops for lunar habitats located at the South Pole for the LAT II architecture. This paper discusses the various trades and the results for a representative architecture which shares a common external loop for the single and two-phase system cases.
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

Mars Exploration Rover Heat Rejection System Performance – Comparison of Ground and Flight Data

2004-07-19
2004-01-2413
Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission launched two spacecraft to Mars in June and July of 2003 and landed two rovers on Mars in January 2004. A Heat Rejection System (HRS) based on a mechanically pumped single-phase liquid cooling system was used to reject heat from electronics to space during the seven months cruise from Earth to Mars. Even though most of this HRS design was similar to the system used on Mars Pathfinder in 1996, several key modifications were made in the MER HRS design. These included the heat exchanger used in removing the heat from electronics, design of venting system used to vent the liquid prior to Mars entry, inclusion of pressure transducer in the HRS, and the spacecraft radiator design. Extensive thermal/fluids modeling and analysis were performed on the MER HRS design to verify the performance and reliability of the system. The HRS design and performance was verified during the spacecraft system thermal vacuum tests.
Technical Paper

Thermal Engineering of Mars Entry Carbon/Carbon Non-Ablative Aeroshell - Part 2

2000-07-10
2000-01-2404
Candidate Aeroshell Test models composed of a quasi-isotropic Carbon/Carbon(C/C) front face sheet (F/S), eggcrate core, C/C back F/S, Carbon Aerogel insulation, C/C radiation shield and the C/C close-out were constructed based on the analytical temperature predictions presented in Part One of this work[1]. The analytical results obtained for a simulated Mars entry of a 2.9 meter diameter cone shaped Carbon-Carbon Aeroshell demonstrated the feasibility of the design. These results showed that the maximum temperature the front F/S reached during the decent was 1752 °C with the resulting rear temperature reaching 326 °C in the thermal model. Part Two of this work documents the thermal modeling and correlation for the Mars Aeroshell test sample and fixture. A finite difference, SINDA/G, thermal math model of the test fixture and sample was generated and correlated to data from an arc jet test conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center's interactive heating facility.
Technical Paper

Mars Pathfinder Active Heat Rejection System: Successful Flight Demonstration of a Mechanically Pumped Cooling Loop

1998-07-13
981684
One of the new technologies successfully demonstrated on the recent Mars Pathfinder mission was the active Heat Rejection System (HRS). This system consisted of a mechanically pumped cooling loop, which actively controlled the temperatures of the various parts of the spacecraft. A single phase Refrigerant 11 liquid was mechanically circulated through the lander and cruise electronics box heat exchangers. This liquid transferred the excess heat to an external radiator on the cruise stage. This is the first time in unmanned spacecraft history that an active heat rejection system of this type has been used on a long duration spacecraft mission. Pathfinder was launched in December 1996 and landed on the Martian surface on July 4, 1997. The system functioned flawlessly during the entire seven months of flight from Earth to Mars. A life test set up of the cooling loop was used to verify the life of the system.
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