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Technical Paper

Development of the Temperature Control Scheme for the CALIPSO Integrated Lidar Transmitter Subsystem

2006-07-17
2006-01-2277
Following the satellite-level thermal vacuum test for the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation spacecraft, project thermal engineers determined that the radiator used to cool the Integrated Lidar Transmitter subsystem during its operation was oversized. In addition, the thermal team also determined that the operational heaters were undersized, thus creating two related problems. Without the benefit of an additional thermal vacuum test, it was necessary to develop and prove by analysis a laser temperature control scheme using the available resources within the spacecraft along with proper resizing of the radiator. A resizing methodology and new laser temperature control scheme were devised that allowed, with a minimum of 20% heater power margin, the operating laser to maintain temperature at the preferable set point. This control scheme provided a solution to a critical project problem.
Technical Paper

The Cryogenic Thermal System Design of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM)

2005-07-11
2005-01-3041
The thermal design and modeling of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) is described. The ISIM utilizes a series of large radiators to passively cool its three near-infrared instruments to below 37 Kelvin. A single mid-infrared instrument is further cooled to below 7 Kelvin via stored solid Hydrogen (SH2). These complex cooling requirements, combined with the JWST concept of a large deployed aperture optical telescope, also passively cooled to below 50 Kelvin, makes JWST one of the most unique and thermally challenging space missions flown to date. Currently in the preliminary design stage and scheduled for launch in 2010, NASA’s JWST is expected to replace the Hubble Space Telescope as the premier space based astronomical observatory.
Technical Paper

Thermal Assessment of Swift BAT Instrument Thermal Control System in Flight

2005-07-11
2005-01-3037
The Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) instrument of the Swift mission consists of a telescope assembly, a Power Converter Box (PCB), and a pair of Image Processor Electronics (IPE) boxes (a primary and a redundant). The telescope assembly Detector Array thermal control system includes eight constant conductance heat pipes (CCHPs), two loop heat pipes (LHPs), a radiator that has AZ-Tek's AZW-LA-II low solar absorptance white paint, and precision heater controllers that have adjustable set points in flight. The PCB and IPEs have Z93P white paint radiators. Swift was successfully launched into orbit on November 20, 2004. This paper presents a thermal assessment of the BAT instrument thermal control system during the first six months in flight.
Technical Paper

Thermal Assessment of Swift Instrument Module Thermal Control System during First 2.5 Years in Flight

2007-07-09
2007-01-3083
On Day 97, 2005, a temperature excursion of the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) loop heat pipe (LHP) #1 compensation chamber (CC) caused this LHP shut down. It had no impact on the Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) detection because LHP #0 was nominal. After LHP #1 was started up and its primary heat controller was disabled on Day 98, both LHPs have been nominal. On Day 337, 2004, the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) thermo-electric cooler (TEC) power supply (PS) suffered a single point failure. The charge-coupled device (CCD) has been cooled by the radiator passively to -50°C or colder most of the time. The CCD temperature meets the main objective of pinpointing GRB afterglow positions. With these anomalies overcome, the Instrument Module (IM) thermal control system (TCS) is nominal during the first 2.5 years in flight.
Technical Paper

Weathering of Thermal Control Coatings

2007-07-09
2007-01-3020
Spacecraft radiators reject heat to their surroundings. Radiators can be deployable or mounted on the body of the spacecraft. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle is to use body mounted radiators. Coatings play an important role in heat rejection. The coatings provide the radiator surface with the desired optical properties of low solar absorptance and high infrared emittance. These specialized surfaces are applied to the radiator panel in a number of ways, including conventional spraying, plasma spraying, or as an appliqué. Not specifically designed for a weathering environment, little is known about the durability of conventional paints, coatings, and appliqués upon exposure to weathering and subsequent exposure to solar wind and ultraviolet radiation exposure. In addition to maintaining their desired optical properties, the coatings must also continue to adhere to the underlying radiator panel.
Technical Paper

In-Flight Thermal Performance of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument

2003-07-07
2003-01-2421
The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument is NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's first application of Loop Heat Pipe technology that provides selectable/stable temperature levels for the lasers and other electronics over a widely varying mission environment. GLAS was successfully launched as the sole science instrument aboard the Ice, Clouds, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from Vandenberg AFB at 4:45pm PST on January 12, 2003. After SC commissioning, the LHPs started easily and have provided selectable and stable temperatures for the lasers and other electronics. This paper discusses the thermal development background and testing, along with details of early flight thermal performance data.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Thermal Performance Characteristics of Ammonia and Propylene Loop Heat Pipes

2000-07-10
2000-01-2406
In this paper, experimental work performed on a breadboard Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) is presented. The test article was built by DCI for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument on the ICESat spacecraft. The thermal system requirements of GLAS have shown that ammonia cannot be used as the working fluid in this LHP because GLAS radiators could cool to well below the freezing point of ammonia. As a result, propylene was proposed as an alternative LHP working fluid since it has a lower freezing point than ammonia. Both working fluids were tested in the same LHP following a similar test plan in ambient conditions. The thermal performance characteristics of ammonia and propylene LHP's were then compared. In general, the propylene LHP required slightly less startup superheat and less control heater power than the ammonia LHP. The thermal conductance values for the propylene LHP were also lower than the ammonia LHP. Later, the propylene LHP was tested in a thermal vacuum chamber.
Technical Paper

A Computer Controlled Power Tool for Servicing the Hubble Space Telescope

1996-07-01
961531
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was designed to be serviced from the shuttle by astronauts performing extravehicular activities (EVA). During the first HST Servicing Mission (STS-61) two types of power tools were flown, the Power Ratchet Tool (PRT) and the HST Power Tool. Each tool had both benefits and drawbacks. An objective for the second HST servicing mission was to combine the reliability, accuracy, and programmability of the PRT with the pistol grip ergonomics and compactness of the HST Power Tool into a new tool called the EVA Pistol Grip Tool (PGT). The PGT is a self-contained, microprocessor controlled, battery powered, 3/8-inch drive hand-held tool. The PGT may also be used as a non-powered ratchet wrench. Numerous torque, speed, and turn or angle limits can be programmed into the PGT for use during various servicing missions. Batteries Modules are replaceable during ground, Intravehicular Activities (IVA), and EVA operations.
Technical Paper

Design Evolution of the Capillary Pumped Loop (CAPL 2) Flight Experiment

1996-07-01
961431
The Capillary Pumped Loop Flight Experiment (CAPL 2) employs a passive two-phase thermal control system that uses the latent heat of vaporization of ammonia to transfer heat over long distances. CAPL was designed as a prototype of the Earth Observing System (EOS) instrument thermal control systems. The purpose of the mission was to provide validation of the system performance in microgravity, prior to implementation on EOS. CAPL 1 was flown on STS-60 in February, 1994, with some unexpected results related to gravitational effects on two-phase systems. Start-up difficulties on CAPL 1 led to a redesign of the experiment (CAPL 2) and a reflight on STS-69 in September of 1995. The CAPL 2 flight was extremely successful and the new “starter pump” design is now baselined for the EOS application. This paper emphasizes the design history, the CAPL 2 design, and lessons learned from the CAPL program.
Technical Paper

Performance of the CAPL 2 Flight Experiment

1996-07-01
961432
This paper describes flight test results of the CAPL 2 Flight Experiment, which is a full scale prototype of a capillary pumped loop (CPL) heat transport system to be used for thermal control of the Earth Observing System (EOS-AM) instruments. One unique feature of CAPL 2 is its capillary starter pump cold plate design, which consists of a single capillary starter pump and two heat pipes. The starter pump enhances start-up success due to its self-priming capability, and provides the necessary capillary pumping force for the entire loop. The heat pipes provide the required isothermalization of the cold plate. Flight tests included those pertinent to specific EOS applications and those intended for verifying generic CPL operating characteristics and performance limits. Experimental results confirmed that the starter pump was indeed self-priming and the loop could be successfully started every time.
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