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Technical Paper

Lunar Dust Contamination Effects on Lunar Base Thermal Control Systems

Many studies have been conducted to develop a thermal control system that can operate under the extreme thermal environments found on the lunar surface. While these proposed heat rejection systems use different methods to reject heat, each system contains a similar component, a thermal radiator system. These studies have always considered pristine thermal control system components and have overlooked the possible deleterious effects of lunar dust contamination. Since lunar dust has a high emissivity and absorptivity (greater than 0.9) and is opaque, dust accumulation on a surface should radically alter its optical properties and therefore alter its thermal response compared ideal conditions. In addition, the non-specular nature of the dust particles will may alter the performance of systems that employ specular surfaces to enhance heat rejection. To date, few studies have examined the effect of dust deposit on thermal control system components.
Technical Paper

Active Thermal Control Systems for Lunar and Martian Exploration

Extended manned missions to the lunar and martian surfaces pose new challenges for active thermal control systems (ATCS's). Moderate-temperature heat rejection becomes a problem during the lunar day, when the effective sink temperature exceeds that of the heat-rejection system. The martian atmosphere poses unique problems for rejecting moderate-temperature waste heat because of the presence of carbon dioxide and dust. During a recent study, several ATCS options including heat pumps, radiator shading devices, and single-phase flow loops were considered. The ATCS chosen for both lunar and martian habitats consists of a heat pump integral with a nontoxic fluid acquisition and transport loop, and vertically oriented modular reflux-boiler radiators. The heat pump operates only during the lunar day. The lunar and martian transfer vehicles have an internal single-phase water-acquisition loop and an external two-phase ammonia rejection system with rotating inflatable radiators.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Lunar Base Thermal Control System Options

Long duration human exploration missions to the Moon will require active thermal control systems which have not previously been used in space. The relatively short duration Apollo missions were able to use expendable resources (water boiler) to handle the moderate heat rejection requirement. Future NASA missions to the Moon will require higher heat loads to be rejected for long periods of time near the lunar equator. This will include heat rejection during lunar noon when direct radiation heat transfer to the surrounding environment is impossible because the radiator views the hot lunar surface. The two technologies which are most promising for long term lunar base thermal control are heat pumps and radiator shades. Heat pumps enable heat rejection to space at the hottest part of the lunar day by raising the radiator temperature above the environment temperature.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Analysis of the Space Station Freedom Active Thermal Control System Radiators Using SINDA/FLUINT

The thermal radiators are a major subsystem of the Space Station Freedom (SSF) Active Thermal Control System (ATCS). They dissipate to deep space the excess heat transported from the modules and truss mounted equipment. Condensation of the ATCS twophase working fluid occurs directly in small diameter tubes which are bonded to a thin aluminum face sheet in the flow-though radiator panels. The Permanently Manned Capability (PMC) configuration of the Space Station will have a total of 48 radiator panels grouped in 3 replaceable units of 8 panels on each side of the Space Station. Accurate prediction of radiator performance on orbit is important to keep the ATCS from getting too hot (exceeding its capacity) or getting too cold (freezing). For this reason, detailed models of the radiator system are being developed using the SINDA/FLUINT thermal and fluid systems analyzer.
Technical Paper

Conceptual Design of a Solar Powered Heat Pump for Lunar Base Thermal Control System

When permanent bases are established on the moon, various methods may be employed to reject the heat generated by the base. One proposed concept is the use of a heat pump operating with a vertical, flow-through thermal radiator which is mounted on a Space Station type habitation module. Since the temperature of the lunar surface varies over the lunar day, the sink temperature for heat pump heat rejection will vary. As a result, the heat pump power demand will also vary over the lunar day. This variable power requirement could be provided by a fixed horizontal solar photovoltaic (PV) array placed on the lunar surface, since its power production will vary sinusoidally with the time of day. Using a dedicated PV array to power the heat pump may represent a favorable mass trade-off compared to enlarging the size of the base's central power grid due to power system simplification and improvements in efficiency.
Technical Paper

An Assessment of Advanced Thermal Control System Technologies for Future Human Space Flight

In an era of tight fiscal constraints, research and development funds are not sufficient to study all possible avenues for technology development. Hence, development priorities must be set and funding decisions made based on the projected benefits which will arise from fully developing different technologies. In order to identify promising development initiatives for advanced thermal control systems, a study was conducted which quantified the potential mass savings of various technologies. Assessments were made for five reference missions considered to be likely candidates for major human space flight initiatives beyond the International Space Station. The reference missions considered were Space Station Evolution, Space Shuttle Replacement, First Lunar Outpost Lander, Permanent Lunar Base, and Mars Lander. For each mission a baseline active thermal control system was defined and mass estimates were established.
Technical Paper

High Temperature Lift Heat Pump Refrigerant and Thermodynamic Cycle Selection

This paper describes the process and analysis used to select a refrigerant and thermodynamic cycle as the basis of a vapor compression heat pump requiring a high temperature lift. Use of a vapor compression heat pump versus other types was based on prior work performed for the Electric Power Research Institute. A high lift heat pump is needed to enable a thermal control system to remove heat down to 275K from a habitable volume when the external thermal environment is severe. For example, a long term habitat will reject heat from a space radiator to a 325K environment. The first step in the selection process was to perform an optimization trade study, quantifying the effect of radiator operating temperature and heat pump efficiency on total system mass; then, select the radiator operating temperature corresponding to the lowest system mass. Total system mass included radiators, all heat pump components and the power supply system.
Technical Paper

Development of a Lunar Radiator Parabolic Shading System

Several factors are important in the development of active thermal control systems for planetary habitats. Low system mass and power usage as well as high reliability are key requirements. Ease of packaging and deployment on the planet surface are also important. In the case of a lunar base near the equator, these requirements become even more challenging because of the severe thermal environment. One technology that could be part of the thermal control system to help meet these requirements is a radiator shade. Radiator shades enhance direct radiative heat rejection to space by blocking solar or infrared radiation which lessens the performance of the radiator. Initial development work, both numerical and experimental, has been done at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in order to prove the concept. Studies have shown that heat rejection system mass may be reduced by 50% compared to an unshaded low-absorptivity radiator.
Technical Paper

Independent Temperature and Humidity Control in a Closed Environment Plant Growth Chamber

Independent temperature and humidity control may be required for a variety of reasons. One application under study at the NASA Johnson Space Center is the environmental control of completely sealed plant growth chambers. The chambers are used to optimize plant growth and to develop engineering prototypes of future plant growth chamber modules for long duration space travel. One chamber at the Johnson Space Center which is part of the Early Human Test Initiative was rebuilt and upgraded during 1994. Requirements called for a thermal control system which could supply the plants with a wide range of air temperatures and independently control humidity. A math model was developed using G189 thermal/environmental modeling software to simulate the internal environment of the plant growth chamber. The model was used in the design of the chamber thermal control system.