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Technical Paper

ATCS Re-Certification Test: The Investigation of Columbus MT Loop Performances Close and Beyond Its Maximum Operative Limits

The Moderate Temperature (MT) Columbus Active Thermal Control Subsystem (ATCS) has been conceived to collect all the waste thermal loads generated in the various Columbus Module Subsystems and in the ISPR Payloads and reject them through the NODE 2 (Water/Ammonia) Inter-Loop Heat Exchangers providing a controlled and stable cooling resource to the experiments with the help of temperature and delta pressure control laws. The maximum amount of ATCS mass flow rate, actively modulated and shared among the different loop segments, depends on the total thermal head to be controlled and rejected. A deep and wide study - ATCS Re-Certification - was undertaken to increase the cooling resources offered to the ISPR Payloads. Starting from the already base lined total cooling mass flow rate of about 950 [kg/h], the capability to reach flow figure of 1050 [kg/h] was carefully investigated.
Technical Paper

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.