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Technical Paper

Sorbent Bed Acquisition and Compression of Carbon Dioxide from the Mars Atmosphere

2000-07-10
2000-01-2237
Human exploration of Mars as well as unmanned sample return missions from Mars can benefit greatly from the use of propellants produced from the resources available from the atmosphere of Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production (ISPP) system is to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Mars atmosphere and compress it for further chemical processing. One system that performs this step is called a Mars Atmosphere Acquisition and Compression (MAAC) unit. A simple prototype MAAC was developed by JPL as part of the Mars ISPP Precursor (MIP) experiment package for inclusion on the Mars 2001 Surveyor Lander. The MAAC consists of a valved enclosure packed with a sorbent material which selectively adsorbs CO2 from the Mars atmosphere (valves open), desorbs and compresses the acquired CO2 by heating (valves closed) and then delivers the pressurized CO2 to an oxygen generating system where the CO2 is electrolyzed to produce oxygen.
Technical Paper

The Mars Thermal Environment and Radiator Characterization (MTERC) Experiment

2000-07-10
2000-01-2402
Radiators will be used on Mars to reject excess heat from various processes and surfaces and will help temper the climate of any future manned habitats. Radiator performance is a function of the radiator size (area), the emissivity, ε, of the radiator surface, the radiator temperature, local environmental conditions, and the effective sky temperature to which it radiates. The effective sky temperature of Mars is not known. Previous estimates have ranged between 80 K to 170 K. Also, it is not known how dust accumulation and other environmental effects act to change the performance of a radiator as a function of time. The MTERC Experiment is designed to gather data to address these unknowns. This paper will describe the operational theory and the configuration of the MTERC experiment hardware and will discuss results of MTERC performance testing.
Technical Paper

Thermal Control of Mars Lander and Rover Batteries and Electronics Using Loop Heat Pipe and Phase Change Material Thermal Storage Technologies

2000-07-10
2000-01-2403
This paper describes a novel thermal control system for future Mars landers and rovers designed to keep battery temperatures within the −10 °C to +25 °C temperature range. To keep the battery temperatures above the lower limit, the system uses: 1) a phase change material (PCM) thermal storage module to store and release heat and 2) a loop heat pipe (LHP) to transfer heat from a set of Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) to the battery. To keep the battery temperature below the upper limit, a thermal control valve in the LHP opens to redirect the working fluid to an external radiator where excess heat is dumped to the atmosphere. The PCM thermal storage module was designed and fabricated using dodecane paraffin wax (melting point, − 9.6 °C) as the phase change material. A miniature ammonia loop heat pipe with two condensers and an integrated thermal control valve was designed and fabricated for use with the PCM thermal storage unit.
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