Thermal Performance of a Miniature Variable Conductance Loop Heat Pipe
Loop Heat Pipes (LHP) of different designs are currently used in aerospace applications worldwide. Historically, LHPs were considered primarily as candidates for high power, high adverse elevation and high heat flux applications such as deployable radiators for large satellites, thermal bus devices, high heat flux payloads, etc. A new look at the LHP technology was presented in 1998 (Ref. 1), and the miniature LHP concept was introduced to the industry. Because miniature LHPs are frequently serving as “thermal shunts” for payloads and instruments, controllability issues played an important role from the very beginning of their development. For instance, the electrical power that is available for thermal control of Mars rovers on the Martian surface is limited. Because of this limitation, the thermal control systems for the new generation of Mars rovers were required to be absolutely passive.