Design and Development of the Heat Redistribution System for the Europa Clipper Spacecraft
Mastropietro, Arthur J.
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This paper details the conceptual design of the Heat Redistribution System (HRS) used for thermal control of the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The solar powered spacecraft will launch in the early 2020s and will study Jupiter’s Icy moon, Europa, where previous investigations have indicated the possibility of a liquid water ocean underneath its ice-encrusted surface. The spacecraft will execute multiple flybys of Europa while relying on the HRS for thermal control of the spacecraft bus. The HRS utilizes a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) to reclaim waste heat from an avionics and payload electronics compartment and redistribute it to other parts of the spacecraft, such as the propulsion module structure and the louver-radiator assembly. A “replacement heater block” provides supplemental heat when needed to maintain the spacecraft hardware above its allowable flight temperatures. Additionally, a set of thermal control valves autonomously actuate to reduce the fluid flow through the radiator during cold environment cases. The HRS was used in previous flight projects at JPL such as Mars Science Laboratory, but the uniqueness of the Europa Clipper mission has mandated changes to previous HRS designs; the most significant design drivers and design changes for this iteration of the HRS are discussed.