24 Hour Consumable-based Cooling System for Venus Lander
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To support NASA future Venus in-situ exploration missions, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc (ACT) is developing a Venus Lander thermal management system based on venting of a mixture cooling fluids. This system will allow at least 24-hours of operation on Venus surface in the high temperature (460°C) and high pressure (~92 bar) environment. The consumable-based cooling system will reject both the electronics waste heat generated inside the vehicle as well as the incoming heat leaks from the Venus environment. The system consists of two pressure vessels (primary vessel and compressed gas vessel) and a network of flow channels that serve as environmental heat guard and are embedded within the lander’s shell. The primary vessel will be charged with working fluid (ammonia) and further pressurized by compressed gas (e.g. argon), so the resulted fluid mixture can be vented into the environment that has pressure higher than the saturation pressure of the coolant that corresponds to the temperature of the payload. The venting will provide effective refrigeration (through the combined effect of evaporation and Joule-Thompson cooling) of the electronics. As the vented fluid mixture travels through the flow channels (i.e. heat guard) in superheated state, it can further collect environmental heat (that leaks in through the shell) as sensible heat and exit into the Venus environment. This paper summarizes the feasibility study performed under a NASA Phase I SBIR program, which includes the development of a thermodynamic mathematical model and of a proof-of-concept sub-scale system. This work has been performed under NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract 80NSSC18P2186.