Hybrid Heat Pipes for Lunar and Martian Surface and High Heat Flux Space Applications



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Next generation of polar rovers and equatorial landers is among the immediate NASA planetary applications. These landers and rovers have a Warm Electronics Box (WEB) and a battery, both of which must be maintained in a fairly narrow temperature range. So, a variable thermal link between the WEB and radiator is required. During the day, the thermal link must transfer heat from the WEB to the radiator as efficiently as possible, to minimize the radiator size. On the other hand, the thermal link must be as ineffective as possible during the Lunar night. This will preserve the electronics and battery warm with minimal power, even with the very low heat sink temperature. This variable thermal link can be a variable conductance heat pipe (VCHP) would require hybrid wick to allow liquid return during operation under unfavorable orientation of the evaporator. Also, future spacecraft and instruments developed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate will involve highly integrated electronics, such as for CubeSat/SmallSat. This high density electronics packaging leads to substantial improvement in performance per unit, mass, volume and power. However, it also results in requirement of sophisticated thermal control technology to dissipate the high heat flux generated by these electronics systems. For example, the current incident heat flux for laser diode applications is on the order of 5-10 W/cm2, although this is expected to increase towards 50 W/cm2. This is a severe limitation for the commonly employed axial groove aluminum/ammonia constant conductance heat pipes (CCHPs). Hence, high flux heat acquisition and transport devices are required. The paper reports on the development of VCHPs and CCHPs with a hybrid grooved and sintered wick.


United States
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
ICES104: Advances in Thermal Control Technology
Vienna, Austria
Jeffery T. Farmer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, USA
Angel R. Alvarez-Hernandez, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Calin Tarau, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc, USA
William G. Anderson, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc, USA
Mohammed T. Ababneh, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc, USA
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.


NASA, hybrid variable conductance heat pipe, hybrid constant conductance heat pipes, warm electronics box, Lunar and Martian landers and rovers, high heat flux, CubeSat