Loop Heat Pipe Thermal Bus
Small Business Information
1 Beaver Ct, P.o. Box 398, Hunt Valley, MD, 21030
David A. Wolf
AbstractPassive two-phase heat transport systems, specifically heat pipes and more recently, Capillary Pumped Loops, have been successfully applied to spacecraft thermal management. Loop Heat Pipes, developed in the former Soviet Union, offer the design engineer another alternative, one which combines the reliable, self-starting features of the heat pipe, with the high heat transport capacity and antigravity capabilities of Capillary Pumped LOOPS. The attractive performance attributes of the Loop Heat Pipe have been well established in systems containing a single evaporator and condenser. In order to increase its applicability as an effective thermal management tool, the capabilities of the device must be expanded to interconnect multiple payloads and sinks. The primary goal of the proposed program is to develop a Loop Heat Pipe thermal bus (LHPBUS) with multiple evaporators and condensers that retains the reliable, self-starting behavior of its singular thermal interface counterparts. A breadboard system will be designed and fabricated in Phase I. Demonstration tests will characterize its performance capabilities, and the test results will be used to update/validate analytical models. A reliable, self-starting, high capacity LHPBUS would be used for both government and commercial satellites and space platforms. The LHP's flexibility, and high antigravity capability, would also support terrestrial heat transport applications. A LHPBUS, equipped with suitable thermal interfaces, could find widespread use as a "thermal extension cord".
* information listed above is at the time of submission.